AFC North Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens, Steelers


  • The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. writes it’s “99 percent” the Bengals take LSU QB Joe Burrow No. 1 overall. 
  • Dehner says he doesn’t see the situation with WR A.J. Green being resolved cleanly, with the most likely outcome being Green playing out the 2020 season on the franchise tag and the least likely scenario Cincinnati dealing Green to another team. 
  • Dehner lists Bengals QB Andy Dalton, WR John Ross, DT Geno Atkins, CB Dre Kirkpatrick and C Billy Price as potential trade chips for Cincinnati this offseason. 
  • However, of that group only Dalton is likely to be moved, with Cincinnati maybe pulling the trigger on one other guy given their reticence to do trades. Dehner mentions “there are legs” to a potential trade of Dalton to the Patriots. 
  • Dehner also says the Bengals could release Kirkpatrick to save cap space if there aren’t any takers in a deal. Bengals OL Cordy Glenn is also sure to be gone after butting heads with the team this year. 
  • Dehner expects the Bengals to sign RB Joe Mixon to an extension this spring, similar to the timeline they did with WR Tyler Boyd.
  • The Bengals met with Illinois State RB James Robinson at the Shrine Bowl. (The Draft Network)


  • According to Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson, the Browns offered new GM and EVP Andrew Berry the position at the end of last week and started working on the contract. 
  • Robinson says the Browns hiring team was nearly unanimous in its choice, though they were impressed by Vikings assistant GM George Paton before he withdrew.
  • Per Robinson, Berry did a significant amount of legwork on new HC Kevin Stefanski for the organization when Stefanski was a candidate in 2018, so the two are expected to work well together. 
  • Robinson mentions Browns executives Eliot Wolf and Alonzo Highsmith could stay on in their current positions until at least after the draft. 
  • Robinson also doesn’t’ anticipate chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta‘s role changing with the hire of Berry. 


  • The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec doesn’t think the Ravens will view free agent WR Dez Bryant as the right fit for them. Bryant has been out of football for two seasons and is rehabbing an Achilles injury. 
  • Zrebiec mentions DT Justin Ellis and DE Jihad Ward as two players the Ravens could try to retain on smaller deals.
  • Zrebiec notes Ravens TE coach Bobby Engram interviewed with the Eagles for their WR coach position but elected to stay in Baltimore. 
  • The Ravens will have to wait a while longer for a resolution on if G Marshal Yanda will retire or play another year in 2020: “I’m going to take my time now that I’m officially done playing for the year, just take some time over the next month and basically go with my heart.” (Twitter)
  • Baltimore met with Kansas DT Azur Kamara Thursday at the Senior Bowl. (Charlie Campbell)


  • Per the Athletic’s Mark Kaboly, while 49ers WR Emmanuel Sanders is set to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, he wouldn’t consider a reunion with the Steelers because of the presence of QB Ben Roethlisberger: “I would love that, but me and Ben don’t have the best relationship. I believe that bridge is burnt.”
  • Pittsburgh drafted Sanders originally but he left for the Broncos for a bigger role and bigger deal in free agency: “Yeah, (Pittsburgh) offered me a deal, like three years, $9 million, $1 million guaranteed, and I turned around and made three years, $15 million, $6 million guaranteed and won a Super Bowl.”
  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer mentions Steelers VP of football operations Omar Khan is the most likely candidate to take over if and when GM Kevin Colbert leaves. 
  • The Steelers met with Princeton QB Kevin Davidson at the Shrine Bowl. (The Draft Network)

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