AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Steelers


Bengals’ WR Tyler Boyd believes that the team has one of the best passing games in the NFL and thinks that there is no reason multiple players on the offense can’t reach 1,000 receiving yards.

“Personally, I believe us three will achieve 1,000 yards,” Boyd said, via Ben Baby of ESPN. “And I think it’s going to put so much stress on defenses to the point where they’re not going to know what to do. I feel like even if they blitz us heavily, there’s going to be a guy open every single time. Because, as I said, Chase — he’s a route technician. Once he gets into the zone knowing what to do, that’s when you can bring out all his tools and crafts to get open like he’s been doing. The sky is the limit. I say this every year, and I don’t want to talk about it too much, but I think this is going to be the year where the whole nation talks about this offense.”


  • ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Browns RB Nick Chubb wanted a shorter extension so he could get another chance at a big deal when he turns 28 or 29.
  • Chubb’s three-year, $36.6 million deal includes a $12 million signing bonus, along with base salaries of $1.213 million (guaranteed), $10.85 million and $11.775 million. (Over The Cap)
  • A $3 million guaranteed option bonus is due in 2022 and $2.867 million will vest from injury-protected to fully guaranteed in 2023. Chubb has $425,000 in per-game active roster bonuses in 2024. 
  • Browns HC Kevin Stefanski said that the team plans to increase the role of TE Austin Hooper. (Nate Ulrich)
  • Hooper said he has spent extra time with QB Baker Mayfield this offseason to build chemistry, calling the experience “awesome.” (Scott Petrak)
  • Browns TE coach Drew Petzing on having three starting-caliber tight ends in Hooper, David Njoku, and Harrison Bryant: “We’re almost in a room of three ones.” (Ulrich)
  • Browns DL coach Chris Kiffin said that DT Andrew Billings is the strongest guy he’s ever seen and has lost 20 pounds this offseason to meet the coaching staff’s goal. (Ulrich)
  • Browns’ chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta signed a five-year extension in 2020 to align his contract with Stefanski’s and GM Andrew Berry‘s. (Ulrich)


A running story for the 2021 season will be how Steelers RB Najee Harris, the team’s prized first-round pick, will manage behind a rebuilt offensive line. Harris has flashed considerably during training camp so far but has also found his running room hemmed in at times. However, he says that’s part of his job to bail his blockers out sometimes. 

“We are playing good on good, this is the NFL so not every play is going to be blocked perfectly,” Harris said via the Athletic’s Mark Kaboly. “My job is to make the most out of every run. I think it was Pat (Freiermuth) the tight end who didn’t get his block and I said ‘Listen, Pat, it’s OK not to get your block, but keep playing through the whistle because it is my job to break the first tackle.’ If he missed the first guy, he has to think that Najee is going to make the first guy miss so that’s what I have to do.”

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