AFC Notes: Bengals, Patriots, Steelers


  • Ian Rapoport reports that the Bengals and QB Joe Burrow will negotiate a contract extension this offseason that could possibly make him the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL.
  • According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, the Bengals gave QB coach Dan Pitcher a lucrative contract extension after he came up as an offensive coordinator target for a few other teams. 
  • Rapoport points out that in-season extensions are rare for assistants but the Bengals wanted to be proactive in keeping him and preserving staff continuity. 


  • Zack Cox of takes a look at six coaches that new Patriots OC Bill O’Brien could end up adding to his coaching staff including Oregon OL coach Adrian Klemm, Alabama offensive analyst Will Lawing, Ravens assistant OL coach Mike Devlin, Lamar OC John Perry, Houston offensive assistant Denarius McGhee, and Alabama OL coach Eric Wolford.
  • Reiss adds Klemm, Devlin, Bills assistant OL coach Ryan Wendell and Giants assistant OL coach Tony Sparano Jr. are possibilities for the Patriots at OL coach, O’Brien’s most important hire. 
  • Reiss mentions Patriots offensive assistant Matt Patricia and TE coach Nick Caley have uncertain futures with the team. They did not travel to the Shrine Bowl with the team this week. Patricia is considering his options for next season and Caley is on an expiring contract. 


Steelers OC Matt Canada said sixth-round TE Connor Heyward has proven to be a talented player at his position but they aren’t asking him to do “every single thing”.

“I think Connor has a lot of talents and can do a lot of different things, but can you ask him to learn every single thing?” Canada said, via Mark Kaboly of The Athletic. “You can’t. I think we’ve tried to manage that.”

Heyward said that he progressively learned more as the season went on and is eager to continue his development. 

“I knew as a rookie that they didn’t want to throw too much at me,” Heyward said. “I showed them that I can handle it and as the season went on, they gave me more and more, and hopefully next year it will continue. I knew it wasn’t going to be handed to me. Everything had to be earned and that will continue to be the way.”

Heyward feels he has a deeper understanding of the game now than compared to when he was at Michigan State. 

“I feel like I did well in college, but I didn’t know why and what I was doing,” Heyward said. “Now I am just understanding the game so much more and playing so much faster and being able to use my leverage and use other things that guys my size aren’t able to do. Just being able to cut, keep the edge guys on defense on their heels. It makes it easier for me and helps the guys in the run game.”

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