AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Steelers


When asked about the number of sacks the Bengals allowed last season, QB Joe Burrow said that he’s less concerned about conceding sacks on third downs because he’s more interested in extending plays. 

“Here’s the thing about sacks. So there’s good sacks and bad sacks. You look at the stats, yeah I got sacked a lot. But you look at when they happened: Third-down sacks? Who cares about third-down sacks? I’m going to try to extend the play as long as I can to get the first down on third down, unless I’m in field-goal range, then I’ll throw the ball away and get some points,” Burrow said, via ProFootballTalk.


When making an appearance on the Full Send Podcast, Bengals QB Joe Burrow spoke about going up against Browns QB Baker Mayfield in the AFC North. 

“That’s a tough situation. He was hurt all last year. Every time we play him, he balls,” Burrow said. “First time we played him — Thursday night during Week 2 of my rookie year — we lost like 34-30. The next time we played them, I throw for 400 yards. He goes like 25-for-28 with five touchdowns. He went on a two-minute drive, touchdown, they won the game.”

Burrow understands why Cleveland moved forward with Deshaun Watson but is confident that Mayfield will earn another opportunity. 

“I think when you have a guy like Deshaun [Watson], you gotta take a chance at that because he’s such a great player,” Burrow said. “But Baker will land on his feet. He’s a really good player.”

  • The NFL reportedly wants a second meeting with Watson, whose accusers are scheduled to speak in an appearance on HBO. (Marla Ridenour)


Steelers WR Diontae Johnson enters the final year of his contract at a good time given the way the wide receiver market has boomed this offseason. Johnson had a career year in 2021 and has improved each of his first three seasons in the league. He’s made a case for a deal worth at least $20 million a year. The only question is whether it comes from the Steelers or another team. Pittsburgh has a long history of not paying second contracts to receivers unless they consider them “special.” By this measure, Hines Ward and Antonio Brown were special. Santonio Holmes, Mike Wallace, and Emmanuel Sanders weren’t. 

“We are always cognizant of what goes on at a different position and its impact on a salary cap, and hopefully you have some players that are worthy of that type of consideration,” former Steelers GM Kevin Colbert said via Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “And any player at any position that we desire to pay, we feel he better be special at his position and maybe exceed where he was drafted and just recognize what they have accomplished at this level. Again, I think we can do that at any given position for that special player within that group.”

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  1. Mike Wallace was valued by the Steelers, who offered him Mike Wallace-worthy money (8-9M/year) in an extension offer. However, MW thought he was worth Calvin Johnson money (12-15M/year), so the Steelers let him walk, Miami overpaid him, and the Steelers gave the Mike Wallace money to Antonio Brown instead.

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