AFC North Notes: OBJ, RG3, Steelers

Developments over the past few days point to another complicated Odell Beckham Jr. offseason, but the Pro Bowler’s top Browns confidant does not believe he’s angling for a Cleveland departure. Multiple reports linked Beckham to being dissatisfied with his fit in the Browns’ offense, but Jarvis Landry said (video link via cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot) Thursday his longtime friend is not seeking to leave the team next year. Landry has outperformed Beckham this season, despite the latter being regarded as one of the game’s premier receivers and costing far more in a trade than the ex-Dolphin did. Beckham and Baker Mayfield have yet to form a reliable connection. It appears the Browns and their highest-profile player have a long way to go to ensure they are on the same page.

Heading into the Ravens’ opportunity to clinch their sixth AFC North title, is the latest from the AFC North:

  • Should the 11-2 Ravens win their next two games, they can lock up home-field advantage for the first time in franchise history. If that happens, do not expect Lamar Jackson to play in Week 17. If they can beat the Jets and Browns, the Ravens are expected to start Robert Griffin III in Week 17 against the Steelers, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com notes (Twitter link). This would certainly stand to aid the Steelers’ playoff hopes. RG3 has not started a game since 2016.
  • Speaking of the Steelers, they may not be able to afford Bud Dupree in free agency. Pittsburgh is unlikely to agree to terms on a long-term deal that would keep the improving outside linebacker off the market, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes. The Steelers could tag Dupree for nearly $16MM but do not have much cap space to make that work. (Though, they managed to work around similar constraints in tagging Le’Veon Bell twice.) The 2015 first-round pick has recorded a career-high (by far) 9.5 sacks this season.
  • The Steelers will attempt to keep nose tackle Javon Hargrave off the market, Dulac adds. Though, the fourth-year defensive lineman is expected to hit the market. Pittsburgh is projected to possess barely $5MM in cap space in 2020. The franchise’s propensity for restructuring deals notwithstanding, the team will face a difficult task extending Hargrave and Dupree before free agency opens.
  • Jonah Williams may not play in a game for the Bengals this year, but the first-round tackle will get in some practice work to close out a lost rookie season.
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12 comments on “AFC North Notes: OBJ, RG3, Steelers

  1. Jkolti

    I’m sure sitting Lamar in week 17 is mostly due to keeping him from being injured, but does anyone think it may factor in at all that theres a chance the steelers play the ravens in the playoffs, and after the chargers last year, the ravens wouldnt want the steelers to see lamar an extra time before the playoffs?

    • crosseyedlemon

      Lamar is no more at risk to get injured in week 17 than he was any of the prior 16 weeks so I would send him out there to throw 4 TDs and completely demoralize the Steelers. I don’t favor the idea of going on the defensive before the playoffs have even started but coaches have been successful using both approaches so we will just have to wait and see how it works out this year.

      • gozurman1

        It is not a matter of him having any more of a chance getting hurt than in any other game but if the game means nothing for the Ravens, why take the chance to have a lineman accidentally step on his ankle, or he hurts a knee or ankle just on a routine tackle but he lands awkwardly and there goes his knee? It is not a matter of any more of a chance but if they do not need the game, why put the offense’s most important player into a game and take the chance for a freak thing to happen to him?

        • crosseyedlemon

          You start by saying it’s not a matter of Lamar getting hurt then present the injury argument. If the game means nothing to the Ravens why not just forfeit and put no one at risk?

      • dorfmac

        There’s definitely a greater risk.

        Weeks 1-16 are already over and he’s not hurt = 0% risk.

        Week 17 is yet to play = >0% risk.

        Easy enough to eliminate that risk if there’s nothing on the line.

  2. steelerbravenation

    How is there only $5 million in cap space
    AB’s salary alone should provide more than that after this years cap hit

      • crosseyedlemon

        I prefer Spotrac even though my fantasy team there has become a rather large embarrassment.

  3. sufferfortribe

    I’ll be sooooo happy if the Browns can trade the prima donna. More drama than he’s worth.

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