AFC Notes: Browns, Ravens, Steelers, Najee Harris


  • An executive for another team told NBC Sports’ Peter King he thinks some of the other owners lobbied for less than a season suspension for Browns QB Deshaun Watson: “I think there were multiple owners who didn’t want Deshaun Watson suspended for the season, and told Roger Goodell that.” 
  • The reasoning for that is Watson’s contract would have tolled if he had been suspended for the season, which would have given the Browns a discount in 2023 and another year of control in 2027, both of which would have been good for the organization. 
  • King has gotten an impression in other discussions that the rest of the owners aren’t happy with the precedent Cleveland set with Watson’s fully-guaranteed deal. 
  • The Athletic’s Zac Jackson lists 39 players as locks to make the Browns’ final roster, with some notable names including WR Anthony Schwartz, CB A.J. Green and DT Taven Bryan.
  • He adds there are seven near-locks, who should have a spot barring a trade or unforeseen circumstance, including DT Tommy Togiai, RBs D’Ernest Johnson and Demetric Felton, TE Miller Forristall and DE Isaac Rochell.
  • Some key bubble competitions that Jackson projects include seventh-round DE Isaiah Thomas making the team ahead of DE Chase Winovich, OL Drew Forbes beating out OL Hjalte Froholdt and Blake Hance, and UDFA S D’Anthony Bell winning a spot over S Richard LeCounte.
  • Jackson expects the Browns to trade or claim another wide receiver to bolster their thin group. He also expects them to look at tight end, offensive tackle, defensive tackle and perhaps even cornerback, while noting they could trade one of their interior offensive linemen. 


  • The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec points out the Ravens have a few players they’ll hold through roster cuts before placing them on injured reserve. To do that, they’ll cut some veterans with a handshake agreement to immediately re-sign them once the roster spot frees up. Some options include LB Josh Bynes, S Tony Jefferson, DL Brent Urban, CB Kevon Seymour and OLB Steven Means
  • Zrebiec also expects the Ravens to make a move at outside linebacker given they are dealing with injuries and could also use a boost in skill. 
  • Seymour is dealing with an ankle sprain and will miss a few weeks, with the team expecting him to return during the early part of the season. (Jamison Hensley)
  • Ravens HC John Harbaugh would not announce who the starting left guard will be, with Ben Powers seemingly being the current frontrunner. (Jeff Zrebiec)
  • Harbaugh was noncommital on where RB J.K. Dobbins stands ahead of Week 1: “If J.K. can go, I look at it right now and it’d be great. He had a good practice today. If not, we got the guys that will play. We’re good either way.” (Hensley)


Steelers HC Mike Tomlin knows that everyone is waiting on him to name the team’s starting quarterback, but told the media he plans to take his time and isn’t ready to do so quite yet.

“I might, but you’re not going to have that today,” Tomlin said, via “Like I told you guys the other week, we’re not going to make knee-jerk reactions and statements following a performance. We’ll go through our proper, professional procedure. We’ll evaluate the game. We’ll meet with our front office people. We’ll have discussions. We’ll talk internally. We’ll talk about external possibilities. We’ll go through our normal procedure this time of year, and we’ll disclose it to you at our leisure, to be quite honest with you.”

  • Steelers RB Najee Harris said his foot injury was a sprained Lisfranc. He returned to play in the final preseason game but said he felt a little rusty. (Nick Farabaugh)

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