AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens, Steelers

     

Bengals

Browns

Ravens

  • The Athletic’s NFL staff lists Ravens DL Calais Campbell, DT Brandon Williams and LB L.J. Fort as potential cap casualties. However, Campbell and Williams are still vital pieces to Baltimore’s defense which makes Baltimore likely to explore other alternatives before cutting them. 
  • Impending free agent Ravens LB Matt Judon on where he would like to end up playing next season: “Just somewhere I can win some games. Clearly I don’t mean just 3 or 4. I mean you love to be wanted..Hey, I also may be a Raven for a lifetime and I don’t even know yet, but we have to see…” (Josina Anderson)

Steelers

Steelers OT Zach Banner had won the starting right tackle job in training camp when he unfortunately went down with a torn ACL in the season opener, cutting short what he had envisioned as a breakout season. Little is guaranteed in the NFL, which is why the injury was so crushing for Banner. But thankfully it appears the Steelers are interested in bringing him back for another shot at proving himself as a starter. 

“I was like there is nothing good that can come out of this,” Banner said via the Athletic’s Mark Kaboly. “They don’t lie, the people here don’t lie to the players and they keep it real. They told me that isn’t a setback at all. This is just an unfortunate situation. That’s what it was.”

While the Steelers started 11-0 and looked like a Super Bowl contender for most of the season, Banner had to focus on his rehab. He was helped by encouragement from HC Mike Tomlin, however. 

“Coach T looked at me and said, ‘You are my answer for 2021, so I need you to focus on your knee, don’t worry about anything else.’ That was the best thing that I could’ve heard,” Banner said.

Kaboly notes that while Banner didn’t confirm anything, the early indications are he’ll be back on a deal similar to the one-year, $1.75 million “prove-it” contract he signed last year. He added that instead of staying on the right, the Steelers could be counting on Banner to replace Alejandro Villanueva at left tackle. 

“I had a conversation with my agent, and we will keep that on the hush-hush right now, but yes, I am betting on myself again some way, somehow,” Banner told Kaboly.

  • The Athletic’s NFL staff lists Steelers CB Joe Haden and LB Vince Williams as potential cap casualties.
  • The Steelers announced they have hired University of Houston CB coach Grady Brown as their new secondary coach. He had just taken the job this year after previously being the defensive coordinator at McNeese State in 2020.
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