Around the AFC North: Jadeveon Clowney Could Still Land in Cleveland

062220---AFC-North
Seattle Seahawks DE Jadeveon Clowney

Cleveland Browns: Jadeveon Clowney Could Boomerang Back

Star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney reportedly turned down the Browns once, but don't rule out him landing in Cleveland when all is said and done.

Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot reports that the Browns are still in "wait-and-see mode" with Clowney, who in one of the more surprising free-agent twists during a strange offseason is still without a team.

"I don't believe that Clowney doesn't want to play for the Browns," Cabot wrote. "I believe he probably has a team or two he'd rather play for, and that he's holding out to see if one of those teams ante up and sign him."

Clowney has talked about his desire to stay with the Seattle Seahawks, and his former Houston Texans coach Mike Vrabel is the head coach of the Tennessee Titans.

But the Browns are believed to have the richest multi-year contract offer on the table and are willing to pay top dollar at $15 million for a one-year deal, per Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer. Breer still thinks Seattle is the most logical destination for Clowney, but it "still hinges on what team will meet his price, and how his price may differ from one place to the next."

"The Browns, who'll run a variation of the Seattle defensive scheme and have Myles Garrett to play opposite him, wouldn't be the worst choice either," Breer wrote. "That's so long as Clowney can get past the Browns' turbulent past. And we'll see on that."

Cincinnati Bengals: 'Mysterious' Contract Extension Talks Have Begun With A.J. Green

There have long been rumors about the potential end of A.J. Green's tenure with the Cincinnati Bengals. He was talked about frequently as a trade target at last year's deadline, and there were questions about whether the Bengals would retain him this offseason as he hit free agency.

Well the Bengals put the franchise tag on him, and it looks like the wide receiver who has given the Ravens fits when healthy might not be going anywhere for a while.

The Bengals have begun talks with Green's agent on a contract extension, but it's still a complicated situation.

"The Bengals franchised Green and will pay him $17.971 million this year if they can't reach an extension deal by July 15," ESPN's Dan Graziano wrote.

"There have been contract talks between Green and the Bengals, but his situation remains mysterious after he missed the 2019 season because of injury. If he's healthy and can't come to an agreement, could Green be trade bait for WR-needy teams on the July/August market?"

Bengals.com's Geoff Hobson also believes Green's injury history is complicating matters, especially given that the team hasn't seen him on a field because of COVID-19.

"Green didn't play a game last year, he's basically missed the last season-and-a-half with ankle and toe injuries and they haven't put hands on him since the end of this last season," Hobson wrote. "I think they'd love to sign him long-term. I also think they'd like to see him run a go route before they hand over the guarantee, but the timetables don't look to be matched up."

Pittsburgh Steelers: Team Captain Cam Heyward Speaks Up on Big Issues

One of the biggest and most respected voices in Pittsburgh's locker room is that of veteran defensive tackle Cameron Heyward. So when he talks, it's as if it represents the Steelers as a whole.

Heyward spoke about the two prevailing topics around the NFL right now – social justice efforts and potential protests of players once the season starts, and whether the 2020 season will happen at all due to COVID-19.

In the case of the former, the Steelers are looking to stay out of the spotlight unlike in 2017 when they were a flashpoint during the kneeling controversy after left tackle and Army veteran Alejandro Villanueva was the lone Steelers player on the field during the national anthem before a game in Chicago.

"No one really paid attention to the issues Colin Kapernick was talking about [in 2016]," Heyward said, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "They were mostly concerned with what he was doing rather than his message. I think this time around you see the evidence. You see what he was talking about. He wasn't just blowing smoke. These are real issues that really affect our communities."

Whether the players will even take the field for games is another matter, and Heyward is particularly attuned to the debate about how to do so safely considering he is at higher risk because he's a huge man with asthma.

"It's a slippery slope because I feel like so much of football is contact," Heyward said, via ESPN's Brooke Pryor. "Especially in the trenches, guys literally going at each other every single play. I know there's been talks about different helmets. I would love for that to be the end-all, but there are a lot of moving parts.

"Football is going to have to change a lot. I heard someone say this before, but it's not like COVID needs to bend to football. Football has got to bend to COVID. We're going to have to really make some sacrifices to our game to make sure this is even possible and to make sure our players are healthy."

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