AFC North Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens



An NFL executive tells Mike Sando of The Athletic that the Browns exploited one of the biggest market inefficiencies in the NFL right now by acquiring a 2021 third-round pick from Saints to move back just 14 spots in the third this year.

“Trading for future picks is the biggest inefficiency in the NFL,” the executive said. “It is a joke. The standard price is you go up a round and to me that is ridiculous. The fact they wound up with a third-round pick next year was great. The guys they ended up picking I thought were good too.”

An NFL evaluator, who spoke to Sando, mentioned that he’s concerned about the Browns slotting first-round pick Jedrick Wills in at left tackle. 

“How will his transition be going from the right side to the left?” the evaluator said. “I feel expectations for him are too high coming in, especially when you consider the last time Cleveland took a tackle this high, it was Joe Thomas.”


  • The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec writes Ravens LT Ronnie Stanley is in line to match — if not exceed — the $22 million per year the Texans gave LT Laremy Tunsil to reset the offensive tackle market. 
  • Zrebiec adds Baltimore will have to weigh extending Stanley with how it impacts other players who need long-term deals after 2021, like CB Marlon Humphrey, TE Mark Andrews, RT Orlando Brown and eventually QB Lamar Jackson
  • If the Ravens wanted to buy time to see if they have a cheaper alternative at left tackle, Zrebiec mentions the franchise tag could come into play. 
  • Zrebiec notes the Ravens would have no issues carrying four running backs and would only trade Gus Edwards or Justice Hill if they got an early Day 3 pick back. 
  • While the team is excited about the potential of undrafted TE Jacob Breeland, Zrebiec points out they felt the same way last year about UDFA DT Gerald Willis, who is already on his third NFL team. 
  • Zrebiec repeats a report from NFL Media’s Mike Silver from the first day of the draft that the Ravens were involved in trade talks with the Texans for WR DeAndre Hopkins. He says the Texans likely asked for more than they eventually ended up moving him for because the two teams are in the same conference. 
  • Zrebiec says the Ravens have a contract offer on the table for LB Pernell McPhee but he isn’t sure if the delay is because the veteran is mulling other offers or can’t get a physical. 

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