AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens, Steelers



  • Tyler Dragon of the Cincinnati Enquirer says the Bengals learned from their experience with WR A.J. Green in 2019, where they had multiple premature target dates for him to return, and they will be extremely cautious with QB Joe Burrow
  • Dragon adds Burrow’s knee is obviously not 100 percent but he is continuing to work out and is throwing as he progresses through his rehab. 
  • LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase said he has spoken to Bengals’ officials and wouldn’t mind playing alongside his college teammate, Burrow: “I wouldn’t mind going back with Joe. If we go back together, we’re trying to do nothing but get back our chemistry and have some more fun.” (Alex Scarborough)


  • Browns’ new DT Malik Jackson said all he requested from DC Joe Woods an opportunity to compete for a starting role. (Nate Ulrich)
  • Jackson added that Woods was a reason he signed with Cleveland, pointing out that they won the Super Bowl back in 2015 with the Denver Broncos. (Nate Ulrich)
  • Jackson believes the Browns’ players must start expecting to compete for the Super Bowl: “If you’re not saying your team’s going to the Super Bowl, then you’re wrong.” (Mary Kay Cabot)
  • Jackson also mentioned free-agent DE Jadeveon Clowney, saying the defensive end is “welcome to hop on board” with the Browns although it probably won’t be for as much money as he’s hoping to get. (Scott Petrak)
  • Florida State CB Asante Samuel Jr. has met virtually with the Browns. (Justin Melo)


  • The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec writes that while the Ravens say they don’t have a deadline for any potential trade of OT Orlando Brown, the draft serves as a logical endpoint. Baltimore will want to make sure it’s not left in a poor position by trading Brown and having to find a replacement without the benefit of extra draft picks would be a bad situation.
  • The team is also confident Brown would play out the season at right tackle if he’s kept before trying his luck in free agency next offseason, per Zrebiec. 
  • Zrebiec says that Brown’s reps have been quiet about how his trade market has developed but a number of teams still need a left tackle, including the Bears, Chargers, Chiefs, Colts, Dolphins, Panthers, Vikings and Washington. 
  • Of that group, though, Zrebiec outlines some potential hiccups in any potential trade. The Bears might need the picks for a quarterback, the Chargers’ first-round pick is probably too much and their second-round pick too little, the Chiefs are conference rivals that Baltimore might not want to help, the Colts are loath to part with high draft picks, the Dolphins spent a first-round pick on a left tackle last year, the Panthers’ second-round pick at No. 39 might not be enough, the Vikings don’t have a second-round pick and No. 14 might be too high of a first to give up and Washington also seems unlikely to give up its first. 
  • As for the rest of free agency, Zrebiec points out the Ravens will want to protect the compensatory picks their slated to receive, currently expected to be a couple of fourth-round picks for losing OLBs Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue. So they could wait until after May 3 to sign anyone else. 
  • Zrebiec mentions there’s a good chance the Ravens re-sign S Anthony Levine, as the two sides have been in touch. Baltimore could also bring back LB L.J. Fort at a later date if he remains available. 
  • Florida State CB Asante Samuel Jr. has met virtually with the Ravens. (Justin Melo)


  • The Athletic’s Ed Bouchette writes that the longer former Steelers LT Alejandro Villanueva and LB Vince Williams remain available, the more likely it is they work something out to come back to Pittsburgh. 
  • Bouchette adds it remains a possibility for RB James Conner to re-sign with the Steelers on a deal close to the minimum but he would likely be the backup behind whichever player Pittsburgh drafts. 
  • Bouchette mentions part of the reason the Steelers brought back P Jordan Berry despite clearly wanting to upgrade is because he’s familiar with being the holder and at a minimum brings continuity on special teams.
  • New Steelers G Rashaad Coward is not a threat to unseat either Kevin Dotson or David DeCastro, in Bouchette’s opinion. 

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