AFC North Notes: Bengals, Ravens, Steelers



The Bengals used the No. 1 overall pick on QB Joe Burrow because they believe he can be the franchise passer to help turn the team around. Cincinnati hasn’t been awful the past decade but the Bengals still haven’t won a playoff game since 1991. Another former Bengals No. 1 pick, QB Carson Palmer, offered some advice to Burrow not to be discouraged if he doesn’t break that streak in his first season. 

“If you get shellacked in Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, just keep fighting,” Palmer said on Arizona Sports 98.7. “Because they are a couple steps behind, personnel-wise. There’s a reason they’re drafting No. 1, it’s because they’re a couple years away. So just come in and know that it’s going to be a rough start from the jump. But coming off a national championship, coming off all the success he’s had at the collegiate level, maybe his work ethic can come in and create a culture there that there’s a certain level of commitment, a certain level of work ethic and expertise and professionalism that he can bring in and I hope to see that rub off on all the guys around him.”


  • According to Gary Myers of the New York Times, the Ravens also inquired with the Jets recently about a trade for S Jamal Adams
  • The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec says the Ravens also made a quiet run at Adams at the trade deadline last year but were unwilling to meet New York’s asking price. 
  • Zrebiec says the Ravens love Adams’ skill set and mentality and there’s some familiarity with coaches and players from time together at the Pro Bowl. Jets GM Joe Douglas also has strong Baltimore connections after coming up through the organizations. 
  • However, Zrebiec points out the Ravens already have two safeties on second contracts after extending Chuck Clark and signing Earl Thomas last year. The cost to add Adams in draft capital and cap space would be prohibitive. 
  • With LB Jaylon Ferguson the only Ravens edge rusher under contract beyond this year, Zrebiec writes there’s more pressure on Baltimore to either extend LB Matt Judon or spend in free agency next year to bring in a replacement. 
  • Zrebiec doesn’t think the Ravens would have much of a trade market for RB Gus Edwards, who is still more valuable to the team as depth than a late-round pick despite a crowded depth chart. 
  • Zrebiec mentions Ravens 2019 first-round WR Marquise Brown looks bigger and stronger in workout videos this offseason. Brown dealt with an injured foot for his entire rookie season. 


The Steelers elected not to make running back their top priority in the draft this past April, waiting until the fourth round to take Anthony McFarland. Part of the reason for that was last year’s fourth-round pick, RB Benny Snell, who the Steelers are confident will be better in year two as one of Pittsburgh’s backups behind James Conner

“I’m excited about Year Two,” Steelers HC Mike Tomlin said via’s Dave Bryan. “You know how it is, you’ve been a lap around the track, you kind of know how the ground is laid. He had some contribution to us a year ago and it’s reasonable to expect him to just continue to take off and be a big-time guy for us.”

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer mentions the Steelers as a potential landing spot for QB Cam Newton, where he can work as a backup for a year. 
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