AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Steelers



An NFL evaluator who spoke with Mike Sando of The Athletic questioned the Bengals’ decision to sign DE Trey Hendrickson to a four-year, $60 million deal this offseason. 

“I thought that was a drastic overpay for Hendrickson,” the evaluator said. “He is solid, tough and instinctive, but doesn’t have explosive traits. Sometimes you watch the games and wonder how he got that production.”

The Bengals lost top cornerback William Jackson in free agency, but were able to replace him with a young player in Chidobe Awuzie. Beyond that, they signed veteran OT Riley Reiff to help to solidify their offensive line. 

Cincy was fine signing Riley Reiff at tackle for that price, and I like Awuzie,” an executive tells Sando. “William Jackson was better than Awuzie, but Awuzie is a good guy, and at his price, that is a good tradeoff for them.”


An NFL executive tells Mike Sando of The Athletic that one thing that stood out to him about the Browns’ offseason was that they didn’t have to overpay this year to get decent players to come to Cleveland. 

I think their biggest philosophy is to affect the passing game,” the exec said. “Last year, they probably had to overpay a little because it wasn’t as easy getting people to come to Cleveland. Now, people like where they’re trending, and they’re not having to overpay. I think they’re being more selective. With the analytical approach, they’ll probably stop signing so many free agents and start getting compensatory picks pretty soon.

A separate NFL evaluator offered some praise for the job GM Andrew Berry has done up to this point. 

“The longer you wait in free agency, the more bargains there are, but if you want a really good player, you have to get him early,” the evaluator said. “Andrew Berry will target like one guy or two guys to get early, and then he’ll wait. I like that approach a lot.”



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