AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens, Steelers

     

Bengals

Despite being drafted in the first round last year, the Bengals still haven’t seen LT Jonah Williams in a game thanks to a shoulder injury suffered during OTAs last year. Williams will have a stiff test in his first two games, taking on the NFL’s two highest-paid pass rushers in Chargers DE Joey Bosa and Browns DE Myles Garrett. For a player who’s essentially a rookie, that’s quite the gauntlet. 

“Yeah, but at the end of the day, it’s my job to produce,” Williams said via the Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. “I have to do that every single game. I have to do that every single practice. So it’s definitely going to be a challenge for me and something I’m excited about doing, but honestly, I’m more excited to see what this offense is going to do. We’ve been working hard all camp and we’ve been working over Zoom all summer. It will be great to go out there, go against someone else and see what we can do.”

  • Bengals first-round QB Joe Burrow was among the seven players voted on by the team as captains in 2020. (Twitter)

Browns

Browns GM Andrew Berry issued the following statement regarding RB Kareem Hunt‘s new two-year extension.

Kareem Hunt is a core component of our offense. He has been a great teammate, outstanding worker, and steadfast in his desire to have success in his hometown for the long term,” Berry said. “Personal growth is often times non-linear but Kareem has remained committed to becoming the best version of himself and we are proud of the redemptive strides he has taken. He understands the opportunity he has in front of him—provided he maintains his current personal trajectory—and we look forward to the contributions he will continue to make to our team.

  • Per BrownsZone.com’s Scott Petrak, Browns RB Nick Chubb said he was excited to hear the news about Hunt’s extension: “You know I’m excited. We get to keep working together.”
  • Hunt signed a two-year, $13.25 million deal which is a good clip lower than some of the top backs in the league. But he said staying in Cleveland was important to him: “I believe that I stack up with best backs in the NFL, but I’m happy, I’m home, but I really just want to do everything in my power to bring a championship to Cleveland.” (Nate Ulrich)
  • Browns C J.C. Tretter said his recovery has been on a good pace since his knee surgery in August but he has to continue to monitor it this week to determine if he’ll play Sunday. (Petrak)

Ravens

  • The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec notes the Ravens were reticent to push too much salary into the future to sign DE Jadeveon Clowney, as they have a long list of players to extend in the next few seasons and a potential $175 million cap floor in 2021 to overcome. 
  • Recent deals for Bills CB Tre’Davious White and Texans QB Deshaun Watson also impact the Ravens, who will need to re-sign CB Marlon Humphrey and QB Lamar Jackson in the next year or so. White signed for about $17.5 million a year and Watson got $39 million per year. 
  • Zrebiec notes the Texans also pushed the tackle market to $22 million a year for Laremy Tunsil, which impacts Baltimore’s talks with LT Ronnie Stanley. Ravens TE Mark Andrews and OT Orlando Brown will also be paid close to the top of their respective markets. 
  • Jackson called Watson’s deal “well-deserved” but added he’s not thinking about his contract at the moment: “But me, I’m focused on winning games right now. I don’t really care about that right now.” (Zrebiec)

Steelers

  • According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Steelers G David DeCastro is not expected to play this Monday against the Giants. He’s been sitting out of practice with a lower-body injury. 
  • Steelers HC Mike Tomlin left the door open either way to DeCastro playing or sitting: “We’ll see what tomorrow holds as we begin our preparation week. I know he’s excited about getting back out there with his teammates as soon as possible.” (Joe Rutter)
  • Tomlin officially named Steelers OL Zach Banner the starting right tackle for Week 1. (Brooke Pryor)
  • Steelers CB Cameron Heyward‘s five-year, $75.1 million contract includes a $17.5 million signing bonus and a $2.75 million roster bonus and is a “heavily backloaded” deal. (Dulac)
  • Heyward’s base salary increases to $15.85 million in 2023 and $16 million in 2024.
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