AFC North Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens, Steelers

     

Bengals

  • According to the Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr., while it’s out of character for the Bengals front office to consider major or aggressive moves midseason, if Cincinnati continues to struggle and is clearly out of contention by the trade deadline there’s a host of players who could be moved. 
  • The list includes WR A.J. Green, QB Andy Dalton, DT Geno Atkins, DE Carlos Dunlap and RB Joe Mixon
  • Green is the biggest name, as the team is still working on an extension for the 32-year-old receiver who’s been out since the start of camp with an ankle injury. Dalton could also be an option for another team with a quarterback injury given his deal is team-friendly and expires in 2020. 
  • Dehner says the team could also try to get ahead of a potential contract standoff with Mixon, though like most of these potential trades it’s currently unlikely. 
  • Bengals HC Zac Taylor says he does expect LT Cordy Glenn, who’s been out for weeks with a concussion, to eventually play this year. He’s missed practice the past two days to see an independent neurologist. (Jay Morrison)

Browns

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer mentions Browns OC Todd Monken as someone who could draw head coaching interest this offseason. 
  • Browns HC Freddie Kitchens says WR Jarvis Landry is still in the concussion protocol, while CBs Greedy Williams and Denzel Ward remain day-to-day. (Nate Ulrich)
  • Browns TE David Njoku says he’s “lucky to be alive” after the hit that gave him a concussion, broke his wrist and landed him on injured reserve. (Ulrich)

Ravens

A verbal conflict between Ravens S Earl Thomas and DT Brandon Williams made the news this week following Baltimore’s 40-25 beatdown by the Browns. Williams picked up a knee injury late in the week and was declared inactive following a pre-game warmup. The Ravens were summarily crushed on the ground and Thomas found Williams after the game to get answers. 

“We’re on the same page. We talked about it. I just want him out there,” Thomas said via ESPN’s Jamison Hensley. “He’s a Pro Bowler. We’re better when he’s out there. I was a little frustrated.”

“I just wanted to see what was going on with him because I know he had practiced earlier in the week,” Thomas added. “I didn’t know. It just kind of hit me out of the blindside. But hopefully, he’ll play this week.”

  • According to the Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec, the Ravens offered DT Domata Peko a contract following his workout but the two sides couldn’t agree to terms. Baltimore is still open to signing Peko or another defensive lineman. 

Steelers

Receivers often take time to develop and the Steelers knew that when they drafted James Washington in the second round last year. At the time, they expected to have plenty of other weapons on offense to rely on while Washington developed, however, Washington has been pressed into the starting lineup as the Steelers offense has been depleted. The results haven’t been good, as Washington has just six catches while playing 70 percent of the snaps. 

“I just have got to stay positive and make the plays that come my way. . . . It’ll happen,” Washington said via Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Just stay confident in everybody on this team and trust that everything that happens, happens for a reason.”

  • According to the Athletic’s Ed Bouchette, the Steelers could release WR Donte Moncrief in order to ensure they receive a third-round compensatory pick for losing RB Le’Veon Bell this offseason. 
  • The NFL’s compensatory pick formula awards draft picks to teams who lost more qualifying free agents than they gained in a year. Pittsburgh signed Moncrief and CB Steven Nelson while losing Bell, TE Jesse James and LB L.J. Fort
  • However, the Eagles recently cut Fort, meaning Pittsburgh sits at two players gained and two players lost and would need to cut either Moncrief or Nelson to get back on the right side of the comp pick formula. 
  • Moncrief has been benched and played only three snaps Monday night after struggling with drops to start the season. The Steelers would save $4 million against the cap in 2020 with a $1.75 million dead money charge by releasing Moncrief. 
  • Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster injured his toe during Monday night’s win against the Bengals, but the injury isn’t expected to keep him out per OC Randy Fichtner: “JuJu got a little banged up early in that ball game last week. We held him a little bit today. Held him yesterday. Don’t have any feeling like he wouldn’t be back with us, but he gutted it out & I was really proud of him.” (Brooke Pryor)

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