AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens


  • The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. and Jay Morrison would be surprised if the Bengals invest more than a late-round pick or priority undrafted free agent in the secondary given how much they’ve spent in free agency at the position recently.
  • They note a new deal for Bengals S Jessie Bates, who’s entering a contract year in 2021, likely would need to come in north of $15 million a year which is the top of the market for the position.  
  • However, a franchise tag in 2022 would be lower than that by at least a couple million, which brings that into play as an option. 
  • When speaking of Florida TE Kyle Pitts, Bengals GM Duke Tobin said the prospect will be a “matchup problem” in the league based on his versatility: “Really outstanding traits for the position. A lot of versatility. Catches the ball well. He runs well. He’s going to be a matchup problem for defensive coordinators in the league. A motivated kid and very impressive to see in person and talk to.” (Ben Baby)
  • Northwestern QB Peyton Ramsey had a pre-draft meeting with the Bengals. Edholm notes that Ramsey could be a “late-round pick.” (Eric Edholm)


Browns’ DE Myles Garrett is happy about the team’s latest addition in DE Jadeveon Clowney and says that the team’s defense is going to stand out in 2021.

“I think we can do a lot,” Garrett said via,’s Mary Kay Cabot. “I don’t know what we’re doing in the draft, that’s all up to [Kevin Stefanski]. But with the pieces we have now, I think we’ll be very scary, so I’m looking forward to it. Getting on the field, taking the ball away and putting it back in our offense’s hands and them getting the ball back for us. I know everyone else is looking forward to it, and so am I. I know (Clowney) is aggressive, really gets after it and he has a motor, keeps attacking, plays the run well, and a good pass rusher. He’s an athletic specimen like someone I know on the Browns, so it will be fun. It really will.”


Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is eligible for an extension for the first time this offseason and both he and the team have had some conversations on the matter. Jackson will be representing himself in negotiations with GM Eric DeCosta

“That’s definitely a fluid thing,” DeCosta said via the Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec. “Lamar and I have had a discussion about that. I think it’s important to us and it’s important to him. I think Lamar is a very patient guy. He wants to be the best he can be, he wants this team to be the best it can be and he wants to win very badly. So we’re aligned that way. I’m confident that we’ll continue to discuss this and I think at some point, we’ll have some good news for everybody.”

DeCosta added they’re not anticipating to get that much of a discount, as quarterback salaries are what they are. He said it’s a good problem for them to have even if it changes the way they construct their roster. 

“We try to be responsible in the short term (and) we try to be aggressive as well,” DeCosta said. “We’ve tried to be proactive as I think you’ve seen in the last few years with contracts with veteran players, guys that we’ve drafted and developed. We’ve tried to keep as many of those guys as possible. We understand that if we do sign a long-term deal with Lamar Jackson, that’s going to change the way we’ve operated the last couple of years. We look at that as a great problem to have. We aspire to have that type of problem. We want to have a franchise quarterback. It will change the way we do contracts potentially. We will have to be probably a little bit more careful about which players we sign and which players we don’t sign. We may lose some really good young players. That’s unfortunately the salary-cap age that we’re in.”

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