AFC Notes: Bengals, Jaguars, Steelers

     

Bengals

  • The Athletic’s Jay Morrison is confident the Bengals will sign a right tackle in free agency but adds that won’t prevent them from using the No. 5 overall pick on the position if an elite tackle is available. He thinks Cincinnati will take a best player available approach with the pick, so a receiver is on the table. 
  • Morrison lists 49ers LT Trent Williams, Panthers OTs Russell Okung and Taylor Moton, and Steelers LT Alejandro Villanueva as some of the top pending free agents. He adds cap casualties or other lower-tier options like Chargers OL Forrest Lamp could be in play. 
  • While the Bengals have been linked to Patriots G Joe Thuney as a big-ticket free-agent signing, Morrison points out the organizational philosophy is to de-emphasize guard and try to coach up later-round picks and cheaper free agents. 
  • Bengals HC Zac Taylor‘s seat is “scorching” according to Morrison and he needs to show a clear improvement in 2021 to hold onto his job. Morrison adds a midseason firing isn’t off the table if the Bengals start off brutally again. 
  • Morrison expects both Bengals CB William Jackson and DE Carl Lawson to test free agency and see what their market is. 

Jaguars

One of the storylines for new Jaguars HC Urban Meyer will be how he handles the transition from coaching college kids to grown professionals in the NFL. While there’s still a long way to go — Meyer won’t even have the chance to address the Jaguars as a team until OTAs — he appears to be making a good first impression. 

“I’ve talked with him a few times,” Jaguars RB James Robinson said via Pro Football Talk. “He seems pretty cool, excited to work with all of us. I think all of us are excited to have him and see what he brings to practices, games, and all of that and see what he likes to do.”

Steelers

  • The Athletic’s Ed Bouchette says that while Steelers OLB Bud Dupree might not have as robust a market as he was expecting to in free agency this offseason coming off a torn ACL, it’s still unlikely that Pittsburgh will be able to afford to bring him back. 
  • Bouchette notes if Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is too picky with his contract the team might decide to just cut him and move on. 
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