AFC Notes: Jessie Bates, Bengals, Browns, Ravens, Steelers


Bengals’ director of player personnel Duke Tobin said that they intend on keeping free-agent S Jessie Bates and thinks he’s a leader of their team. 

I’m not going to break any news today on that,” Tobin said, via Kelsey Conway of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “That’s something we’ll decide here in the next few days. As far as Jessie Bates, he’s an important part of our team. We drafted him, he’s a guy that developed and that has played well that has a real role on our team in a lot of different areas, particularly in leadership and play-making skill, he’s a guy we want going forward. We want him to be a part of our group so we’ll see what we can do to get that done.”

Bengals HC Zac Taylor reiterated that Bates has been a leader for the team and was “tremendous” last season. 

“Jessie’s approach has been tremendous all year,” Taylor said. “I’ve really been proud of him. He’s a big part of what we do. We’re really proud of how he’s led this team and how he’s played for us, really over the last four years.”

  • Per Fansided’s Matt Lombardo, multiple sources said to temper expectations of a mega-extension for Bates this offseason, however. 


  • Browns HC Kevin Stefanski plans on calling plays on offense next season. (Nate Ulrich)
  • Stefanski said he’s been keeping in touch with Baker Mayfield this offseason and still has “full confidence” in him as their starting quarterback. (Nate Ulrich)
  • USC WR Drake London said he met with Browns at the combine and it went great. (Scott Petrak)
  • Arkansas WR Treylon Burks told reporters he has a dog tattoo and added that the Browns are among several teams he has met with. (Nate Ulrich)
  • Ohio State WR Garrett Wilson had a formal meeting with the Cleveland Browns and expressed interest in working with Mayfield in the NFL. (Ulrich)


  • Ravens GM Eric DeCosta said he’s confident that RB J.K. Dobbins will “really come back and flourish” and that he can be the “type of player he was two years ago.” (Jamison Hensley)
  • DeCosta spoke about contract talks that he has had with QB Lamar Jackson: “I think it takes two sides to actively put their heads together and get a deal worked out. We are ready to be there for Lamar at any point. When he decides that he really wants to work on it, we will be.” (Hensley)
  • DeCosta noted that he has exchanged texts with veteran DL Calais Campbell and let him know the team is interested in re-signing him. (Jeff Zrebiec)
  • As for potential draft prospects, DeCosta mentioned that Iowa C Tyler Linderbaum has some similarities to former Ravens G Marshal Yanda. (Zrebiec)
  • DeCosta on what positions the team would look to prioritize: “Offensive line will be a point of emphasis this offseason and so will secondary.” (Zrebiec)
  • When it comes to T Ronnie Stanley, DeCosta revealed that Stanley told him he feels better now than he did this time last year and added that while the team is optimistic, Stanley still has a long way to go. (Zrebiec)
  • DeCosta said that the Ravens have met with Alabama OT Evan Neal despite the fact that he will likely be a top-five draft pick. (Zrebiec)


  • Ole Miss QB Matt Corral says he has met with the Steelers at the Combine. (Dan Parr)
  • Liberty QB Malik Willis revealed that he has spoken with several teams including the Steelers, adding he was unsure if he would be a good fit in Pittsburgh. (Brooke Pryor)
  • Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder said he had a formal interview with eight teams, including the Steelers. (Mark Kaboly)
  • Pittsburgh Panthers QB Kenny Pickett told the media that he has had “multiple conversations” with the Steelers. (Matt Verderame)
  • Pickett adds that he has a “special relationship” with HC Mike Tomlin and that the two have gotten to know each other during his time at Pittsburgh. (Verderame)

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