AFC North Rumors: Bengals, Browns, Steelers


Cincinnati appears to be content with QB Andy Dalton heading into 2019, according to new HC Zac Taylor

“I think Andy has a really bright future in what we are going to do,” Taylor said via Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer.  “He’s had a great career. I’ve always watched him from afar, I have never really interacted with him until I got this job. Andy is going to be very successful. He fits what we want to do. He’s smart. He gets the ball out on time. He’s accurate. He understands what the defenses are presenting to him. So, I’m excited to get a chance to work with him. He’s going to have a bright future here.”

  • Cincinnati GM Duke Tobin said that while the team is still early on in its defensive assessments, he was confident upcoming free agent CB Darqueze Dennard would be a priority. 
  • In contrast, Tobin was not as positive about the future of LB Vontaze Burfict, who the Bengals would save $6.8 million by cutting. 
  • The Bengals completed their coaching staff, announcing the hiring of DL coach Nick Eason, LB coach Tem Lukabu, offensive assistant Brad Kragthorpe, defensive QC coach Jordan Kovacs, and assistant S&C coaches Todd Hunt and Garrett Swanson. (Katherine Terrell)


  • Cleveland GM John Dorsey said he plans to meet with the agent for LB Jamie Collins to discuss their “long-term plan.”  (Mary Kay Cabot)
  • Dorsey said he thinks the league is probably in its “final steps” in regard to discipline for RB Kareem Hunt.  (Scott Petrak)
  • When asked if he’s reached out to the Steelers regarding WR Antonio Brown, Dorsey pulled out his phone and said, “[Steelers GM] Kevin [Colbert], if you’re out there, here’s my cell phone.”  (Aditi Kinkhabwala)
  • Dorsey said the same thing about a potential trade for Giants WR Odell Beckham, saying, “tell [Giants GM] Dave Gettleman here’s my cell phone.”  (Cabot)
  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer says he’s been told repeatedly and emphatically the Steelers won’t trade Brown within the division.  
  • Dorsey plans to meet with upcoming free agent WR Breshad Perriman‘s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, regarding an extension.  (Cabot)
  • The Browns also plan to tender restricted free agents WR Rashard Higgins and DB Briean Boddy-Calhoun. (Nate Ulrich)
  • Dorsey mentioned the team has discussed bringing in competition for K Greg Joseph in free agency, but did not reach a conclusion.  (Tony Grossi)
  • Dorsey said Scot McCloughan is not working for the team in any capacity this year.  (Daryl Ruiter)


Pittsburgh WR Antonio Brown said he’s not “angry” with the Steelers, but reaffirmed his desire to be traded. He pointed to GM Kevin Colbert‘s comments about how QB Ben Roethlisberger “has 52 kids under him, quite honestly.”

“He pretty much just explained what I already had told everyone [on social media],” Brown said via ESPN’s Jeff Darlington. “He just confirmed it. He confirmed everything I said.”

Colbert tried to clarify his comments later, but Brown is not buying it.  

“Of course he tried to clarify because, you know, he stated the truth and he’s going to backpedal on his words,” Brown continued. “But what grown man is calling another grown man a kid? ‘Fifty-two kids.’ Like, you don’t have no respect for these guys? Like, these are the guys that go to work for you. And that’s what I’m telling you guys … that’s my issue. You know what I’m saying? It’s all about respect.”

Colbert said at the Combine Wednesday that the Steelers are looking to trade Brown, but will not pull the trigger on a deal they don’t feel is fair for them.  He said he trusted HC Mike Tomlin would be able to smooth things over if Brown returned to Pittsburgh for the 2019 season, despite signs to the contrary.  

“… Things [are] not getting better. They’re not changing. You know what I mean?” Brown said. “He just stated it. There’s 52 kids and it’s this guy [Roethlisberger]. Bro, it’s one team. … So that’s what it is, man. Just understanding truths.”

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer says he doesn’t think Mike Tomlin is on the hot seat for next season, but says there’s definitely a sense of urgency around the Steeler’s organization.  

Looking for the latest NFL Insider News & Rumors?

Be sure to follow NFL Trade Rumors on TWITTER and FACEBOOK for breaking NFL News and Rumors for all 32 teams!

Leave a Reply