AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens, Steelers


  • Bengals OC Brian Callahan said 2019 first-round OT Jonah Williams made the most of his de-facto redshirt rookie season coming off a shoulder injury: “What ended up happening to him was he had a year to reshape his body. He looks like a pro. He doesn’t look like a college kid anymore. He looks like a pro.” (Paul Dehner Jr.)
  • Callahan says the Bengals want to involve RB Joe Mixon more in the passing game: “The more Joe touches the ball, the better it is for our offense.” (Ben Baby)
  • Callahan added the team has not had to scale back anything as far as onboarding No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow: “Everything we do is geared around volume he can handle, speed we can put it on him. So far l’d say he has not proven he needs any more time to study and learn than anyone else I’ve been around, so we have thrown it all at him.” (Dehner)


  • The Athletic’s Sheil Kapadia outlines six possible trades that could still happen this year, including the Browns trading a second-round pick to Jacksonville for DE Yannick Ngakoue
  • While the Browns don’t have an apparent need at defensive end with both Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon under contract, Kapadia notes Browns GM Andrew Berry is a big believer in investing significant resources into the pass rush and could sign Ngakoue long-term after the season to replace Vernon. 
  •’s Mary Kay Cabot notes the Browns inquired about Ngakoue earlier this offseason. 
  • The Browns submitted a waiver claim for former Eagles DT Bruce Hector but were behind the Panthers in the order. (Mike Jones)
  • The Browns have added some more help at guard and are also expected to use fifth-round C Nick Harris, OT Chris Hubbard and C Willie Wright at guard. (Scott Petrak)


Ravens LT Ronnie Stanley is entering the final year of his rookie deal and set to cash in big after the OT market was pushed to new heights this year. However, the pandemic remains a complicating factor. Stanley said talks are ongoing with the team but he’s not thinking a lot about it. 

“It’s definitely not really in the forefront of my mind,” Stanley said via the team. “We’re still in talks and hopefully we’re trying to get something done soon. My main focus right now is just — for me, it’s always been be the best player I can be, help my team win. The money usually takes care of itself after that.”

  • The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec notes the Ravens asked 2019 fifth-round DL Daylon Mack to arrive at camp in better shape this year, as he was firmly on the roster bubble. When he didn’t hit their goals, Baltimore moved on. 
  • Zrebiec doubts the Ravens will do anything in terms of signing WR Antonio Brown until after his hearing for a civil case on allegations of sexual assault in mid-September. Brown has already been suspended eight games and the NFL could suspend him more depending on the result of the hearing. 
  • Zrebiec points out with G Bradley Bozeman, C Matt Skura, G D.J. Fluker, G Ben Powers, OL Patrick Mekari, fourth-round G Ben Bredeson and third-round OL Tyre Phillips, plus UDFA Trystan Colon-Castillo, the Ravens have eight players for five or six spots on the interior offensive line. 
  • Baltimore could have Phillips focus on being the backup swing tackle and try to sneak Colon-Castillo onto the practice squad, but that still means something will have to give to make the roster math work. 
  • Ravens TE Mark Andrews, who would have qualified for a high-risk opt-out as a Type-I diabetic, said he didn’t consider opting out: “Never really crossed my mind. Obviously, I feel safety is most important thing. I think they’ve got a great system in place.” (Zrebiec)
  • Andrews says his goal is to improve as a blocker in 2020 and he believes he’ll have a lot of opportunities to show that: “I want to be the best tight end. I’m not there yet.” (Zrebiec)


  • Per Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Steelers G David DeCastro acknowledged the line is getting older and he himself is getting “close to the light end of the tunnel,” though he doesn’t want to retire yet. 
  • However, DeCastro acknowledged it could be Steelers LT Alejandro Villanueva‘s last year. 
  • DeCastro said there’s a clear difference with starting QB Ben Roethlisberger back in the lineup, saying players like him “demand your best when you’re out there” and “force you to play better.” (Aditi Kinakhabwala)

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