AFC Notes: Joe Mixon, Justin Madubuike, Bengals, Ravens, Steelers


  • When examining how the Bengals may approach RB Joe Mixon‘s contract this offseason, Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic expects the organization to decide on Mixon’s future by March 17 when his $3 million roster bonus is due. 
  • Dehner considers keeping Mixon at his $8.5 million cap hit for 2024 as a big mistake given the average cap number for his position is $7.2 million. He also points out Mixon averaged just 3.8 yards per carry through Weeks 1-17 in 2023. 
  • Dehner also writes Mixon has a lot of wear and tear with 1,854 regular-season touches throughout his career, which ranks fourth among active running backs behind Patriots RB Ezekiel Elliott, Titans RB Derrick Henry, and free-agent Melvin Gordon.


When asked if the Ravens plan on using the franchise tag on DT Justin Madubuike, GM Eric DeCosta recalled their quiet approach to contract talks with Lamar Jackson

“One of the great things about that negotiation was that I learned that it’s beneficial to just not talk about things,” DeCosta said, via Jamison Hensley of ESPN. “There is a value sometimes to not really showing your cards or showing your hand. So, we’ll have all those decisions made at some point coming soon.”

Madubuike is confident his contract situation will “take care of itself.” 

“In terms of Baltimore, man, that’s home,” Madubuike said. “But, you know, business is business, and that side is going to take care of itself.”

DeCosta mentioned they will make contract decisions in the coming weeks. 

“We’ll have those decisions made in the coming weeks,” DeCosta said. “We’ll know what’s best for us to do.”

  • NFL Media’s Jonathan Jones reports the Ravens are hiring Baylor DL coach Dennis Johnson as their DL coach.


Steelers HC Mike Tomlin is excited about CB Joey Porter Jr.‘s development following his strong performance as a rookie throughout the year.

“I’m really excited about the trajectory of his career,” Tomlin said, via Teresa Varley of the team’s site. “Probably the most impressive component of where he is, is his mindset. He wants the fight. He wants the tough coverage. He’s extremely competitive in that way. And that’s a great place to build from. He’s got growth ahead of him, but that’s real solid.”

Porter started the season as a backup but gradually earned more playing time until earning the starting role in Week 8. He thinks his health benefitted from their approach this season. 

“I think about that often,” said Porter. “If I played Week 1, I don’t know how my body would feel. I am glad they slowed the process down for me.”

Porter still feels there is room for improvement but is confident in his development as a player. 

“I feel like there are a lot of areas that I need to work on, and I am still working on,” said Porter. “Overall, I have grown as a player. I am happy where I am and there is still work to do.”

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