AFC Notes: Baker Mayfield, Browns, Ravens, Steelers


  • The Athletic’s Jason Lloyd says by the end of QB Baker Mayfield‘s time with the Browns, neither he nor HC Kevin Stefanski trusted each other. One of the cracks included Stefanski missing a meeting after the team’s 45-7 loss to the Patriots in Week 10, which annoyed Mayfield.
  • Stefanski was meeting with DE Myles Garrett who said after the loss they didn’t make any adjustments on the sideline. 
  • Lloyd says there are people in the organization who acknowledge Mayfield’s shoulder injury was a factor in his poor play, and if he had shut things down for a while instead of trying to play through the injury, things might be different. Instead, Mayfield started to lose trust in what he was seeing on the field and lose confidence, while Stefanski lost confidence in him. 
  • Lloyd notes that in Mayfield’s final game, a loss to the Steelers in which he was sacked nine times and criticized the game plan afterward, the team privately felt he had opportunities to get rid of the ball and not take as many hits, but he wasn’t seeing the field. 
  • Ultimately, Lloyd writes the Browns thought Mayfield was good, but not good enough to commit to, especially with all the extra baggage. He adds Mayfield was widely viewed as childish and immature, his behavior annoyed teammates and divided the locker room and he could be difficult to coach. 


  • The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec wouldn’t rule out the Ravens signing both veteran OLBs Justin Houston and Jason Pierre-Paul. Baltimore placed the UFA tender on Houston and re-signed him on Thursday. 
  • Pierre-Paul has had a visit with the Ravens and Zrebiec says there’s room for him too if he’s willing to sign a cheap deal given the lack of depth the team has at outside linebacker. 
  • Ravens CB Marcus Peters is entering the final year of his deal and ordinarily would be an extension candidate. However, Zrebiec thinks the Ravens will want to make sure he’s back healthy after last season’s torn ACL and will wait, potentially opening up talks midseason. 
  • Zrebiec mentions restructures for Ravens CB Marlon Humphrey and G Kevin Zeitler are two ways to save cap space for Baltimore and they’ll likely need to use them given how tight against the cap they are. 
  • Zrebiec wouldn’t rule out a return from DL Brandon Williams if DT Michael Pierce is hurt or out of shape, but he adds the sense is the Ravens thought Williams’ play was declining and they were ready to move on. 


  • ESPN’s Brooke Pryor thinks there’s only a remote chance Steelers first-round QB Kenny Pickett can beat out veteran QB Mitchell Trubisky for the starting job in training camp. 
  • She adds if Trubisky is a solid game manager and continues to show the leadership he has early in OTAs, there’s a decent chance he holds onto the starting job the entire season. 
  • Pryor notes the two most likely insertion points for Pickett are in Week 10 against the Saints following the bye if Trubisky and the team are struggling, and in Week 18 against the Browns if Pittsburgh is out of postseason contention. 
  • Pryor believes that CB Justin Layne is on the roster bubble this offseason after being surpassed on the depth chart by CB James Pierre.

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