AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Steelers


  • The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. points out Bengals DT Larry Ogunjobi is more critical than your average mid-tier free-agent signing for Cincinnati, as he is one of the only people on the roster who offers an interior pass-rushing presence. 
  • Dehner also mentions the Bengals’ tackle depth isn’t outstanding, as Plan B if either LT Jonah Williams or RT Riley Reiff go down would be either kicking second-round OL Jackson Carman out to tackle or calling OT Fred Johnson‘s number. 
  • ESPN’s Dan Graziano thinks Bengals S Jessie Bates has a chance to reset the safety market again or come close to the $15.25 million a year deal Broncos S Justin Simmons just signed. 


Browns QB Baker Mayfield said the team can’t get too caught up in last year’s success.

“We have to start fresh. We have to keep that foundation and build on those blocks we’ve already laid down,” Mayfield said, via the AP’s Tom Withers. “Nothing is going to be given. We have to go out and work for it. It’s not just going to happen just because we’re the same players, same system. We have to go out there and do our job.”

Mayfield added he isn’t thinking about his contract status right now.

“I’m about winning,” Mayfield said. “And I think everything will play itself out. I’m not worried about it at all because if we win, we’re headed in the right direction.”


Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger said his ultimate goal is to win another Super Bowl title this season. 

“Everybody in the NFL has the same goal, and that’s to win a Super Bowl,” Roethlisberger said, via Dan Scifo of the Associated Press. “It doesn’t matter if you come from another team, if you’ve been here for a long time, or if you’re a rookie. Everyone wants the same thing. It’s a matter of getting on the same page at the right time.”

As for the organization parting losing Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, and Alejandro Villanueva to retirement, Roethlisberger acknowledged that it is “definitely different” without those players around. 

“I’ve been blessed to have a lot of older guys that have been here for a numerous amount of years,” Roethlisberger said. “To not have that is definitely different, but it’s just Day 1.”

The Steelers also lost OLB Bud Dupree and CB Mike Hilton to free agency, released CB Steven Nelson, and LB Vince Williams unexpectedly retired. Roethlisberger believes they have capable players of filling their roles. 

“It’s not easy to replace all of those guys,” Roethlisberger said. “But we have guys who are willing and capable and excited to fill those roles. They want to do everything they can to be the best they can be, and we’re excited to see what they can do.”

When speaking about first-round RB Najee Harris and the Steelers’ rookie class, HC Mike Tomlin said they “expect” those players to contribute quickly. 

“There’s an expectation that those guys are going to deliver, and I’m not going to be surprised when they do,” Tomlin said. “As a matter of fact, we expect them to. You can write a rags-to-riches tale, like we’re starting in the basement, but we don’t see it that way.”

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