AFC Notes: Browns, Ravens, Steelers

     

Browns

  • Browns TE David Njoku tweeted a message after receiving scrutiny due to his trade request this offseason: “I want to make something very clear. I love the city of Cleveland with all my heart. This game is filled with a lot of complications but don’t think for a second that I don’t love and appreciate Cleveland and all that it has done for me.”
  • The Athletic’s Zak Jackson predicts Browns C J.C. Tretter will be the team’s breakout player in 2020, both for his role as president of the NFLPA and his stability on the field. 
  • The Browns rank eighth in the NFL in dead money for the past three seasons, according to Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap, with a total of $68.9 million. 

Ravens

  • The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec predicts Ravens WR Marquise Brown will be the team’s breakout player in 2020 and earn a Pro Bowl berth in his second season. 
  • ESPN ranked the Ravens No. 1 in their power rankings for the next three years, citing both QB Lamar Jackson and the team built around him. 
  • Keeping Jackson healthy is the team’s biggest worry, and as far as future needs Baltimore could use a pass rusher to replace EDGE Matt Judon and another big-bodied target for Jackson in the passing game. 
  • New Ravens OL D.J. Fluker has put extra effort into training to lose weight as he prepares to potentially start at guard for Baltimore. Fluker is listed at 342 pounds but says he’s dropped two sizes: “I went from a 4x shirt to a 2x shirt proof is in the salad not the pudding.” (Instagram)

Steelers

Steelers WR Ryan Switzer is widely believed to be on the roster bubble in Pittsburgh entering the 2020 season. The team has added a number of high draft picks at the position in recent seasons and Switzer could end up being squeezed out as he profiles just as a slot receiver. However, Switzer thinks he does that job well enough to carve out a niche in the NFL no matter what happens this summer. 

“I believe I will be one of the best slot receivers in the NFL. . . . I have no doubt I’ll be up there and I’ll be talked about like Edelman is, like Welker was, like Jamison CrowderCole Beasley,” Switzer said in an Instagram Live video via Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

  • The Athletic’s Ed Bouchette predicts Steelers LB Devin Bush will be the team’s breakout player in 2020 and earn a Pro Bowl berth in his second season. 
  • The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly says the Steelers’ top two tight ends are locked in for 2020 with Eric Ebron and Vance McDonald. However, Pittsburgh can get out from both contracts in 2021 without much penalty. 
  • ESPN’s Brooke Pryor notes that XFL players could have an edge on rookie undrafted free agents due to the fact that they have film from their short season, and the Steelers loaded up on several XFL players before the draft.
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