AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens, Steelers

     

Bengals

The Bengals released DT Geno Atkins earlier this offseason in a widely-expected move given the gap between Atkins’ performance and health in recent seasons and the salary he was scheduled to make. However, director of player personnel Duke Tobin says the door remains open for a potential return if it’s right for both sides. 

“Geno is one of the greatest players in franchise history and one of the best defensive tackles of the last decade,” Tobin said on the Bengals Booth podcast, via the team website. “He gave us what he had last year … We’ll see if there are things that can be worked out. If it is, great. If not, I think we’ve got other guys that can fill the role.”

Tobin also said that while he wouldn’t rule out the possibility of trading down from the No. 5 pick in the first round, they wouldn’t do so at the expense of losing on a potential star. 

“We feel we’re in a good spot,” Tobin said. “We’re going to be careful not to be overly greedy and get out of a spot where we maybe lose a premier player and we feel like can get one of the premier players in this draft. We feel there are enough guys with the fifth pick in the draft to get a real guy that we feel comfortable with. And hits in a position of need.”

  • Tobin more or less confirmed that QB Joe Burrow is, in fact, involved to some degree in the draft process: “I talk to a lot of people throughout the process. He’s an engaging guy, so I like to engage with engaging guys. We’ll just leave it at that.” (Ben Baby)
  • Tobin implied that they view this year’s offensive line class as being deep: “There will be guys available in the second round, third round that we have starter grades on.” (Ben Baby)
  • As for the Bengals’ offensive line unit, Tobin said: “We think having healthy guys there and then the addition of Riley Reiff, we think we’re in a better spot than we were and (there will) still be additions to be named later.” (Ben Baby)

Browns

  • The NFLPA released its calculations for the performance-based pay benefit that was eliminated in 2020 but will still be paid by teams. Each team split $8.5 million between its players and payments are deferred to 2024. 
  • The top Browns player was G Wyatt Teller ($466,111).
  • Iowa State RB Kene Nwangwu, a standout special teams player, has met virtually with the Browns. (Justin Melo)

Ravens

The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec thinks the Ravens will be eyeing 10 players for their first-round pick at No. 27 overall. The list includes:

Steelers

  • The NFLPA released its calculations for the performance-based pay benefit that was eliminated in 2020 but will still be paid by teams. Each team split $8.5 million between its players and payments are deferred to 2024. 
  • The top Steelers player was OT Chukwuma Okorafor ($567,469).

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