Around the AFC North: Steelers Not Ruling Out Trading Antonio Brown Within AFC North

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Steelers: Not Ruling Out Trading Antonio Brown Within AFC North

Trade talks involving Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown could intensify this week at the NFL combine, with the league's front office personnel assembled in Indianapolis. Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert made it clear the Steelers would only trade Brown if they received hefty compensation in return.

"We will only make a trade if it benefits the Pittsburgh Steelers," Colbert said. "[Brown] knows that. His representation knows that. That's been clearly explained, and we're willing to take a look. If there's something that can be done to benefit both sides, great. If not, then we'll deal with that when we get to it. Anything we do has to benefit us. If it doesn't, then it won't."

Brown has more than 1,000 yards receiving in six consecutive seasons and is one of the game's most dynamic playmakers. It is reasonable to think the Steelers would never trade Brown to another team in the AFC North. But for Ravens fans dreaming of seeing Brown in Baltimore, Colbert left a glimmer of hope.

"Ideally, you want to trade him to a somebody that you'll never play," Colbert said. "But you can't do that. If you're good enough to get to the Super Bowl, you have to play him anyway.

"The less you would play him, the better. But if an [AFC North] team comes through with the best compensation, you have to balance that out. We're going to play him twice a year, but we're going to get the best compensation. You have to weigh that into the discussions. We haven't eliminated anybody."

Colbert said last week that three teams had inquired about Brown. On Wednesday, he said "interest has grown." However, Colbert said the Steelers would proceed with caution.

"Antonio Brown's one of the best players in the National Football League," Colbert said.[period] "If you decide to take a player like that off your time, you best have the compensation that would justify removing that player."

Browns: Freddie Kitchens Says Browns Determined to Help Kareem Hunt

The Cleveland Browns made the controversial move to sign running back Kareem Hunt on Feb. 11, and Head Coach Freddie Kitchens stood by that decision at the Combine on Wednesday.

Hunt was released by the Kansas City Chiefs in late November, after a video surfaced of Hunt shoving a kicking a woman during a February 2018 incident at a Cleveland hotel. The NFL has yet to finish its investigation into the incident, and Hunt remains ineligible to play on the Commissioner's Exempt list, facing a possible lengthy suspension.

Hunt led the NFL in rushing yards (1,327) in 2017 and scored 14 touchdowns in 11 games in 2018 before being released. However, Kitchens said the Browns' primary goal was to help Hunt off the field, before they worried about how he might help them win games.

"Right now, Kareem Hunt is a Cleveland Brown and it's our job to support him to be a better person," Kitchens said. "Listen, at some point, football is going to end for all these guys. It's our job as coaches, and as people, and as mentors to give them something to do in a good nature, 50 years after their football careers have ended. We're in the people business, to make him a better person, to give him the resources and the support system he needs."

Kitchens does not think it will be harder for Hunt to avoid trouble in his native Ohio, where the hotel incident took place.

"Kareem has to show remorse, be willing to make a change," Kitchens said. "He's shown us that. He could be in Kansas City, Cleveland, that doesn't matter. In a lot of ways, it's more important for Kareem to make those advances and to evolve into a better person in his hometown. That's where he's going to do the most good.

"We never justify anything that's happened. But there's some good that can come out of this if he keeps evolving and keeps doing the things he has to do. We'll worry about the football stuff later. But right now, we're in the Kareem Hunt business of making him a better person. I've talked to Kareem on several occasions. He's very remorseful about what he's done. Now it's our job to move forward and support him."

Bengals: Zac Taylor Believes in Coaching Staff He Has Assembled

First-year Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach Zac Taylor is 35 years old and a first-time head coach. Both his offensive coordinator (Brian Callahan) and defensive coordinator (Lou Anarumo) are first-time NFL coordinators. The search for a defensive coordinator was a lengthy process.

However, Taylor said he feels confident his coaching staff is the right one to help Bengals bounce back from a 6-10 season that resulted in the firing of long-time head coach Marvin Lewis.

"It was about getting the right people," Taylor said. "You don't want to make that mistake and rush to hire people, who a year from now you're going to regret. I feel very confident we've found the right coaching staff. It's a good group and they're going to be able to get the most out of these players."

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