AFC Notes: Joe Mixon, DeAndre Hopkins, Bengals, Ravens, Steelers


Bengals RB Joe Mixon said he is not thinking about rumors from earlier this offseason about the team potentially moving on from him and feels he has a good relationship with president Mike Brown

“You hear a lot of noise, but at the same time, when you don’t pay attention and you don’t see it, none of that affects you,” Mixon said, via Cincinnati Bengals Talk. “What matters most is Mike Brown. He comes up to me at practice and he’s always happy to see me, and that’s the best feeling. It don’t get no better than that.”

Mixon reiterated that he is “very appreciative” of Brown and their front office. 

“He’s the owner, and he makes the decisions. He embraced me since day one and I love Mike and I know Mike loves me too, so it’s a great thing to have. I feel like our front office, everybody is great to me, everybody has backed me 100 percent, and it’s a great feeling. Just the love and support that I get from them continuously. Very appreciative. Words really don’t explain the true feeling of what that means to me.”


  • The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec writes the Ravens did a ton of work on potentially acquiring former Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins earlier this offseason, but ended up backing off. Zrebiec adds he doesn’t think they were ever particularly close to pulling the trigger. 
  • Signing Hopkins now would be much more manageable in terms of logistics, as he’s a free agent and the Ravens would have more flexibility in structuring his contract without having to give up any draft capital. However, Zrebiec points out they have invested a lot in their offense this offseason and only have one ball to feed all those mouths once the season starts. 
  • Ultimately, Hopkins can still play at a high level and would make the team better, which Zrebiec says might outweigh all other concerns in the end. 
  • Ravens LB Patrick Queen called the team not picking up his fifth-year option a “blessing in disguise” after speaking to the front office and is focused on proving himself next season, via Sherree Burruss. 
  • Queen is confident things can “fall into place” with Baltimore: “I’m not focused on the future. I’m focused on right now. If I take care of my business, all of that will fall into place,” per Jamison Hensley.
  • Ravens S Kyle Hamilton said he underwent wrist surgery this offseason but has no limitations following his operation. (Zrebiec)
  • Ravens HC John Harbaugh thinks second-year OL Daniel Faalele looked good at left guard and could see him competing for the starting job: “He’s able to punch quickly with his hands and react pretty quickly in there.” (Hensley)
  • Ravens QB Josh Johnsons one-year, $1,317,500 deal includes a $152,500 signing bonus and a base salary of $1,165,000. (OverTheCap)


Steelers’ veteran WR Allen Robinson thinks QB Kenny Pickett is “wise beyond his years” and is a true leader in the locker room. 

For a second-year quarterback he is definitely wise beyond his years,” Robinson said, via Teresa Varley of the team’s official site. “How he leads the charge. His work ethic day in and day out. Very focused. He is definitely beyond his years. I was impressed when I got here. Watching somebody from the outside looking in, you definitely see the talent. Once you actually get in the facility and are able to be around Kenny, you see why he is successful.”

Robinson reiterated that Pickett is a “natural leader” and has carried the trait with him from the University of Pittsburgh. 

“I don’t think that goes anywhere once a guy gets to the NFL. Once you put other guys around him, you start to see that player evolve into even more of a guy,” Robinson said. “Leaders are born. … It doesn’t take a lot of time for a guy who is a natural leader. I think anybody here can tell that from Kenny. I have been here a little over a month and you can already tell his leadership, how he leads the charge day in and day out. For a second-year guy, that isn’t easy. For a guy to be able to take a bull by the horns like that, it’s pretty impressive.”

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