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Around the AFC North: Browns Hire Kevin Stefanski, Ending Head Coaching Carousel

011320 Around AFC North

Cleveland Browns: Kevin Stefanski Hired as Next Head Coach

Former Minnesota Vikings Offensive Coordinator Kevin Stefanski will be the next head coach of the Cleveland Browns, according to multiple sources. The team has not officially announced the hiring.

Stefanski and New England Patriots Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels were the two final candidates to interview. The Browns interviewed eight candidates in all, including Ravens Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman.

Stefanski was a favorite of Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta who reportedly wanted to hire Stefanski last year instead of Freddie Kitchens, who was fired after just one underachieving season.

Stefanski worked for the Vikings as an assistant for the past 13 years. In his first full year as the Vikings' offensive coordinator, Minnesota finished this season ranked 16th in offense and eighth in scoring. They suffered a divisional loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday in which they posted just 147 yards of total offense, but that didn't deter the Browns.

The Browns still have to hire a general manager after parting ways with John Dorsey. The reported "favorite" for the job is Philadelphia Eagles executive Andrew Berry.

The Browns' hire means all the head coaching openings have now been filled with Roman and Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale still on the Ravens' staff. Martindale interviewed with the New York Giants and was reportedly a leading candidate before they hired Joe Judge.

While the Ravens' divisional playoff loss stings, retaining both of their top-notch coordinators is excellent news moving forward.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Bill Cowher Elected to Hall of Fame Centennial Class

Former Steelers Head Coach Bill Cowher is going into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Cowher was formally named the first member of the centennial class when the Hall's president, David Baker, made the announcement live with Cowher on CBS's "NFL Today" just before the Ravens and Titans kicked off.

Cowher and his strong jaw coached the Steelers for 15 seasons. By the end, he had 149 regular-season wins, 12 playoff wins, 10 playoff seasons and a Super Bowl win. Cowher had just three seasons with a losing record, and his win total ranks 20th all time.

Cowher visited the Ravens this season before a CBS broadcast and rode a Blackhawk helicopter with Head Coach John Harbaugh. The two became friends during their USO tour to Iraq in 2009.

Cincinnati Bengals: Tough Decision With A.J. Green Looming

Wide receiver A.J. Green has been arguably the Bengals' best player and a seven-time Pro Bowler since he was drafted in 2011, but his run in Cincinnati could come to an end. Green did not play a snap this season after suffering an ankle injury in the first preseason practice. Now he's a pending unrestricted free agent.

Green was rumored to be potentially available via trade last offseason and at the deadline, but nothing came to fruition. Now the Bengals must decide whether to give him another big deal.

"The likely outcome is for the Bengals to use the franchise tag on Green, paying him around $17 million for the 2020 season. He has said he will begrudgingly accept playing on the tag," wrote ESPN’s Ben Baby.

"But that's a short-term solution that doesn't answer a major question. At some point, the Bengals have to decide if Green is worth a long-term commitment, one that likely won't be cheap."

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