AFC Notes: Bengals, Baker Mayfield, Browns, Ravens


  • The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. notes if the Bengals draft a safety with an early pick, it could be a sign they’re preparing for Jessie Bates to leave in free agency in 2023. 
  • He also points out S Vonn Bell will be 28 and a free agent next season and the Bengals don’t like to give out third contracts to players. 
  • The Bengals are hosting Arizona State CB Jack Jones for a pre-draft visit. (Mike Garafolo)


  • Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland expects DE Jadeveon Clowney to re-sign with the Browns, but not WR Jarvis Landry. The Browns reportedly hope to re-sign both. 
  • Cleveland in fact is reported to have an offer on the table for Clowney for two years and $24 million.
  • NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport says the Browns could possibly trade QB Baker Mayfield prior to the draft and believes the Panthers are the most likely landing spot.
  • Rapoport adds, however, if Mayfield remains on the Browns through the draft, there’s a good chance he will remain on the team until training camp.
  • ESPN’s David Newton reports the Panthers continue to research quarterbacks, including Mayfield, yet nothing is imminent and there is no clarity on Carolina’s level of interest in the Browns quarterback.
  • The Athletic’s Joe Person says Mayfield is among the options the Panthers are considering but he’s not the only one.
  • He adds the Browns would have to eat part of Mayfield’s $18.8 million salary to make a deal work, as Carolina is already on the hook for the same figure for QB Sam Darnold as both enter their fifth-year options.  
  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer writes Mayfield has been seen internally in Carolina as a sort of redundant gamble in the vein of their move for Darnold. 
  • According to Fansided’s Matt Lombardo, an NFL executive says the Seahawks are still “very much in the mix” to trade for Mayfield. 
  • This executive tells Lombardo there have been several backchannel conversations between other teams and the Browns about Mayfield with the draft approaching at the end of next week. 


The Ravens are usually methodical with where they spend their money in free agency, except for the safety position. That’s the way this offseason played out, with the Ravens largely skimping except for a lucrative, five-year, $70 million deal for S Marcus Williams

“They have gone down that safety road a bunch even though they are not a big free agency team,” an exec for another team said via the Athletic’s Mike Sando. “They mostly need to get healthy, but they still have work to do on their defensive front. They are patient. Ozzie Newsome always said, ‘Right player, right price,’ and they do not deviate from that.”

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