AFC Notes: Bengals, Ravens, Steelers

     

Bengals

Regarding his All-Pro season, Bengals S Jessie Bates feels he reached a “different level” of his game and that the game has slowed down for him. 

“I think I reached a different level of my game, being able to slow the game down and seeing what the offense is giving us as a defense…Being able to see it and execute as a defense is kind of where I stepped my game up,” said Bates, via Tyler Dragon.

Ravens

  • Ravens TE Nick Boyle‘s two-year, $13 million extension includes a $6 million signing bonus and decreases his 2021 base salary from $5.5 million to $1.5 million. His cap number also drops from $7.83 million to $5.83 million. (Jeff Zrebiec)
  • Boyle is also set to earn a base salary of $5 million in 2022 and $6 million in 2023. 
  • Zrebiec points out that Boyle’s new contract added $5 million more in guarantees. 
  • Ravens GM Eric DeCosta called Boyle the “backbone” of the team: “Nick is a Raven, exactly the type of player deserving of this third contract. Ask his teammates, ask his coaches – he’s a backbone for this team. We are very happy for Nick and Kristina as we continue to build out our roster.” (Jamison Hensley)
  • Boyle said he is “extremely thankful” to continue playing in Baltimore after playing there for the past five years: “I am extremely thankful to continue being a part of the Ravens. My family has made this place our home the past five years, and we couldn’t be happier to continue doing so. I truly love this organization and all it has done for me. I am working my hardest every day to get back on the field with my teammates.” (Hensley)

Steelers

Steelers’ owner Art Rooney II said they will address HC Mike Tomlin‘s contract this offseason.

“We’ll address Mike’s contract with him as time goes on this offseason,” Rooney said, via Joe Rutter of Tribune Live. “I feel comfortable in saying he’ll be our coach into the future.”

Rooney cited the team’s 11-0 start and winning the AFC North as positives and believes Tomlin is “determined” to repeat as division champs. 

“The way we finished was not one of those positives,” Rooney said. “Mike feels as bad about that as any of us, and he is determined to do what we need to do to fight to get back into having another opportunity to win the division and move on.”

Rooney added he “kind of” feels GM Kevin Colbert, whose contract expires after the 2021 NFL Draft, will return but left the possibility open that this could be it for him. 

“I kind of feel Kevin is going to come back, but who knows?” Rooney said.

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