AFC North Notes: Browns, Ravens, Steelers

     

Browns

  • According to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, Browns GM Andrew Berry will have plenty of decisions to make during the combine regarding current players.
  • Cabot believes that the Browns will likely spend big money to sign an offensive lineman in free agency. She specifically mentions Jack Conklin, Bryan Bulaga, Joe Thuney and Brandon Scherff as possible options for the team. Cabot adds that if the team signs a right tackle, they will likely use the No. 10 overall pick on a left tackle.
  • Browns DE Olivier Vernon is due to make $15.2 million in the second year of his contract, which is non-guaranteed. The team will be out nothing if they release him.
  • Scott Petrak of BrownsZone.com says that Berry is unlikely willing to pay Vernon, LB Christian Kirksey, and RT Chris Hubbard, but should try to restructure their deals, as the three players are still worth having on the team at lower prices.
  • Browns QB Baker Mayfield is looking to lose weight ahead of the 2020 season after bulking up last year. The emphasis is to be fitter and faster, per NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.
  • Louisville OT Mekhi Becton said he had a formal interview with the Browns at the Combine. (Scott Petrak)
  • Houston OT Josh Jones had a formal interview with the Browns at the Combine. (Petrak)
  • Georgia OT Andrew Thomas had a formal interview with the Browns at the Combine. (Petrak)
  • Alabama OT Jedrick Wills had a formal interview with the Browns Tuesday night at the Combine. (Nate Ulrich)
  • USC OT Austin Jackson met with the Browns at the Combine. (Marla Ridenour)
  • UNC-Charlotte OT Cameron Clark met with all 32 teams at the Combine, specifically mentioning the Browns. (Jordan Reid)

Ravens

For the second consecutive offseason, the Ravens face a decision on a pass rusher slated to leave via free agency. This time, however, Ravens GM Eric DeCosta says Baltimore will likely use the franchise tag to keep LB Matt Judon if extension talks don’t result in a deal by the deadline. 

“If that’s what we have to do, then we’ll probably have to do it,” DeCosta said via the Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec. “But there’s other options as well on the table, (a) long-term deal being something that we would love to get accomplished. So we’ll have to see how it all kind of works out.”

  • DeCosta said they haven’t received firm word from Ravens G Marshal Yanda on if he’ll retire, and will likely reach out in the next month or so
  • Regardless, DecCosta added they’re still looking to stock the interior of their offensive line, as C Matt Skura is coming off injury and OL James Hurst: “We’re going to continue to have guys in the pipeline, because, No. 1, they get hurt, and No. 2, you need a bunch of them, and No. 3, you can’t keep everybody. So that’s always going to be a position that John (Harbaugh) and I really prioritize.”
  • The Ravens announced a few title changes on the coaching staff, including changing DB coach Chris Hewitt to pass defense coordinator, ST coach Chris Horton to ST coordinator and asst. ST coach Randy Brown to ST coach. (Zrebiec)
  • Baltimore also named Drew Wilkins OLB coach, Jesse Minter DB coach and Sterling Lucas defensive assistant/DL coach. (Zrebiec)

Steelers

Steelers GM Kevin Colbert said the organization is not interested in re-signing free-agent WR Antonio Brown. 

Antonio Brown will always be a Pittsburgh Steeler in our minds from that personal standpoint,” Colbert said, via ProFootballTalk. “We’ll always be there to support him when he needs help, if he needs help, and that will never change. But as Antonio Brown 84, AB, the football player? No, we’ve moved on from that, and we’re comfortable with that. But our support of him, as a person, moving forward, that will never change, and it never changes really for any of our players who move on from us.”

Colbert continued to praise Brown’s performance while with the Steelers but would not comment on his off-the-field issues since departing from Pittsburgh. 

When we had Antonio, Antonio was the best worker on our practice field, the most competitive guy on the game field,” Colbert said. “There was never any question about that, and we knew Antonio Brown the person as well. We tried to help him grow as a professional football player, and he did during his time with us. What happened after that I really can’t address, because I don’t know all the day-in, day-out issues. But we know, and he knows, that he will always be one of us, and we’re always going to be there to support him.”

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