HomeTrade RumorsNotes on AFC Players: D.J. Reader, Dalvin Cook, and Teams: Bengals, Ravens,...

Notes on AFC Players: D.J. Reader, Dalvin Cook, and Teams: Bengals, Ravens, Steelers

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Bengals DT D.J. Reader, who is an impending free agent, said he expects the organization to keep its “core group” of players around.

“I don’t see the core group dying off. You always have certain guys and maybe those guys were meant to be those types of guys,” Reader said, via Geoff Hobson of the team’s site. “They’re drafted,they’re here in important positions and that’s going to be freaking awesome for years to come. There’s really no core guys leaving.”

Reader didn’t name himself among Cincinnati’s core players and listed QB Joe Burrow, LB Germaine Pratt, LB Logan Wilson, DE Trey Hendrickson, DE Sam Hubbard, OL Ted Karras, and CB Cam Taylor-Britt.

“Joe, Germaine, Logan. You’ve got all these guys. Trey, Sam. These guys are still here. Teddy K (arras) is now a core guy. They’ve been through it. There’ll be people here for a long time that are a part of this. Young guys. CTB. (Cam Taylor-Britt). Guys who played and are now a part of the core. You can’t ever change that.”

Bengals RT Jonah Williams had high praise of QB Jake Browning and thinks he proved himself as an NFL quarterback.

“To do it on a team with so much expectations like ours, that’s a tough situation. Especially for a backup quarterback. I thought he carried himself really well. Confident but humble,” Williams said. “I think he proved to the organization and the league that he can play quarterback in the NFL as a starter or backup. And he’s a great locker room guy.”


  • Ravens RB Dalvin Cook said he was “really close” to originally signing with Baltimore last offseason before electing to join the Jets, via Jeff Zrebiec.
  • Cook said he had other opportunities aside from the Ravens but felt it was a no-brainer to sign with the team: “It wasn’t the only opportunity for me, but when this door opened up, I was the first one to walk in it. It was a no-brainer for me, man.” (Zrebiec)
  • Ravens DT Michael Pierce‘s new two-year, $7.5 million extension includes a $2.5 million signing bonus and base salaries of $1.25 million and $1.255 million in the new years of the deal. His 2024 salary is guaranteed. (Over The Cap)
  • The deal also includes a $250,000 workout bonus in 2024 and a $245,000 bonus in 2025. There are three void years and what looks like a $2 million option bonus in 2025.


  • When asked about overcoming the odds of being the Steelers’ third quarterback into starting their upcoming Wildcard game, QB Mason Rudolph said he’s faced a “mental battle” during his time in Pittsburgh but always remained focused on taking advantage of his reps: “When you don’t get a whole lot of interest in free agency and you’re No. 3, it’s definitely a mental battle. The way to win that battle is work every day and be thankful for the reps you’re given,” via Ray Fittipaldo.
  • Steelers LB Myles Jack doesn’t think HC Mike Tomlin‘s role at the organization is in jeopardy: “I’ve been on teams where it’s a real hot seat, and it is pretty much known that that person that’s there today ain’t going to be there next season … In my opinion, I would think [Tomlin’s current seat] was freezing, as cold as outside,” via Brooke Pryor.

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