AFC Notes: Browns, Ravens, Lamar Jackson, Steelers



Things have calmed down between the Ravens and QB Lamar Jackson since the end of the season, at least from the perspective of the outside looking in. There are still tricky waters ahead as they continue negotiations for a long-term deal and work through the implications of a franchise tag, which means a trade remains possible. Plenty of people around the league think he stays in Baltimore, though. 

“If it wasn’t for all of the comments that (GM) Eric DeCosta and (HC) John Harbaugh said in their postseason presser, I would think he is going to get traded,” an exec said via the Athletic’s Mike Sando. “I feel like he is just going to get tagged now and play on the tag. I don’t think anyone is going to offer-sheet him for two ones and his contract demands. The question is, are they going to have the stones to stand in there? Do you risk a chance of a team coming in after the draft and offer-sheeting him then?”

Ravens CB Marlon Humphrey said he was attempting to recruit players to come to Baltimore during his time at the Pro Bowl, saying that everyone just wanted to know if the team was going to pay Jackson this offseason.

“Every time I try I’m met with ‘are y’all gonna pay Lamar,’” Humphrey wrote.

  • The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec notes the Ravens could conduct more second interviews with potential offensive coordinator candidates besides the five they’ve done so far. 
  • He adds it also seems like the team is willing to wait until after the Super Bowl to interview potential OC candidates from either the Chiefs or Eagles and the hire could be someone from there and not one of the perceived five finalists. 
  • Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy has been connected to the Ravens’ offensive coordinator vacancy. 
  • Zrebiec mentions the Ravens had some contact with 49ers passing game coordinator Bobby Slowik but he seems intent on either staying in San Francisco or joining new Texans HC DeMeco Ryans‘ staff. 
  • He adds it’s doubtful the Ravens would run this extensive of a search if they planned to promote either WR coach James Urban or TE coach George Godsey to the position. 


  • The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly lists Steelers QB Mitchell Trubisky, WR Gunner Olszewski, CB William Jackson, CB Ahkello Witherspoon, and LB Myles Jack as potential cap cuts. 
  • He notes owner Art Rooney II struck a positive note about Trubisky being back, though. He adds Jackson is a candidate to take a pay cut given the team thought highly enough of him to trade for him at midseason. 
  • Kaboly adds while cutting Jack would save $8 million, the Steelers would need to sort out a plan at inside linebacker first, as both Devin Bush and Robert Spillane are pending free agents. 
  • To create additional space, Kaboly expects Pittsburgh to restructure OLB T.J. Watt and CB Minkah Fitzpatrick. They could restructure DL Cameron Heyward but Kaboly thinks a short extension might make more sense for him. 
  • Oklahoma S Justin Broiles met with the Steelers at the Tropical Bowl. (Justin Melo)
  • Oregon State OL Brandon Kipper met with 22 teams at the NFLPA Bowl, including the Steelers. (Justin Melo)

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