AFC Notes: Baker Mayfield, Browns, Ravens, Steelers, T.J. Watt


Browns’ GM Andrew Berry was asked about the new contract extension signed by Bills’ QB Josh Allen and how it could impact QB Baker Mayfield in Cleveland.

“I think really for any player or any positional market we’re always aware of the deals that have been done over the past couple years and certainly any new deals that come up over the next couple weeks because we realize that it impacts the market to some degree,” Berry said on ESPN Cleveland. “But at the same time with any player that we’re considering extending we really deal with it on a case by case and individual level and really operate within the parameters that we think make sense for our organization and our team and that’s what we’ll continue to do across positions.”

  • Browns’ HC Kevin Stefanski says DE Takkarist McKinley remains out for a personal reason and there is no timetable for his return. McKinley left the field with an undisclosed illness for two straight practices last week and the team hopes to have him back for the start of the regular season. (Mary Kay Cabot)
  • Browns’ DT Andrew Billings said he lost 20 pounds over five weeks while training in Atlanta, Georgia before the start of camp. (Nate Ulrich)
  • Browns HC Kevin Stefanski said he’s been impressed by CB Greedy Williams return from a shoulder injury. (Ulrich)
  • Browns S Grant Delpit continues to be held out with a minor injury that’s not related to the torn Achilles he suffered last season. (Cabot)


Veteran OLB Justin Houston is headed to the AFC North this season and isn’t keeping it a secret that he almost signed with the Steelers over the Ravens.

Houston turned down significantly more money from other teams in order to pursue a championship with the Ravens and the Steelers ended up signing OLB Melvin Ingram instead.

“I was so close to signing with the Steelers,” Houston said, via Jamison Hensley of ESPN. “It just worked out better [in Baltimore]. I fell in love with their scheme. I kind of knew I wanted to be here when I saw that. I think it was a better fit for me in what I was looking for. I just want opportunities to have one-on-ones and be able to put pressure on the quarterback.”

Former Chiefs CB Marcus Peters called up Houston at the end of last season in an attempt to recruit him and started by explaining how the scheme could maximize his talents.

“He’s an ultimate great leader for a team like us,” Peters said. “When you get a player like that, and he’s out there on the market, it doesn’t [hurt] to just call — just say, ‘What’s up? How are you doing?’ — and see if we can be a part of his journey, and he can be a part of ours, too, and it worked out.”

  • Ravens HC John Harbaugh on the return of QB Lamar Jackson from COVID-19: “I thought he looked really good. I thought he looked better than I expected him to. COVID is tough. He had symptoms. He had a lot of symptoms. It speaks to how well he took care of himself during that time.” (Jamison Hensley)
  • Ravens CB Jimmy Smith has a low ankle sprain and is expected to miss a week or two of camp, with Harbaugh noting the diagnosis was positive: “It was good news.” (Jamison Hensley)


Steelers DC Keith Butler understands why DE T.J. Watt won’t practice until he signs a contract extension.

“I don’t blame him for that because you don’t want to get hurt when you are trying to get your contract done; then you lose some sort of flexibility in terms of what you can sign,” Butler said, via The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly. “… I hope they get it done. As a former player, I was a player rep for the players association when I came out. … I want them to make as much money as they can in this league. They deserve it.”

Steelers HC Mike Tomlin downplayed when to expect Watt back.

“I am not speculating in that regard,” Tomlin said. “I am just focused on what’s going on today and who is working and get better that way. I am sure that is going to naturally run its course. I am sure that’s going to run its course with our trainers, so we will see where it is.”

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