The Steelers have been a perennial playoff contender in the AFC for the better part of the last 15 years, finishing below .500 just once during the 2000s, and winning two Super Bowls during that period. However, they’re one of a few AFC clubs, along with the Patriots and Broncos, whose title windows could conceivably close within the next three years or so, writes Field Yates of ESPN.com. In his Insider-only piece, Yates digs deeper on the three AFC teams, specifically focusing on Ben Roethlisberger‘s role in determining whether or not Pittsburgh remains in the Super Bowl hunt going forward.
Here’s more from around the AFC North:
- The Browns would like to extend the contracts of quarterback Brian Hoyer and tight end Jordan Cameron, but given the complicated nature of the negotiations, there’s a good chance talks will continue into training camp and beyond, writes Tom Reed of the Northeast Ohio Media Group.
- Sources tell Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report that Josh Gordon may ultimate receive a singular punishment from the NFL for his alleged failed drug tests and DUI, though it’s not clear yet whether that suspension will be for a full season. In any case, while some of Gordon’s Browns teammates feel betrayed after the wideout promised last year that he wouldn’t be in trouble again, every league official that spoke to Freeman believes Gordon will play in the NFL again, either in Cleveland or elsewhere.
- ESPN.com’s Jamison Hensley examines some former Ravens who are still counting against the team’s cap in 2014, including Titans safety Bernard Pollard and Giants linebacker Jameel McClain.