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AFC North News and Notes: Trade Deadline Recap in the AFC North

Each week during the NFL season, I will be running through the top storylines from within the AFC North and giving my brief opinion on each matter that is discussed. Once the season gets into full swing, we oftentimes overlook many prevalent stories around the league, as we narrow our focus solely on our beloved Steelers. Hopefully this weekly piece will provide insight on the important topics in the AFC North and educate each reader on what to expect for each AFC North team moving forward.

With much to discuss and minimal time to discuss it, let’s dive right in!

Bengals hold onto Tee Higgins at Deadline

Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins was a topic of much discussion in the world of trade rumors this past week, but Cincinnati chose to keep him around for at least the remainder of this season. With only 19 catches for 218 yards and 2 touchdowns on the season, Higgins has been rather unproductive in 6 games this season, but once he gets back to full speed, fantasy owners should expect better production. The Bengals offense is finally looking like the offense we expected, and the team is only getting healthier. Cincinnati should be considered as dangerous a team as any in the AFC moving forward.

Browns Deal DPJ to Detroit

Former Michigan standout Donovan Peoples-Jones is heading back to an area he is quite familiar with. It was announced on Tuesday that the Browns were trading him to the Detroit Lions for a 2025 6th round pick. Peoples-Jones has not been as big a part of the offense this season as he was last season, as the Browns brought in additional weapons over the offseason. This has decreased his value to the Browns, but for a team like the Lions, depth matters. Albeit against an easy schedule, the Lions are 6-2 and in great position to make a postseason run, and adding another weapon at a bargain of a price tag is a no-brainer.

Steelers do not acquire Jaylon Johnson amid rumors

The Chicago Bears had given their star cornerback Jaylon Johnson permission to seek a trade right before the trade deadline, and one of the teams rumored to have interest was the Steelers. However, a trade was unable to be completed in time, resulting in Johnson finishing at least this season with the Bears. Johnson was a player I was favorable of coming out of Utah, as his length, consistency, and instincts made him look the part in college. He is reportedly seeking $15 million annually on a new deal, which will make him a major topic of conversation this Spring. Perhaps the Steelers will make a move for him in free agency.

Amongst other news, Kenny Pickett went down with a shoulder/rib injury on Sunday, but his status for Thursday’s game appears to be trending in the right direction. At the time of this article’s release, we may have a better idea about his status than at the time of this writing.

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