AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Steelers



  • When examining the Browns’ addition of DE Takkarist McKinley, Scott Petrak of BrownsZone believes McKinley is a “low risk, high reward” player. 
  • Petrak expects the Browns to be active in terms of trades up and down the board in this year’s draft. 
  • Regarding the Browns’ defense under second-year DC Joe Woods, Petrak notes that their expected 4-2-5 base alignment will employ three safeties instead of three linebackers on early downs. 
  • Petrak mentions that the Browns’ alignment is likely why they are still interested in signing DE Jadeveon Clowney because he would enable them to be selective in terms of playing McKinley. 


  • Mark Kaboly of The Athletic thinks that the Steelers have been bold in free agency this offseason, even if they didn’t bring in several new players.
  • He notes that when the Steelers re-signed T Zach Banner and CB Cameron Sutton, they left themselves the ability to cut both players next season if they don’t pan out as starters.
  • Even players such as G Joe Haeg, DT Tyson Alualu, and DT Chris Wormley, who got two-year deals, are able to be easily cut after this year should they not work out. Haeg would cost $500,000, Wormley $600,000, and Alualu $1.5 million in dead money.
  • While the Steelers opted to release CB Steven Nelson, they are yet to commit to CB Joe Haden, who at age 32 is still playing at a high level, according to Kaboly.
  • Kaboly adds that while it is likely to get done before the season starts, the team is also yet to restructure the contracts of DE Stephon Tuitt and K Chris Boswell.

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