AFC North Notes: Browns, Ravens, Steelers

     

Browns

  • Per Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal, new Browns GM Andrew Berry said the only bigger supporter of Browns HC Kevin Stefanski than him was Stefanski’s wife. 
  • Berry addressed concerns about the direction of Cleveland’s front office: “We will be a scouting-centered front office. But we will also incorporate research and information into decision-making.” (Scott Petrak)
  • Berry told reporters he doesn’t feel the need to replace departed front office executives Eliot Wolf, Alonzo Highsmith or Steve Malin until after the draft. (Petrak)
  • Browns QB Baker Mayfield has the support of Berry, who was with the team when Cleveland took Mayfield No. 1 overall in 2018: “There was a ton of organizational consensus on drafting Baker Mayfield.” (Petrak)
  • Berry mentioned the team is hopeful DE Myles Garrett will be reinstated: “[Garrett] made a huge mistake in the fall, but we know who Myles is as a person and look forward to welcoming him back.” (Ulrich)
  • Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said the team would like RB Kareem Hunt back, but he needs to follow the guidelines they’ve given him for his second chance. (Ulrich)
  • Haslam called Hunt’s recent traffic stop for marijuana possession “unacceptable” and says Hunt knows he has to do better. (Mary Kay Cabot)
  • Stefanski said there’s still been no decision on if he or someone else, like recently hired OC Alex Van Pelt, will call plays this season: “I know that’s a very popular topic. We’ll work through it. I don’t know. That’s the God’s honest truth. We’ll work through it, like I said before, and do what’s best for the offense.” (Pro Football Talk)
  • The Browns could retain VP of player personnel Ken Kovash in the same role under Berry. (Albert Breer)

Ravens

  • The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec writes that while the Ravens have listened to trade inquiries for TE Hayden Hurst in the past, they likely would need a significant return like a late second or early third-round pick to deal Hurst given how prominent the tight end position is in their offense. 
  • Per Zrebiec, even though the Ravens love Jets S Jamal Adams, they’re unlikely to trade for him unless New York’s asking price comes way down. 
  • Zrebiec doesn’t think the Ravens have decided yet what they want to do with LB Matt Judon. He adds their two choices are likely to either extend him for more than $16 million per year or franchise tag him and try to trade him for a second-round pick. 
  • Zrebiec mentions LB Jaylon Ferguson and LB Otaro Alaka as two players that could take a significant step forward in 2020. 
  • While the need to bring in more playmakers could necessitate the Ravens adding another starting receiver, Zrebiec says the staff should also prioritize developing 2018 third-round WR Miles Boykin

Steelers

  • Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette believes the Steelers will release G Ramon Foster and re-sign C B.J. Finney this offseason. 
  • Dulac lists running back, wide receiver and tight end as near the top of Pittsburgh’s needs this offseason. 
  • The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly lists Steelers pro scouting coordinator Brandon Hunt and VP of football and business administration Omar Khan as potential successors for GM Kevin Colbert
  • CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora says Colbert has been mulling retirement but is expected to stay for as long as QB Ben Roethlisberger is around. 
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