Speaking of which…

    1024 703 Ravenous128

    The season just kind of came and went, didn’t it?

    Speaking as a doom-and-gloom prognosticator, I was surprised by the AFC North’s final standings.  At season’s outset, the Ravens were considered an ascending but developmentally raw 8-8, 9-7-ish team.  Even with some notable free agent defections, the Steelers were the sentimental favorites to reclaim the division.  The Browns were the upstart, talent-laden team with a chippy attitude, ready to elbow their way into Super Bowl consideration.  And the Bengals were…the Bengals.  Funny how time makes fools of us all…again.  Speaking of which…

    This largely flew under the proverbial radar, but wideout A.J. Green is a candidate for the franchise tag if the Bengals can’t reach a deal with him prior to 2020’s free agency negotiating period.  If, as the article implies, the Bengals are committed to doing so, it would represent a bit of a snub for a player that, while injury-prone, has represented the organization very, very well.  The question is whether Green is willing to play on the tag as opposed to a long-term deal elsewhere.  Given the dearth of competent wideouts in the NFL, Green’s sure to receive some outlandish offers; the question is how far the Bengals would go to accommodate them and him.  Speaking of which…

    The Steelers are facing negotiations with a number of their free agents, most notably OLB Alvin “Bud” Dupree, whose resurgence in 2019 has fueled speculation the Steelers might franchise-tag him to keep him off the market.  The article notes fellow OLB and pro-bowler T.J. Watt is due for free agency in 2021, so the question is how quickly the Steelers would want to begin negotiations with him, rather than bank on another productive year from Dupree.  One would say “it’s a good problem to have”, given the performance issues shown by Dupree prior to 2019.  Speaking of which…

    It’s already old news, but Browns’ soon-to-be-terminated offensive coordinator Todd Monken was reportedly bad-mouthing the operations and play-calling of deposed head coach Freddie Kitchens before games, referring to them as a “total mess”.  Um, Todd?  You were presumably a contributing member to that total mess’ makeup, so perhaps you should’ve considered preserving your reputation and simply keeping your mouth shut regardless of the circumstances.  Whether you buy the debatable accuracy of Monken’s statements or not, this sort of bad-faith behavior, while unverified, is indicative of a me-first coach that shouldn’t have been hired in the first place.  Given this incident, it’s doubtful we’ll see him in the NFL again anytime soon.  Speaking of which…

    The Ravens’ sought-after coordinators, Greg Roman and Don “Wink” Martindale, have said all the usual things in the wake of several head coaching interview requests.  Both have predictably deferred deeper questions about coaching philosophies until the Ravens’ current playoff run concludes, keeping any discussions private thus far.  Ravens fans are certainly used to coordinators departing; four moved on to become head coaches during current head coach John Harbaugh’s tenure, with mixed results.  Best of luck to Roman and Martindale, both long-time NFL names that seem to have earned their chances the right way.

     

    No AFCN football this weekend, fellas.  Go do something productive for a change.

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