AFC Notes: Browns, Ravens, Steelers

     

Browns

  • Browns WR Rashard Higgins confirmed that Cleveland increased their offer with more incentives and that he had “other offers on the table” around the league. (Tony Grossi)
  • Higgins called returning to the Browns a “no-brainer” decision: “I definitely had offers on the table. But this was a no-brainer.” (Tony Grossi)
  • In the end, Higgins was confident that he wanted to continue playing for the Browns: “I knew where I wanted to be. It was obviously a lot of teams hitting on me and I had decisions, but why not be a Cleveland Brown. I feel all the pieces to the puzzle are in place.” (Scott Petrak)

Ravens

Colts’ WR T.Y. Hilton said that he almost signed with the Ravens, who were making a strong offer for him. In the end, he chose to re-sign with Indianapolis where he will likely finish out his career.

“I was almost gone,” Hilton said, via The Pat McAfee Show. “I’d been talking to [the Ravens] the whole time. They came in and made a great push at the end. They wanted to get it done.”

Steelers

Steelers’ President Art Rooney II made it clear that the team had planned to re-sign QB Ben Roethlisberger all along despite his age and elbow injury.

“We wanted Ben back and the key to it was being able to restructure his contract that allowed us to keep Ben and sign other players,” Rooney said, via Pro Football Talk. “Ben cooperated with that and was willing to make changes in his contract. That allowed us to keep him on the team this year. That was always our goal. I thought Ben had a very good year last year for somebody coming off arm surgery. I think hopefully he’ll have an even better year this year with another year under his belt in terms of recovery from that arm surgery.”

Rooney also told fans that they want to try and sign LB T.J. Watt to a long-term extension in the near future.

“We’re certainly going to try [to sign Watt long term],” Rooney said, via Brooke Pryor of ESPN. “T.J. has another year on his contract. We look at him as a key player in our future. I can assure you we’re going to do everything we can to keep him on the roster.”

When it comes to the team’s run game, Rooney also told Pryor that the Steelers plan to improve in the draft as they don’t want to be last in the league in rushing for a second consecutive year.

“We’ve got to be a lot better in running. We don’t want to see the Pittsburgh Steelers last in the league in rushing ever again. … we’ll be looking for ways to improve in the draft. It’s something we’ve gotta fix. We’re working on it,” Rooney said.

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