AFC North Notes: Browns, Ravens, Steelers


  • According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, Browns assistant GM Eliot Wolf and Packers co-director of player personnel Jon Sullivan are two strong candidates for the Browns general manager job if they hire Mike McCarthy as head coach.
  • Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer points out 49ers’ passing game coordinator Mike LaFleur and run game coordinator Mike McDaniel would be offensive coordinator candidates for Cleveland if they hired San Francisco DC Robert Saleh as their next head coach.
  • Regarding reports of the Browns interest in former Ohio State HC Urban Meyer, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer writes that would have been more likely under GM John Dorsey who ran a scouting department that had big fans of Meyer employed. 
  • However, Browns owner Jimmy Haslam essentially told reporters in a press conference Thursday that Meyer wasn’t a candidate: “Right now we’re just focusing on people with NFL coaching experience.” (Ian Rapoport)
  • Haslam confirmed the plan is to hire a head coach first and then have that person have input into hiring the general manager. (Jake Trotter)
  • Haslam also confirmed Paul DePodesta would lead the process of the search. (Cabot)
  • The search committee for the Browns consists of DePodesta, Haslam and his wife Dee, J.W. Johnson and salary cap manager Chris Cooper. (Nate Ulrich)
  • Haslam acknowledged the frustration Browns fans have, adding that while “there’s no guarantee” this next hire will fix everything, he at least feels good about the clarity of their vision going into the search. (Ulrich)
  • Both the new head coach and general manager will report to ownership with DePodesta staying in his current, consultation role, also reporting to the Haslams: “We will not have an arranged marriage (between coach and GM).” (Trotter)
  • The general manager will have the final say on the 53-man roster. (Scott Petrak)
  • Haslam defended Browns QB Baker Mayfield and noted that getting his development back on track will be one of the top priorities for Cleveland in 2020: “Baker caught a lot of grief this year. With everything on his plate as leader and player, he did a remarkable job. We have to do everything we can to help him reach his potential. We’re focused on that.” (Petrak)


  • Per ESPN’s Jamison Hensley, Ravens WR coach David Culley says the team is still managing reps for first-round rookie WR Marquise Brown as he recovers from a Lisfranc injury in December 2018: “It’s not completely healed yet.”


  • According to Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Steelers G Ramon Foster ($4 million), LB Anthony Chickillo ($5 million) and LB Mark Barron ($5.25 million) are strong candidates to be cap casualties. 
  • Other options include TE Vance McDonald, DT Daniel McCullers and P Jordan Berry.
  • Fittipaldo points out the Steelers can create more cap space by extending DL Cameron Heyward, who is entering the final year of his deal in 2020 and is set to count $13.2 million against the cap, though he’ll be 31 in May. 
  • While Pittsburgh has said keeping LB Bud Dupree is a priority, it might be difficult to have both him and LB T.J. Watt to long-term deals when Watt is eligible for an extension in 2021. 

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