AFC Notes: Browns, Ravens, Steelers


  • Browns CB Denzel Ward, who enters his fifth-year option in 2022, said he’s unsure if there’s been any progress in a contract extension because he’s focused on training camp instead. (Nate Ulrich)
  • Browns GM Andrew Berry said newly hired senior consultant Bob Quinn is someone he respects and thinks his perspective as a former general manager with the Lions will be valuable for Cleveland. (Nate Ulrich)
  • Berry called Browns WR Odell Beckam Jr. a “freak of nature” after recovering from a torn ACL: “Odell [Beckham Jr.] honestly is like a freak of nature sometimes.” (Mary Kay Cabot)
  • Berry thinks Browns QB Baker Mayfield‘s added year of understanding in HC Kevin Stefanski‘s system will lead to more success: “Baker has entered with a phenomenal mindset, a ton of comfort. I know we’re all very excited for him to have a bit of stability. … He is a super-confident guy, and we think he’s in a great spot.” (Nate Ulrich)
  • When asked if they are still evaluating Mayfield before finalizing a longterm extension, Berry responded that they are comfortable with the quarterback’s progress: “We feel really good with Baker’s progress. He’s made a ton of growth both on and off the field. We’re looking forward to him having another fantastic season.” (Nate Ulrich)
  • Berry believes it’s unfortunate for rookie LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah to open camp on the COVID-19 list, but is confident he’ll be fine when returning: “It’s less than ideal. It’s a little bit of adversity. But it’s also not a death sentence.” (Nate Ulrich)


  • Ravens OC Greg Roman said QB Lamar Jackson has been involved virtually after testing positive for COVID-19: “It’s certainly not a positive, but we have to create a positive out of it.” On McSorley/Huntley: “They are getting reps that guys pray for.” (Jeff Zrebiec)
  • Roman added that they have a “great plan” for when Jackson returns and are making the best of a bad situation: “It’s certainly not a positive. But we got to create a positive out of this thing. We got to get a great plan when he does come back on how we can try to make up for the time as best we can. That’s really the game we have to play.” (Jamison Hensley)
  • Roman confirmed that the Ravens want their running backs “more involved in the passing game” next season: “Yes we are definitely trying to get our RBs more involved in the passing game. There’s a lot of things that we haven’t done. We’re going to open up that chapter of the playbook more.” (Jeff Zrebiec)
  • Roman called WR Sammy Watkins “one of the best” receivers in the league: “Sammy is a gem. Every day with him is a great day. … Sammy, to me, is one of the best WRs in the NFL, period.” (Jeff Zrebiec)


Steelers RG Trai Turner said he’s not worried about replacing David Decastro.

“Everything has an expiration date at some point,” Turner said, via Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “DeCastro is a great player. I don’t feel like I’m necessarily replacing him. I’m just the new right guard.”

Steelers OC Matt Canada added Turner knows his strengths and weaknesses are.

“I didn’t see (the mistake) on the side as we worked, and he came up and knew what it was and said it right away,” Canada said. “Obviously, a veteran like him who has played as well as he has, I think we’re very fortunate to have him, and I really like where he’s at. He’s worked very hard to not have those mistakes, and to be as efficient as he has been in three days is really a positive for us and him.”

Steelers HC Mike Tomlin wouldn’t commit to LB Robert Spillane as a starter.

“I am not assuming he’s stepping in,” Tomlin said, via The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly. “We are here competing to divide the labor up. The work is going to determine what happens. Rob is a guy who has ascended over the course of last year and had an opportunity to make plays for. Hopefully, that is a springboard for him to continue to do things that you saw him do today and beyond.”

  • The Athletic’s Ed Bouchette mentions Steelers pro scouting coordinator Brandon Hunt as a strong internal candidate to replace GM Kevin Colbert when he retires. 
  • Bouchette is skeptical that the Steelers would be players in a potential trade for Packers QB Aaron Rodgers in 2022. 
  • Pittsburgh unveiled a package in camp that put RB Anthony McFarland on the field as a second running back. (Kaboly)

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