AFC Notes: Bengals, Ravens, Steelers


  • The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. thinks the uncertainty surrounding the cap in future years for the NFL could affect extension talks with Bengals RB Joe Mixon and WR A.J. Green
  • Dehner points out Bengals director of player Duke Tobin has the same level of job security as Bengals HC Zac Taylor and QB Joe Burrow
  • Dehner doesn’t expect the Bengals to be interested in free-agent QB Colin Kaepernick as they’ve shown zero interest in adding a veteran to their quarterback room this offseason. 
  • He mentions the team still has high expectations for 2019 second-round TE Drew Sample, who battled injuries as a rookie. 


The Ravens were one of the NFL’s hottest teams and a clear Super Bowl contender right up until running into the Titans in the AFC Divisional round. Baltimore looked like it got caught unawares and punched in the mouth by the Titans, and MVP QB Lamar Jackson acknowledged the 14-2 Ravens got caught looking ahead to a rematch with the Chiefs in the AFC title game. Jackson says the team will hold that lesson close going into 2020. 

“That’s what happened in the playoffs, and we end up losing to the team people had us favored over,” Jackson said during an appearance on Complex’s Load Management podcast. “It’s any given Sunday. You can’t underestimate no team, no opponent and that’s what we did. So I’m looking forward to this 2020 season playing the Browns first. … Don’t underestimate your opponents. They caught us by surprise. That’s all it was.”

  • Ravens RB Gus Edwards says he was surprised when Baltimore took RB J.K. Dobbins in the draft but mostly because he didn’t think he’d be there in the second round. (Jamison Hensley)
  • Edwards acknowledged it could be a challenge to find enough touches for all four of himself, Dobbins, Mark Ingram and Justice Hill despite the Ravens setting rushing records last year: “I think we were able to do it last year with three. [OC Greg] Roman is committed to it. … We’ll see where it goes. I’m excited about it. It’s a chance to make history.” (Hensley)
  • The Ravens announced new titles for three members of the front office on Thursday. Player personnel coordinator Mark Azevedo is now the assistant director of college and pro personnel, David Blackburn moves to national scout from West area scout, while Northeast area scout Joey Cleary replaces Blackburn in the West. 


  • The Athletic’s Ed Bouchette writes there’s no new word on contract negotiations between the Steelers and either LB Bud Dupree or DL Cameron Heyward, which isn’t surprising given the uncertainty of the 2020 season. 
  • Bouchette peg Steelers pro personnel coordinator Brandon Hunt as a potential internal GM candidate, while VP of football and business administration Omar Khan is trending more toward a role as a team president and less on the football operations side. 

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