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Around the AFC North: Bengals Have a Logjam for Contract Extensions

Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson (55) runs for the play during an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in Cincinnati.
Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson (55) runs for the play during an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Bengals: Logan Wilson May Have to Be Patient for Contract Extension 

Inside linebacker Logan Wilson has been the Bengals' leading tackler the past two seasons, but he may need patience waiting for a new contract. 

The Bengals are hoping to reach long-term agreements this offseason with both quarterback Joe Burrow and wide receiver Tee Higgins. Cincinnati exercised the fifth-year option on Burrow's contract last month, but signing him to a longer deal remains a top priority, while the Bengals have also been adamant about keeping Higgins in the fold. 

That leaves Wilson on the verge of entering the final year of his rookie deal without a second contract in place. Wilson said recently that no progress had been made in contract talks. 

"Not that I know of yet," Wilson said via Kelsey Conway of the Cincinnati Enquirer. "We've talked about it so hopefully get something done. It's really not up to me. That's what I have an agent for."

Wilson underwent shoulder surgery in February of 2022 and responded with a career-high 123 tackles last season. If Wilson is facing a contract year in 2023, he sounds ready to have another strong season. 

"It's the best my shoulder has felt since I've gotten surgery," Wilson said.

Pittsburgh Steelers: First-Round Pick Broderick Jones Got Mike Tomlin's Attention 12 Months Ago 

The Steelers traded up from No. 17 to No. 14 to draft Broderick Jones because they believe he's their starting left tackle of the future. 

Head Coach Mike Tomlin said Jones jumped onto his radar in 2022 during a visit to Georgia's campus. 

"I was in Athens a year ago and took a group of his former teammates out 12 months ago, and I said, 'Give me a name that we're going to be back for in 12 months,'" Tomlin said via Teresa Varley of "And universally, Broderick's name was the guy's name that we got 12 months ago. That was the first time I really heard his name. In investigating, I see why they held him in such high regard. He's a really good player right now. But the upside is tremendous." 

Jones thinks Pittsburgh provides the right environment to reach his full potential. 

"It's just the energy, the vibe, the people, coaches," said Jones. "I feel like I fit right in. Ever since my first conversation with Coach Tomlin, I could just tell he was a great dude. I'm glad to be here with him, opening a window, just soaking up all the knowledge I can."

Cleveland Browns: GM Andrew Berry Explains Why Browns Will Travel to Start Training Camp 

The Browns have announced a change to their schedule for training camp, opening on the road at The Greenbrier in West Virginia (July 22-20) with practices that will be closed to the public. General Manager Andrew Berry said starting on the road will help the team focus, and it was something that Head Coach Kevin Stefanski wanted. 

"I know it's something Kevin did every year in Minnesota," Berry said, via ESPN radio. "Having that hyper-focus on football, we felt was a good thing."

Berry is looking for quarterback Deshaun Watson to elevate his play, now that his 11-game suspension to start the 2022 season is behind him. 

"We expect a lot out of Deshaun this year," Berry said. "The reality of it is, none of us really know and every season's different. But we're optimistic. He's worked his tail off. He's spent a lot of time with his teammates, a lot of time with his coaches, and he's a very gifted football player. So we're excited once he actually really hits the grass andhas formal practices."

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