AFC Rumors: Kenny Pickett, Tee Higgins, Odell Beckham, Bengals, Browns, Ravens, Steelers


  • ESPN’s Dan Graziano mentions there was a belief at the Combine that the reason the Bengals placed the franchise tag on WR Tee Higgins so early in the window was to signal to other teams they were willing to listen to trade offers. 
  • According to Kelsey Conway of the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Bengals are looking at all options at the safety position to fill the holes left by Jessie Bates III and Vonn Bell last offseason.
  • Conway notes it “seems highly likely” they will go with a veteran in free agency to add to the room.
  • After a good season from S Jordan Battle, Conway says he is expected to remain the starter. Conway states Cincinnati will be looking to fill a void at free safety this offseason.


  • According to Zac Jackson of The Athletic, the Browns think QB Deshaun Watson is on track with his recovery from shoulder surgery. Jackson can see the Browns restructuring Watson’s contract to reduce his 2024 salary cap figure.
  • In regards to the receiver position, Jackson expects the Browns to try to add some “juice to the receiving corps” but he doesn’t think it’s necessarily the highest priority for Cleveland this offseason.
  • Jackson gets the sense that the Browns want Za’Darius Smith back, but it’s unlikely they will rush to get a deal done.
  • Interestingly enough, Jackson could see the Browns exploring trades for veteran players in return for either their No. 54 or No. 85 overall pick this year.
  • Jackson can see the Browns signing Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah to an extension this offseason.
  • The Browns are expected to sign a third quarterback, but Jackson notes that GM Andrew Berry has been careful not to say they will bring Joe Flacco back.
  • As for Nick Chubb, Jackson expects him to be back with the team, likely on a contract that reduces his salary cap figure and possibly includes a pay cut.


  • Per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Ravens came up as a potential fit for Saints WR Michael Thomas as a free agent. Baltimore isn’t expected to re-sign WR Odell Beckham Jr. and they value veteran experience at the position. An NFC scout told Fowler: “When [Thomas] is out there and healthy, he affects the game.”


  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler lists the Raiders as one of the teams on the radar for a Bears QB Justin Fields trade. 
  • Fowler notes Steelers OC Arthur Smith had a good meeting with QB Kenny Pickett in Florida and the team wants to try and rebuild their former first-rounder. He adds there’s a sentiment from both league and team sources that Pickett gets another chance as the starter in 2024. 
  • Per Fowler, the Steelers also plan to bring in competition for Pickett, with QB Mason Rudolph a strong candidate. 

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