Cincinnati Bengals: Will Offensive Lineman Still Be Choice at No. 5 After Adding Riley Reiff?
Joe Burrow was sacked more than any quarterback in the AFC North last season (32 times), despite playing just 10 games before suffering a season-ending knee injury.
Improving Burrow's protection is a top priority for the Cincinnati Bengals this offseason, and they addressed that need by signing free agent right tackle Riley Reiff last week.
A steak dinner with Burrow and other team members helped convince Reiff to sign with the Bengals. He believes Cincinnati's rebuild is headed in the right direction, and he believes in Burrow's ability as a franchise quarterback.
"I walked away from eating that steak and I was like, 'I want to block for this guy,''' Reiff said via ESPN.com.
Adding Reiff gives the Bengals more options with the No. 5 pick in the draft, but they could double-down on protecting Burrow by taking another offensive lineman. Many pundits believe the Bengals should still take Oregon left tackle Penei Sewell, who would join Reiff to give Burrow bookend protection at the tackle spots.
If the Bengals would rather add an offensive playmaker for Burrow, Florida tight end Kyle Pitts and LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase are also possibilities at No. 5. But by signing Reiff, the Bengals have made it clear they are focused on keeping Burrow healthy in 2021.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Steven Nelson Expected to Leave
While the Steelers were happy to re-sign wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster last week, their defense is expected to lose starting cornerback Steven Nelson. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Nelson will either be traded or released, and NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said Smith-Schuster's new contract made it more difficult for the Steelers to keep Nelson.
Losing Nelson would be the second hit to the Steelers during free agency at the cornerback position. The Steelers have already lost cornerback Mike Hilton (Cincinnati Bengals), and the front seven suffered a loss when outside linebacker Bud Dupree signed with the Tennessee Titans.
The Steelers expect to have a potent passing attack again in 2021 with Ben Roethlisberger back and Smith-Schuster and other dangerous weapons in the fold. However, Pittsburgh may have to focus on defense in the draft to replace some of its offseason departures.
Cleveland Browns: Inside Linebacker Anthony Walker Added to Defense
The Browns have an abundance of offensive talent led by Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry and Austin Hooper. However, they're devoting this offseason to giving All-Pro defensive end Myles Garrett more help. Inside linebacker Anthony Walker became the third defensive free agent Cleveland has signed, joining safety John Johnson III and cornerback Troy Hill, both formerly with the Los Angeles Rams.
Walker built a reputation as a team leader with the Indianapolis Colts, and Browns Head Coach Kevin Stefanski believes his new linebacker brings important attributes.
"We're adding another smart, tough football player to the fold," Stefanski said via Yahoo Sports. "This is a guy that plays hard, plays fast, plays nasty."
Colts linebacker Darius Leonard was not happy to see Walker leave, expressing his thoughts on social media. Leonard made it clear that Walker will be missed in Indianapolis.