AFC Notes: Bengals, Ravens, Steelers


Bengals DE Carl Lawson heard the rumors that Cincinnati would franchise tag him before Tuesday’s deadline rather than let him walk to the open market. Lawson said he never understood why that was an option and he was ultimately proved right that it didn’t make sense for either side. 

“You want a long-term commitment,” Lawson said via the Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. “So I didn’t think it would make sense from both sides to do that. It’s not about how much money they give you, it’s the direct hit against the cap. A team in our position, been 2-14 and 4-12, you got a lot of things that you want to fix. You got to have cap space to do whatever you want. Take a direct hit on the cap like that it limits what you can do. First and foremost, the first thing we need to do is protect 9. Then you get a long-term negotiated deal done with me. With both sides, I didn’t understand why they would do it, personally.”

Lawson adds he hasn’t ruled out a return to the Bengals. While he’s expected to be a hot commodity on the market, he points out that the Bengals are the team he’ll talk to first over the next week as he sorts out his future. 

“Of course the Bengals are the frontrunner, we just haven’t gotten to any of the negotiations and stuff yet,” Lawson said. “I just know talking with the Bengals I think they would do right by me. And we’ll get that situation talked about first, but there is a lot of interest out there that’s what I’m hearing. So it will be interesting to see what happens the next couple weeks … Of course, I’m comfortable where I’m at. But it doesn’t make sense to not listen to what people have to say but if there are better options for me and my family then people will understand that. It’s not like they don’t have a great shot at landing me. Why would you tag me if you know you have a good shot at talking with me?”


After finishing third in Defensive Rookie of the Year voting last season, Ravens LB Patrick Queen expects to improve his mental side of the game now that he has made the transition from college to pros.

“Once I nail down the route concepts, I feel like my game is going to transcend so much,” Queen told the “The Lounge” podcast on the team’s website. “It’s so simple, but it’s so far away.”

“In college, playing the rover side, you wouldn’t get that many three-man route concepts,” Queen said. “You go to the NFL, you’re in the Mike position, you’ve got to be with the nickel all the time. The three-man route concepts are way harder than two-man route concepts. That experience and getting in the film room and learning everything, that’s probably going to be the biggest key.”


  • Steelers FB Derek Watt has restructured his contract with the team, providing Pittsburgh $880,000 in additional cap space. (Ian Rapoport)
  • The Steelers attended the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Pro Day to observe OL Quinn Meinerz. (Owen Riese)
  • Clemson RB Travis Etienne mentioned that he also spoke with Steelers HC Mike Tomlin and OC Matt Canada. The running back feels his versatility makes him a “good fit” for Pittsburgh’s offense. (Brooke Pryor)

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