AFC North Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens, Steelers

     

Bengals

  • Per ESPN’s Ben Baby, Bengals HC Zac Taylor said he didn’t think the field conditions at the University of Dayton contributed to WR A.J. Green‘s injury. 
  • Bengals WR John Ross missed another practice with hamstring tightness. (Baby)
  • The Bengals activated LB Noah Dawkins from the NFI list after he passed his physical. 

Browns

  • According to Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot, Browns RB Duke Johnson‘s agent Drew Rosenhaus was in town but declined to discuss specifics of his conversations with Browns management. 
  • Browns GM John Dorsey said there was nothing new and the team still has no plans to trade Johnson despite the runner’s request. 
  • Jason La Canfora says it’s not worth holding your breath regarding Johnson trade anytime soon. Instead, La Canfora says it’s possible a deal could take place around the deadline, but the Browns want to maintain as much veteran depth as they can.
  • Browns HC Freddie Kitchens says RB Kareem Hunt is close to practicing. (Nate Ulrich)

Ravens

  • Asked about how much the Ravens will utilize QB Lamar Jackson as a runner, Ravens HC John Harbaugh said to easily take the over on Panthers QB Cam Newton‘s career-high of 139 carries, per NFL Media’s Aditi Kinkhabwala.
  • Harbaugh wasn’t shy discussing what he believes the new-look Ravens offense can do in 2019: “The game was probably revolutionized with Bill Walsh and Joe Montana. What’s the next era going to be? We’re about to find out.” (Pro Football Talk)
  • The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec writes that the team will likely be on the lookout for offensive linemen throughout the preseason, as the team’s depth there is a concern. 
  • Zrebiec notes LB Pernell McPhee has looked good and put himself in the early lead to start. 
  • Because of roster considerations, Zrebiec mentions LBs Tim Williams, Tyus Bowser and Shane Ray could be competing for two roster slots. 

Steelers

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger just signed a three-year extension this offseason, which would keep him in Pittsburgh until he turns 40. Neither Roethlisberger or the team have ruled out the quarterback playing beyond that. 

“That might not be the last contract extension we do for Ben,” Steelers owner Art Rooney said via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “As you know, there are quarterbacks playing into their 40s these days. And from what I see of Ben, at least physically, there’s no reason to think he’s not capable of doing that.”

“Honestly, I haven’t thought about the endgame,” Roethlisberger said. “I’ve always honored my contracts, and we just did three years, so that’s my goal right now is to make it three years. When that’s up, I guess we’ll start thinking. But so much can happen in three years. It’s really about your health and how you feel. My kids keep me busy too, I don’t want to be away from them too long either.”

  • The Athletic’s Ed Bouchette reports the option on Steelers HC Mike Tomlin‘s contract in 2021 is a team option, meaning Pittsburgh has control through the 2022 season.
  • Bouchette says the Steelers face a dilemma with CB Joe Haden‘s extension, as the veteran turns 30 this year which is a risky age for corners. 
  • Haden’s last deal averaged $9 million per season and the Steelers just signed CB Steven Nelson for $8.5 million a year. 
  • Bouchette adds the team could consider moving Haden to safety later on to maximize his longevity, though the veteran says that’s not in his plans. 
  • Steelers S Sean Davis suffered a potentially dislocated finger. (Jeremy Fowler)

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