AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Steelers


  • Bengals C Trey Hopkins should be ready for pre-season camp, according to Tyler Dragon (per Lindsay Patterson)
  • Hopkins tore his ACL in the Bengals’ Week 17 loss to Baltimore, so this would be a quicker-than-expected return. 


  • Browns’ impending free-agent TE David Njoku intimated on Twitter that he could be on his way out this offseason: “Whatever happens I appreciate all the love from all my loyal fans. I’ve kept quiet for a while but I wanted to express that at least for now. I love u guys.”


  • Mark Kaboly of The Athletic writes that some Steelers fans have their reasons to be upset about QB Ben Roethlisberger returning next season, including his $19 million cap number and the fact that an older QB Tom Brady is fresh off a Super Bowl win with Tampa Bay.
  • Kaboly also points out that the team doesn’t need to sign QB Mason Rudolph to an extension, but simply let him know that he has a chance to become the starter if he sticks around in Pittsburgh.
  • As for what they could do in free agency, Kaboly says the team likely has no choice but to let high-profile players such as LB Bud Dupree, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, and RB James Conner walk away this offseason.
  • Kaboly also notes that the team could make a big impact for their offensive line by nabbing a free agent center such as David Andrews or Ted Karras.
  • In the draft, Kaboly is all on in the team taking Alabama RB Najee Harris with their first-round pick.
  • Ian Rapoport mentions that a few possibilities for the Steelers to address Ben Roethlisberger‘s contract next season are to spread out his $19 million in cash owed over a “couple of years” and possibly add voidable years or just moving some of his $41.25 million cap hit into future years. 

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