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Around the AFC North: As an Era Ends, Steelers Still Optimistic About Ben Roethlisberger

Pittsburgh Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger watches from the sidelines during the second half of an NFL football game.
Pittsburgh Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger watches from the sidelines during the second half of an NFL football game.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Optimism Is High for Ben Roethlisberger's Return

Eli Manning retired. On Monday, the Chargers announced that Philip Rivers will not be returning. Tom Brady will reportedly hit free agency. The end of an era is here, or near.

Meanwhile, the Steelers are sticking with Ben Roethlisberger, who is coming off major elbow surgery and will turn 38 next month. He's the only quarterback from the Class of 2004 still standing with his original team.

Steelers President Art Rooney II is optimistic about a healthy Roethlisberger returning to form in 2020, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Roethlisberger went under the knife on Sept. 23, so he's been recovering and rehabbing for 4 1/2 months.

"So far, so good as far as Ben's progress," Rooney II said. "He's still early in his rehab situation, but all reports we're getting have been positive. We're really looking for him to improve as we work into the spring here."

Bleacher Report's Brad Gagnon wrote that the Steelers should cut ties with Roethlisberger and find a quarterback in free agency.

Cleveland Browns: Baker Mayfield Says 'I Put My Foot in My Mouth a Lot'

Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns were the toast of the NFL last offseason, and Mayfield certainly didn't shy away from the spotlight.

When the Browns' season didn't go as forecasted, Mayfield was understandably frustrated. And at times, that frustration spilled over into media spats.

After the Browns limped to a 6-10 finish, the often-outspoken Mayfield says he wants to change his ways this offseason.

"It's a humbling experience. It's a different ballgame," Mayfield said on ESPN's 'Get Up' in Miami. "Let's just be honest, I put my foot in my mouth a lot this past year.

"And I'm going to internalize that, and I think that's the way I need to handle it. Rest in peace Kobe, but that's the way he did it. He motivated himself, he didn't talk a lot, he talked to his teammates, drove them to be better people, better men. So that's the way I need to handle it. I don't need to respond to the things that don't matter, the things that don't help us win."

Mayfield appeared on the show with Rex Ryan, who once called Mayfield "overrated as hell," and the quarterback conceded that he didn't always handle things the right way last year.

In other Browns news, defensive end Myles Garrett met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Monday to make his case for reinstatement, per The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot. Garrett was suspended indefinitely after a Week 10 brawl with Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph.

Cincinnati Bengals: Top Draft Pick Could Delay 2020 Schedule Release

While there already is, and will continue to be, chatter about the possibility of the Cincinnati Bengals trading the first-overall pick to address more holes on their roster, LSU's Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow is still the heavy favorite to be their pick.

However, the league might delay the release of the 2020 schedule until after the NFL Draft to ensure that it gets Burrow and other top quarterbacks on primetime TV more, per Sports Business Journal's Ben Fischer. Traditionally, the schedule drops in mid-April and the draft is a couple weeks later.

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