AFC North Notes: Bengals, Browns, Steelers



The Bengals reached out to DT Gerald McCoy when he was released, but were far enough down his list of teams that nothing ended up happening, per the Athletic’s Paul Dehner

“Free agency is always a two-way street and guys have multiple options. There are times we express interest and if the interest is reciprocated we try to make something work,” Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin said. “The things that don’t happen, there’s more than just that one. There’s a lot of things you go through the exercise and they don’t come about. Sometimes they do. I won’t get real specific on guys that aren’t here or don’t come. He apparently had plenty of suitors and options and took his time and I guess made the decision that was right for him.”

Bengals TE Tyler Eifert told the Athletic that WR John Ross was looking “unstoppable” during OTA’s. Tobin says the next step for Ross is staying healthy and carrying that over to the regular season. 

“John hasn’t failed to impress in this type of stuff. He’s just got to carry it to the games and we’ll see if he can,” Tobin said. “Health is a big thing with him, those things are hard to predict. You want him to be up and healthy and knowing what to do. He’s certainly got the physical traits to be effective for us. Let’s see how it goes.”


Jarvis Landry explained that WR Odell Beckham Jr. missed OTAs to make sure that his “body was right” prior to camp. 

Obviously he wanted to be here,’’ Landry said, via Mary Kay Cabot. “He just was taking his time to make sure that his body was right and now he’s here. We’re all happy to see him.”


Steelers HC Mike Tomlin said he has been “disappointed” with former first-round CB Artie Burns.

“Not a little bit disappointed. Disappointed,’’ Tomlin said, via Ed Bouchette of The Athletic. “Certainly. Having the ability to carry those talents into a stadium kind of defines us, or inability the do so, so certainly.”

When asked if he would give Burns “another chance,” Tomlin said he is intent on putting the “very best group” on the field. 

“You know, that’s what this process is about. It’s not about giving him another chance. It’s about putting together the very best group that we can put out there, and if that includes giving him another chance, then certainly, but it’s not per se specifically about giving him quote-unquote another chance.”

Bouchette points out that the Steelers could cut Burns by training camp prior to him being owed an $800,000 workout bonus. 

  • The Steelers changed rookie LB Sutton Smith‘s jersey to No. 42 so he could also practice with the running backs. Smith played running back in high school. (Mark Kaboly)

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