AFC North Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens, Steelers



  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer points out the Bengals’ aggression in free agency – signing DT D.J. Reader, CB Trae Waynes and S Vonn Bell for more than $100 million combined, has the added benefit of showing LSU QB Joe Burrow the team is committed to winning. 
  • The Athletic’s Connor Hughes reports the Bengals expressed interest in G Greg Van Roten before he elected to sign with the Jets. 


  •’s Scott Petrak says former Vikings DE Everson Griffen has to be on the Browns’ radar as a potential free-agent addition because of how many links the new coaching staff has to him. 
  • Petrak thinks former Browns S Damarious Randall has burned too many bridges to be able to return to Cleveland. 


  • The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec writes that team officials love this upcoming draft class of wide receivers and the Ravens plan to add at least one, potentially as high as the first round. 
  • Adding help on the interior offensive line is another priority for Baltimore, per Zrebiec, though the team’s lack of activity in free agency shows confidence in G Ben Powers and C Patrick Mekari
  • Inside and outside linebacker are other needs for Baltimore, according to Zrebiec, with some free-agent options still available including Clay Matthews, Markus Golden, Ezekiel Ansah, Pernell McPhee and Terrell Suggs.
  • Zrebiec adds Baltimore could address depth at tight end, interior defensive line and safety. He also mentions additions at running back, quarterback and cornerback would be more of luxuries than actual needs, though he doesn’t rule out the Ravens taking a player at one of those positions if they are the best available. 
  • Ravens DL Derek Wolfe signed a one-year, $3 million deal that’s fully guaranteed with an additional $3 million available in incentives. Wolfe chose Baltimore over a competing offer from the Texans. (Ian Rapoport)


  • The Athletic’s Ed Bouchette says QBs Cam Newton and Jameis Winston don’t appear to be options for the Steelers as a backup quarterback, though their stance could change on Winston if he comes cheaply. 
  • Bouchette says OTs Matt Feiler and Chukwuma Okorafor are the two candidates to move from right tackle to left guard to replace Ramon Foster
  • Bouchette anticipates recently-acquired DL Chris Wormley sliding into the starting lineup after being traded from Baltimore. 
  • He also thinks the Steelers will draft another running back and let James Conner play out his rookie deal.  
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