AFC Notes: Bengals, Ravens, Steelers



  • The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. and Jay Morrison write that whether the Bengals select LT Penei Sewell at No. 5 overall depends on if they consider him a can’t-miss prospect or someone who is raw and needs development. Opinions of Sewell in the NFL are split between those two, they say. 
  • If the Bengals pass on offensive line in the first round, the two expect them to double up later in the draft with a combination like Alabama Alex Leatherwood and North Dakota State’s Dillon Radunz.


  • New Ravens WR Sammy Watkins met with reporters on Monday and said he was ready for a change of scenery, which is why he opted to sign with Baltimore. Watkins specifically mentioned the Ravens got his attention after they hired Keith Williams. (Jeff Zrebiec)
  • The Ravens’ passing offense has really struggled the past years, but Watkins says the team is focused on improving in that area: “I’m pretty sure they’re definitely trying to fix the passing game. That’s what I want to come into and hopefully we get that job done.”(Jeff Zrebiec)
  • Watkins said the Ravens were the one team that stood out to him when he entered free agency. “I wanted new scenery for myself. It’s a great matchup.” (Jamison Hensley)
  • Watkins is looking forward to playing for OC Greg Roman again: “When I was in Buffalo, I had my best times with him … so I can’t complain.” (Jeff Zrebiec)
  • Injuries have been an issue for Watkins since entering the NFL. He explained that having a coach who knows how to pace him in practice throughout the season should help get the most out of him this season: “You feel good, you play good.” (Jamison Hensley)


  • The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly says that while the Steelers appear to have pushed their chips in on trying to contend again in 2021, they haven’t done so at the expense of their ability to rebuild in 2022 and 2023. 
  • Kaboly points out Pittsburgh has 22 players under contract currently in 2022 and has a projected effective cap space of $90 million if the cap is at $203 million. 
  • While the voidable years they used to maximize space this season will hit their cap as dead money in 2022, Kaboly thinks the Steelers have the cap space to absorb it.
  • He adds even the players they extended like OT Zach Banner and CB Cameron Sutton have outs in their deals after one season and the Steelers can move on from other players like CB Joe Haden and TE Eric Ebron without much penalty. 

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