AFC Notes: Tee Higgins, Denzel Ward, Bengals, Browns, Steelers


  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler talked about the notion that the Bengals might use the franchise tag on WR Tee Higgins again next season: “He is not likely to be franchise tagged that next year because that would be a huge number and the Bengals are trying to budget for No. 1 Ja’Marr Chase, who some believe is the best receiver in the NFL next to Justin Jefferson. And so, they want to prioritize him; Burrow, Chase together long-term. It’s complicated though because Chase has two years left on his rookie contract and they don’t have to do it right now.” (Tyler Conway)


Browns CB Denzel Ward said DC Jim Schwarz has added “a few more wrinkles” into his system this offseason 

“We already got our playbook in from last year, but he added a few more wrinkles in there, a few more plays, and just playing off things that we already do out there. And I think it’s going to be some good additions to our team that I think is going to help us out there on the defensive side of the ball,” Ward said, via BrownsWire. 


Mark Kaboly of The Athletic reviewed the Steelers’ offseason so far and labeled select players as winners or losers.

  • Kaboly called TE Pat Freiermuth his biggest winner because of his fit in new OC Arthur Smith’s scheme.
  • Pittsburgh QB Russell Wilson is Kaboly’s second-biggest winner, as he believes there’s not much Wilson can do to keep him from starting Week 1. 
  • First-round OT Troy Fautanu is Kaboly’s biggest loser because he is behind RT Dan Moore Jr. on the initial depth chart.
  • Because C Zach Frazier didn’t get any first-team reps, Kaboly has him as the second-biggest loser. 

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