AFC Notes: Lamar Jackson, Bengals, Browns, Steelers

     

Lamar Jackson

  • ESPN’s Jamison Hensley polled a few analysts — former QB Kurt Warner, former agent Joel Corry and former GM Mike Tannenbaum — about the Ravens’ upcoming extension talks with QB Lamar Jackson. All three agreed that while it probably wouldn’t be wise to give him a 10-year deal like the Chiefs gave Patrick Mahomes, there shouldn’t be any fears about his durability that would preclude a standard four-year extension. 
  • Corry points out that Jackson is currently representing himself which adds another interesting wrinkle, as while players have been their own agents in the past, none have been for deals of this potential magnitude. 
  • He adds that the Ravens have driven hard bargains in the past with experienced agents and there is the potential for them to take advantage of Jackson. Warner and Tannenbaum both also referenced the benefit of having an agent as a buffer to help ensure feelings don’t get hurt during negotiations. 
  • None of the three think Jackson will top Mahomes’ $45 million average at the top of the market, but he could be in the range or better than Texans QB Deshaun Watson ($39 million) or Cowboys QB Dak Prescott ($40 million). 

Bengals

  • The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. and Jay Morrison expect the Bengals to draft a running back very early on Day 3, which could mean the fourth or fifth round. 
  • Some names they mention to keep an eye on include Ohio State RB Trey Sermon, Virginia Tech RB Khalil Herbert and Louisiana-Lafayette RB Trey Ragas.
  • The NFLPA released its calculations for the performance-based pay benefit that was eliminated in 2020 but will still be paid by teams. Each team split $8.5 million between its players and payments are deferred to 2024. 
  • The top Bengals player was S Jessie Bates ($420,542).

Browns

  • BrownsZone.com’s Scott Petrak writes that he could see the Browns moving up from No. 26 in the first round to go after a cornerback. A defensive end is also an option, but Petrak thinks the tiers drop off sharply at corner compared to the latter. 
  • Petrak notes that Browns OL Drew Forbes, who opted out of this past season, has the chance to compete and make an impression this year to potentially take over for G Wyatt Teller, as Petrak points out 2021 is the final year of Teller’s deal and Cleveland has already committed several major contracts to offensive linemen. 
  • Auburn WR Eli Stove, who also returns kicks and punts and played gunner on special teams, has met virtually with the Browns. (Justin Melo)

Steelers

  • Free-agent and former Steelers CB Steven Nelson said on SiriusXM NFL Radio that he “outplayed his contract” and felt deserving of a contract extension that could’ve helped out Pittsburgh’s cap situation. (Mark Kaboly)
  • However, the Steelers informed Nelson representation that they could seek out a trade before releasing him outright.  
  • Nelson added that the Steelers never approached him about a pay cut from his $8.25 million salary for 2021. (Mark Kaboly)
  • As for Nelson’s market, he said “about 10-15 teams” are showing serious interest in him. (Mark Kaboly)

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