AFC Notes: Browns, Steelers, Titans

     

Browns

Browns’ RB Nick Chubb stands behind QB Baker Mayfield, who certainly felt disrespected after some Cleveland fans called for the team to pursue Texans’ QB Deshaun Watson.

“I agree with Baker. I always agree with Baker,” Chubb said in a conversation with Sports Illustrated. “He was right to call those guys out. He’s our guy. He’s our quarterback. He’s played tremendous for us. He’s a great teammate and a great friend of mine. That’s our guy. We’ll live and die with Baker.”

  • Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com says that the Browns should be in the mix to sign DE J.J. Watt, as they currently have enough cap space to provide him with a significant contract.
  • Cabot puts to ease some injury concerns about Watt, noting that he appeared in all 16 games in 2020. She adds that the Browns have already picked up the phone to inquire about him, regardless of his age and injury history.
  • According to Cabot, since the Browns have DE Myles Garrett on their roster, Watt would face fewer double teams and likely flourish in the defense of DC Joe Woods.
  • Cabot doesn’t see any indication that the Browns would move on from WR Jarvis Landry, and believes they view him as a core piece and leader on a team that should contend for the Super Bowl in 2021.

Steelers

  • Mark Kaboly points out that the retirements of C Maurkice Pouncey and TE Vance McDonald will cost the Steelers $9 million in dead money for 2021.
  • Kaboly notes that Pouncey’s retirement saves the organization $8 million in cap space, but the team is unlikely to rescind any of his $9 million signing bonus. 
  • Gerry Dulac reports that the Steelers have hired Grady Brown as their secondary coach, replacing Tom Bradley.
  • Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger called Pouncey the “greatest teammate” he’s ever had: “I hate to say he’s the greatest teammate and competitor I’ve ever been around, but at the end of the day that’s what it is – he’s the greatest teammate and competitor I’ve been around. And that’s no slight to anybody else.” (Gerry Dulac)
  • Roethlisberger added that he did not attempt to talk Pouncey out of his decision: “I didn’t feel right trying to talk him out of it. I’m still processing him retiring.” (Dulac)
  • Dulac adds that the Steelers have yet to meet with Roethislberger about how they will handle his contract for next season. Roethlisberger has a cap number of $41.25 million for 2021.

Titans

  • Regarding rumors that the Titans were interested in Tom Brady last offseason, Jim Wyatt of the team’s official site writes that Tennessee was never pursuing Brady and the situation was “overblown.”
  • As for Titans’ impending free-agent DE Jadeveon Clowney saying he’d like to re-sign with Tennessee, Wyatt believes Clowney is ultimately trying to get more teams interested in him and increase his market value. 
  • Should the Titans look into selecting a quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft, Wyatt does not expect them to bring in a prospect to challenge Ryan Tannehill but they could instead consider a backup to compete with Logan Woodside
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