AFC North Notes: Browns, Ravens, Steelers



  • Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer questions whether Patriots OC Josh McDaniels would be comfortable working with the Browns’ front office framework, including executive Paul DePodesta.
  • Cabot points out that McDaniels must be willing to accept a job where the owner already has a “righthand man and confidante.”
  • As for Vikings OC Kevin Stefanski, Cabot could see Cleveland bringing back former president of player personnel Andrew Berry from the Eagles as their next general manager, which would allow the Browns to comfortably keep DePodesta in his current position. 
  • Cabot reports McDaniels was not permitted to interview with any teams until Wednesday due to New England’s exit interviews. 
  • Ian Rapoport points out that DePodesta is leading the Browns’ search and could be interested in Eagles DC Jim Schwartz, given that he supports analytics, can “command a room” and has prior head coaching experience. 
  • Although Rapoport called McDaniels a “strong candidate” for the Browns, he does not consider him the favorite over Schwartz or Stefanski. 
  • NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo points out Schwartz is still under contract with Philadelphia in 2020. Schwartz has been mentioned as a potential defensive coordinator candidate for the Browns, but would not be able to take that position unless released by the Eagles.
  • Schwartz is interviewing for Cleveland’s head coaching vacancy on Wednesday and would not need to be released from his contract to take that position. 


Ravens CB Jimmy Smith has played his entire nine-year NFL career with the Ravens since being taken in the first round back in 2011. Now 31 years old and in the final year of his contract, Smith understands he could be playing somewhere new next season. However, he’s willing to do whatever he can to keep it going in Baltimore, even if it means taking a more team-friendly deal. 

“I’ve made a lot of money. I’m not going to go broke. You want to get all the money you can playing this game. I probably shouldn’t say this, but I like to be honest. You want to feel comfortable where you’re at,” Smith said via the Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec. “Obviously, if somebody offers me a great contract, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. But for me, it’s all about being comfortable. I’m home here, so to continue to play; I’d want to do it here. No doubt.”

  • Ravens DC Don Martindale said he felt good about his interview for the Giants head coaching job, but he’s also happy with his position with the Ravens: “Am I disappointed? Sure. But I feel I’m playing with house money. Look where I’m standing.” (Jamison Hensley)
  • Ravens OC Greg Roman said RB Mark Ingram was “day-to-day” with his calf strain. (Hensley)


  • The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly points out that Steelers RB James Conner‘s injury history doesn’t bode well for his chances of getting an extension in Pittsburgh, as the team has a history of moving on from players who can’t stay healthy. 
  • Conner has missed time due to injury in all three seasons of his NFL career so far. He’s entering the final year of his rookie deal in 2020. 
  • Pittsburgh worked out former Falcons LS Kyle Vasey on Tuesday. (Aaron Wilson)
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