AFC Notes: Bengals, Jets, Ravens


  • The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. examines the pros and cons of the Bengals drafting Florida TE Kyle Pitts, who could be an option for them in the first round at No. 5 overall. On the positive side, Pitts would be a mismatch weapon whose talents would mesh well with Joe Burrow
  • Dehner adds he thinks there are more negatives than positives, though. The history of highly-drafted tight ends is littered with players who failed to live up to expectations, including a couple of former Bengals. 
  • He also points out the Bengals heavily prefer 11 personnel (one tight end, three receivers) and within that system can make do with tight ends that are more flexible in terms of blocking and receiving without being dominant. Pitts also doesn’t necessarily help Cincinnati stretch the field more in 2021. 
  • The Bengals will likely bring in competition for K Austin Seibert at some point this offseason. (Dehner)
  • At center, Dehner notes the Bengals are hopeful Trey Hopkins can be back for the season opener, but if he’s not, they’re comfortable with former first-round C Billy Price filling in until Hopkins is back. 


  • Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated notes that four teams inquired about Jets QB Sam Darnold in the aftermath of the Rams acquiring Matthew Stafford, to which New York informed those teams that they are still in the “evaluation process.” 
  • Breer expects the Jets to begin fielding trade offers for Darnold in the near future. 
  • Breer mentions that he spoke to teams about Darnold’s possible value back in the fall and they brought up what the Cardinals received for Josh Rosen a few years ago, which was second- and fifth-round picks. 
  • Breer could see the Jets getting second and third-round picks, or a second and a fourth-round pick in exchange for Darnold. However, his price could increase depending on what the Eagles secure for dealing Carson Wentz.
  • Breer’s “hunch” is that the Jets’ starting quarterback will be BYU’s Zach Wilson in 2021. 


  • The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec writes his sense is the Ravens would prefer to keep 2020 third-round OL Tyre Phillips at guard, but he does have the flexibility to play tackle. 
  • Zrebiec expects the Ravens to place the second-round tender on restricted free agent RB Gus Edwards which should be enough to keep him. 
  • As to why Ravens OC Greg Roman and DC Don Martindale didn’t get more head coaching interest, Zrebiec points out Roman’s offense is unique and requires specific personnel, while Martindale is hurt by the league’s fascination with young, offensive candidates and coaches who fit the CEO model. 
  • Zrebiec notes the Ravens value DL Calais Campbell and DT Brandon Williams, but those two are prime candidates to be restructured, asked to take a pay cut or even cut outright given their age and cap figures.
  • Zrebiec thinks the Ravens would take a first-round pick in the middle of the round for OT Orlando Brown, and perhaps a slightly bigger package if the pick was later in the round. However, he notes the Ravens have not apparently received that offer otherwise his guess is Brown would have been traded by now. 
  • Zrebiec adds his sense is the league doesn’t see Brown as an elite or dominant left tackle, which combined with a strong class at the position could make teams reluctant to part with a first-round pick. 
  • Brown has almost no leverage with the NFL’s increased penalties for holdouts and if the Ravens don’t get a trade offer they deem suitable, they’ll expect him to play right tackle in 2020. (Zrebiec)
  • Zrebiec thinks a more realistic return for Brown might be the second and third-round picks the Seahawks gave up to get LT Duane Brown from the Texans, but he doubts the Ravens really want to give Brown up for that since he’s only 24.  
  • The Chargers make a lot of sense as a trade partner for the Ravens and Brown, but the Athletic’s Daniel Popper notes trading the No. 13 pick for Brown would go against GM Tom Telesco‘s usual philosophy of being conservative with picks, as Brown would require a massive extension before next season. 
  • He and Zrebiec note there could be some mutual interest in a trade swapping Brown for Chargers WR Mike Williams, as it fills a need for the Chargers, unloads Williams’ sizable $15 million cap hit on the fifth-year option and fills a need for the Ravens who also liked Williams coming out of the draft. However, the cap hit is hard to swallow for Baltimore and Los Angeles values Williams highly as a team leader. 

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