AFC Notes: Browns, Steelers, Raiders

     

Browns

New Browns HC Kevin Stefanski noted during a recent press conference that he will be heavily involved in making personnel decisions with newly hired GM Andrew Berry.

“Andrew is the general manager and I am the head coach, but I can promise you in decisions as it pertains to personnel, I will be involved,” Stefanski said, via Scott Patsko of Cleveland.com. “We have had a dialogue already about that. Andrew talks about he gets a lot of free advice from his dad in acquiring players and so do I (laughter). We have to make sure that we listen to the right people, but it is going to be Andrew and I, along with a bunch of really good people in this building, making those decisions.”

Raiders

  • Derek Carr’s future with the Raiders has been in question and one recent ESPN report specifically mentioned that Las Vegas is poised to pursue Tom Brady if and when he becomes a free agent.
  • Vic Tafur of The Athletic doesn’t think Carr should be all that worried about Brady ending up with the Raiders. Tafur explains that Brady would have to learn a whole new offense, and may want a large role in calling plays, which HC Jon Gruden could be reluctant to hand over.
  • Tafur mentions that there are also concerns over whether it would be wise for the team to sign a 43-year-old quarterback, assuming that Brady is even available. He has until March 17 to agree to an extension with the Patriots or become a free agent. Tafur adds that New England should have no issue offering him $25-30 million per year.
  • On Wednesday, $2.9 million of Carr’s 2020 base salary became fully guaranteed. The remaining $16 million is not guaranteed, which presents even more cause for speculation over his future. 
  • Raiders GM Mike Mayock spoke to Tafur in January about Carr and the future of the quarterback position in Oakland: “My job is to evaluate every position and try and make us better. And if I can, I will, and if I can’t, I won’t. And that holds true at every position. I think Derek stepped forward in Year 2 under Jon Gruden. His mental capacity to handle what Jon asks him to do, his accuracy, his arm talent … I think he had a better second year under Jon than a first year.”

Steelers

Steelers DB Minkah Fitzpatrick says he’s open to being a “moving piece on the chessboard” next year to help his team where he can. 

“I don’t want to see that drop-off,” Fitzpatrick said, via Brooke Pryor of ESPN. “You know what I’m saying? I wanted to continue to have that impact on my team and have that impact on games. Because it’s no fun when you’re in a critical moment and you can’t do nothing about it. When you move around and you’re a moving piece on the chessboard, it’s hard to defend and you can’t just say, ‘All right, the quarterback is going to look at me and say he’s going to be in this spot every snap,’ like I was last year. It’s going to be harder and it’s going to be more difficult to take me out of the game.”

It’s an interesting comment, given that one of Fitzpatrick’s issues with the Dolphins was his undefined defensive role. 

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