AFC North Notes: Bengals, Browns, Steelers

     

Bengals

While LSU QB Joe Burrow is still seen as close to a lock to go No. 1 overall to the Bengals, some rumors have started recently questioning whether Burrow would want to be picked by the Bengals. Some have connected the dots to former Bengals QB Carson Palmer questioning how serious Cincinnati is about winning Super Bowls with Burrow, who is working out with Palmer’s brother, Jordan, saying he wants to play for an organization “committed to winning Super Bowls.” Burrow’s father, however, tried to rebut those rumors. 

“Not sure where that information is coming from,” Jimmy Burrow said via Fox19’s Jeremy Rauch. “We are all excited that Joe has put himself in a position to be considered as a possible high draft choice.”

Browns

  • Regarding Vikings assistant GM George Paton being reluctant to accept the Browns’ GM job, Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline‘s understanding is that candidates feel Cleveland does not provide adequate job security, which is a “major concern” for front office members. 
  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reports the Browns briefly discussed their opening at defensive coordinator with former Rams DC Wade Phillips before electing to go with 49ers DB coach Joe Woods.

Steelers

As Antonio Brown starts making the interview circuit to attempt to start the process of doing damage control for the past year, one of the places he talked to was a local Pittsburgh radio station. Brown’s litany of issues all started in Pittsburgh when he essentially walked out on the team, was benched and then forced his way out via trade. While he wasn’t above taking a few more shots at QB Ben Roethlisberger and WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, he did make sure to apologize for the way his time with the Steelers ended. 

“I apologize to those guys for the distractions,” Brown said, via Adam Bittner of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “The unwanted attention I probably caused those guys. To the fans and organization. So obviously you want to clear out any baggage or disrespect or unintended attention that was brought on to the organization. You know these guys gave me an opportunity when I was 21 years old, and I’m forever grateful for those guys. To not only have the opportunity to play with those guys but be in so many amazing moments, and we’ve been through so much.

“So I’m forever grateful and indebted to the organization. Mr. Rooney. Mike Tomlin. Kevin Colbert. Ben Roethlisberger. You know I started my career with those guys. A lot of beautiful moments. A lot of amazing things. So it’s not all bad. I just think from an emotional standpoint, when stuff got bad, it just seem bad. But we got more good moments than bad.”

  • Bob Labriola of the official team website points out the Steelers are limited with regards to cap space this offseason, making them unlikely to pursue former Panthers TE Greg Olsen
  • Steelers president Art Rooney II said the team is happy with the current roster at quarterback, including Roethlisberger, Mason Rudolph, Devlin Hodges and Paxton Lynch: “I think we are pretty comfortable with the people we have on the roster right now in terms of Ben and Mason and I think we will have Duck and Paxton Lynch participating and competing in camp and things like that this year.” (Pro Football Talk)

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