AFC Notes: Steelers, Fins, Ravens, Bills

The Steelers would like to sign contract-year defensive end Stephon Tuitt to an extension before the start of the regular season, reports Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The 24-year-old is clearly open to a new deal with the Steelers, telling Fittipaldo: “I would love it here. It’s a blessing if they see me being here for the long term. I love the organization.” Locking up Tuitt could cost the Steelers $8MM to $9MM per year, and it probably won’t become a priority until later in the summer, writes Fittipaldo. Tuitt, a second-round pick in 2014, started 14 games in each of the past two seasons and combined for 10.5 sacks in those 28 contests. He also impressed Pro Football Focus last season, receiving its 19th-best grade among 127 qualified interior defensive linemen.

More from the AFC:

  • With the Dolphins having exercised his fifth-year option for 2018, right tackle Ja’Wuan James said Wednesday that “it’s good to know that I’m secure in the aspect of being here.” However, as Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald points out, the $9.431MM option is only guaranteed for injury, meaning James isn’t a lock to be on the team in 2018. James is actually at risk of ending up on the chopping block next offseason if he doesn’t rebound from what the team believes was a “frustratingly unspectacular” 2016, according to Salguero. James has started all 39 of his appearances since going 19th overall in 2014, and is coming off a 16-game season in which he graded as PFF‘s 32nd-best bookend. But the Dolphins are going to want more out of him if he’s going to stick around in 2018 at a high cost, per Salguero.
  • The Ravens will have to revise wide receiver Eric Decker‘s contract if their trade talks with the Jets lead to a deal, notes Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link). Decker has two years and nearly $15MM left on his contract, including an $8.75MM cap hit for 2017. The Ravens only have $5MM-plus in spending room at the moment.
  • Thanks to the injury waiver he previously signed, tight end Dennis Pitta will receive no additional compensation following his release from the Ravens, Mike Florio of PFT writes. Typically, when a player gets injured during offseason practices, he gets paid until healthy or receives his entire salary if he’s out for the year. However, Pitta’s waiver cleared the Ravens of financial responsibility in the event of another hip injury. The tight end has dislocated his hip multiple times in recent years.
  • Bills running back Jonathan Williams was arrested in Arkansas last July on a DUI charge, but the 23-year-old was found not guilty on Thursday, according to Mike Rodak of Assuming Williams dodges a suspension from the league, he’ll be in line to open the season as the Bills’ backup to LeSean McCoy. Mike Gillislee thrived in that role last season, but Buffalo lost him to the AFC East rival Patriots as a restricted free agent.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

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