AFC Notes: Bengals, Ravens, Steelers

     

Bengals

  • The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. says that while normally big contracts for running backs have shown they don’t age well, it’s possible the Bengals won’t end up regretting their four-year, $48 million extension for RB Joe Mixon
  • The Bengals have loads of cap space and should be well-positioned with first-round QB Joe Burrow on his rookie deal for the next four years. Mixon also helps provide stability for Burrow. 
  • Mixon also has been a model citizen since being drafted and Cincinnati likes to reward the players they’ve drafted and developed. 
  • The Athletic’s Jay Morrison expects the Bengals to keep a closer eye on Mixon’s workload going forward to ensure he holds up. 
  • He also notes there’s an out in the contract after two years with just $6 million in dead cap. 
  • Mixon was elated to be able to get a deal done: “It was a hell of a feeling, honestly… It’s a great feeling.” (Ben Baby)
  • He said he thought the Bengals were by far his best fit: “I wanted to be a part of something special… I love our fans. I love my teammates. Upstairs, they definitely value me in a lot of ways that other people probably won’t.” (Baby)
  • Mixon mentioned the migraines that kept him out of practice recently were legit and not a negotiating ploy. (Baby)
  • Mixon’s deal includes a $10 million signing bonus, a base salary of $1.3 million in 2020, $8 million in 2021 and 2022, $9.4 million in 2023, and a $9.6 million club-option for 2024. (Ian Rapoport)
  • Mixon can also earn $500,000 each year in playing time incentives and a $200,000 workout bonus each offseason. 

Ravens

  • The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec notes Ravens 2019 fourth-round RB Justice Hill has had a quiet camp but he’s never gotten the sense Hill’s roster spot was in jeopardy. He should have a role as a kickoff returner. 
  • Meanwhile, 2019 fourth-round G Ben Powers is on the wrong side of the roster bubble, per Zrebiec. 
  • Zrebiec mentions Ravens C Matt Skura and third-round DT Justin Madubuike are candidates to start the year on injured reserve and then return sometime after Week 3. 
  • Zrebiec says Chris Board has created some distance for the No. 4 linebacker spot between himself and Otaro Alaka, who is very much on the bubble. 
  • Ravens HC John Harbaugh said they’re monitoring Skura to see if he’ll be able to return Week 1 after the initial expectation being his knee injury would keep him out the first six weeks at least: “We’ll know by next week where he’s at.” (Zrebiec)
  • Ravens third-round OL Tyre Phillips has put himself in the starting conversation at right guard and could also backup both tackle spots: “He’s a good football player. That’s the main thing. We saw an ability to play guard or tackle. Very smart. He’s got a really good demeanor about him. He doesn’t get down on himself at all. He pushes through it and learns from his mistakes.” (Zrebiec)
  • Harbaugh is not sure if an undrafted free agent will make the roster and continue Baltimore’s 16-year streak this year. (Zrebiec)

Steelers

  • The Athletic’s Ed Bouchette notes Steelers QB Devlin Hodges has easily beaten out QB Paxton Lynch for the No. 3 job. 
  • At wide receiver, Bouchette has Ryan Switzer and Ray-Ray McCloud claiming the final two spots over Deon Cain.
  • Bouchette expects the Steelers to look on waivers for an inside linebacker cut by another team to fill out their roster at the position. 
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