AFC Notes: Amari Cooper, Trenton Simpson, Browns, Ravens, Steelers

Browns

  • Zac Jackson of The Athletic mentions WR Amari Cooper has been absent from offseason workouts over disputes on future guarantees. Jackson states the Browns can afford Cooper right now, but “future years could be complicated.”

Ravens

With former Ravens LB Patrick Queen signing with the Steelers in free agency, Baltimore LB Trenton Simpson is in line for a much bigger role in his second season. Simpson reflected on last season and is ready to take full advantage of his playing time. 

“It was a year of growth, and it was a chance to come practice in the NFL,” Simpson said, via Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic. “That’s a blessing, because I wasn’t rushed and thrown into any type of pressure. I was able to grow every week on the scout team. When I got a chance to play in Week 18, I had 17 weeks of practice, I was ready to roll. It was a blessing, and everything happens for a reason.”

“My opportunity is here, and these don’t come around (too often), so I just have to make the most out of it. From when we started back and getting going with the OTAs to now, just taking it every day at a time, and then by the time (we’re) ready to roll for game one, I’ll be ready.”

Steelers

Steelers fourth-round OL Mason McCormick is coming from a South Dakota program that has seen a lot of recent success. South Dakota OL coach Ryan Olson believes McCormick is an old-fashioned player with plenty of ambition to thrive in Pittsburgh. 

“He was probably the most impactful leader I’ve had, as a position coach anywhere I’ve been,” Olson said, via Dale Lolley of Steelers.com. “Just in terms of consistency, getting the best out of everybody around him. He did that every day.”

“No question. I say he’s a throwback guy. He loves practice. And you can’t say that about a lot of people. There’s a lot of kids, a lot of guys and even there’s a lot of coaches too, that are like, ‘Oh, I love football. Yeah, I love the practice. I like being around again.’ And then they get out there in summer camp and they’re like, ‘Oh, I’m tired. I don’t want to practice today.’ He’s a football junkie. He wants it all the time. That is rare.”

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