AFC Notes: Bengals, Ravens, Steelers


No one believes in Bengals TE Hayden Hurst more than Hurst himself. He’s been passed up by other options on each of his two former teams, first in Baltimore by Ravens TE Mark Andrews, precipitating a trade to Atlanta, where he was the top tight end for a year until they drafted Kyle Pitts. As an unrestricted free agent for the first time, Hurst wanted to find a place where he fit in the scheme perfectly and he believes Cincinnati is that place. 

“I think it’s finally all going to come together in my fifth year and it’s going to be the perfect storm, in my opinion,” Hurst said via the Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. “I’m ready to explode. I think I fit the system pretty perfect.”


  • EDGE Za’Darius Smith and the Ravens had agreed upon a four-year, $35 million dollar deal, according to PFT. Following the contracts received by Bills EDGE Von Miller and Raiders EDGE Chandler Jones, Smith then backed out of his deal. 
  • Smith and his agent then proposed a different deal to the Ravens. The Ravens accepted the revised terms. They were then told that Smith would make a decision the next day, per PFT.
  • The next day, Smith and his agent proposed another deal that was dramatically different and that was when the Ravens decided to pass.
  • The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec notes the Ravens are always looking for cornerback depth and could be interested in veterans like A.J. Bouye, Bryce Callahan and Kyle Fuller. All three can also play in the slot and Bouye has the added bonus of not counting toward the comp pick formula since he was released by the Panthers. 
  • Zrebiec writes some more affordable options at edge rusher for the Ravens include Carlos Dunlap, Melvin Ingram, Jerry Hughes or Whitney Mercilus.
  • He adds former Browns C J.C. Tretter would be an upgrade at center for the Ravens if they want to make another semi-big move. 
  • Zrebiec says the Ravens have maintained some level of interest in former Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner since his release but it’s unclear how Wagner views Baltimore and what his asking price is. 


  • Steelers GM Kevin Colbert and OC Matt Canada were at Pittsburgh’s pro day to scout QB Kenny Pickett. (Jim Nagy)
  • The Steelers signed C Mason Cole to a three-year, $15.75 million deal that includes a $4.565 million signing bonus, and salaries of $1.035 million, $3.9 million, and $3.24 million. (Aaron Wilson)
  • The Steelers were present at the Pro Day of Liberty QB Malik Willis, with Colbert, HC Mike Tomlin and Canada all in attendance. (Ben Standig)

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