AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Steelers


  • According to CBS Sports analyst and former agent Joel Corry, Bengals S Jessie Bates is a franchise tag candidate this offseason. He projects the tag to be $12.9 million. 
  • Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes had high praise for Bengals QB Joe Burrow: “Not only is he a great football player, I think he’s a great leader. He has that special knack where he can lead anybody. No matter where he’s at, he can go out there with that swag, that mentality of ‘I’m going to win no matter what.’ It takes a lot of experience and it takes a lot of just going out there and doing it for people to believe that. He has that as well as the physical talent to go out there and make a lot of stuff happen.” (James Palmer)


  • Browns QB Baker Mayfield and his wife received death threats after his four interceptions in a loss to the Green Bay Packers: “Hard when comes down to someone you love…we’re in a world with a lot of keyboard warriors who make a lot of threats. It’s blown up to be a much bigger deal on the outside. It’s not like it’s anything new to us.” (Scott Petrak)
  • Mayfield said he will continue to process his poor performance at Lambeau Field:I watch it all the way through and correct the mistakes I need to. We were close to winning. Did I play my best? Absolutely not. Guys around me played great.” (Nate Ulrich)
  • Browns second-round LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah missed practice on Thursday with a non-COVID-19 illness. (Nate Ulrich)
  • Aaron Wilson reports the Browns worked out kickers Chris Blewitt, Roberto Aguayo and Chandler Catanzaro.


Steelers HC Mike Tomlin said he doesn’t have any issues with OC Matt Canada‘s playcalling but admits that there is a “learning curve” for first-year offensive coordinators. 

“I have no reservations about the playcalling component of his job and what he’s done,” Tomlin said, via ProFootballTalk. “But I will also acknowledge there’s probably a learning curve at every job that pertains to the National Football League.”

  • The Athletic’s Ed Bouchette expects the Steelers to let G Trai Turner depart after his deal expires at the end of this season. He also thinks the team will take a hard look at whether they need to move third-round C Kendrick Green to guard. 
  • Pittsburgh’s offensive line has been a major weak spot but Bouchette thinks the Steelers have seen enough from fourth-round OT Dan Moore to keep him in their plans. 
  • Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger knows that the Browns will still come to play this week in an attempt to spoil what could possibly be his last game at Heinz Field: “(The Browns) are hungry to come in and get a win, too. I can’t sit here all week and be nostalgic, think about everything that my career has been when I’ve got to focus on this game. This is the most important game of the season for us.” (Brooke Pryor)

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