AFC Notes: Browns, Ravens, Steelers


  • Dan Labbe of highlights three other pass-rushers that the Browns should approach in free agency, now that DE J.J. Watt is off to The Grand Canyon State.
  • Labbe wonders if the Browns would attempt to sign DE Trey Hendrickson to a three-year, $30.9 million deal. Yet thinks they will keep in mind that despite his 13 sack season, he has previously never totaled more than four and a half in a single season.
  • Bengals’ DE Carl Lawson has 20 sacks over four seasons, but Labbe proposes that the Browns will look at Lawson and Hendrickson as two players who could turn into elite pass-rushers.
  • Another division rival that Labbe points out is Steelers’ LB Bud Dupree, yet any team who takes a run at Dupree will have to keep a close eye on the ACL that he recently tore in order to protect their investment.
  • Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson disputes a report that the Browns offered more money than the Cardinals did to Watt. He says he’s been told by multiple Watt suitors that the $23 million guaranteed Arizona gave Watt was about what they were willing to fork over in total. 
  •’s Mary Kay Cabot also says the Browns did not offer Watt more than the $15.5 million per year he got from the Cardinals. 
  • Browns HC Kevin Stefanski says the Browns are in touch with the people overseeing WR Odell Beckham‘s rehab from a torn ACL and everything is going well. (Nate Ulrich)
  • Stefanski said the rehab for Browns second-round S Grant Delpit is also going well. Delpit missed his entire rookie season with a torn Achilles. (Scott Petrak)
  • Browns chief of staff Callie Brownson is expected to help RB coach Stump Mitchell with the position in 2021. (Petrak)
  • The Cleveland Browns announced the hiring of Jonathan Decoster as offensive quality control coach. (Petrak)


  • ESPN’s Jamison Hensley doesn’t expect the Ravens to go after the first-tier wideouts like Bears WR Allen Robinson or Lions WR Kenny Golladay in free agency and instead to pursue an upgrade via one of the cheaper options. 
  • Hensley writes the Ravens will instead prioritize the interior of their offensive line and could target someone like Packers C Corey Linsley or Giants G Kevin Zeitler if he’s released. He adds they probably won’t trade OT Orlando Brown unless they’re offered a first-round pick. 
  • In the draft, Hensley thinks the Ravens will have an eye on the future at positions like defensive line, tight end and safety. He adds outside linebacker is their biggest need on defense and a strong candidate to be addressed with their first-round pick. 


  • ESPN’s Brooke Pryor confirms the Steelers are unlikely to re-sign RB James Conner and will be looking to sign or draft a replacement. 
  • Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster is also highly unlikely to be back, Pryor writes. 
  • If the price is right, Pryor says the Steelers would like to retain DL Tyson Alualu.
  • With young CBs Mike Hilton and Cam Sutton looking at free agency, Pryor thinks the Steelers could cut either veteran CB Joe Haden or Steven Nelson and use the savings to keep one or both of Hilton and Sutton. 
  • Both Steelers safeties Minkah Fitzpatrick and Terrell Edmunds will have their fifth-year options due this offseason. Pryor notes picking up Fitzpatrick’s is a no-brainer. Less so with Edmunds. 

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