Amazon Prime Day NFL Deals: One gift for fans of each NFL team

The holidays have come early for NFL fans thanks to Amazon Prime’s Early Access Sale.

While Prime Day has come and gone for 2022, Amazon is giving Prime members another reason to be thankful this holiday season.

Amazon Prime Early Access Sale is a two-day event exclusive to Prime subscribers, who can start their holiday shopping with thousands of exclusive discounts.

We know just how challenging it can be to shop for the NFL fan in your life, so we put together a list to ensure no fan gets forgotten this year.

Looking for some team apparel? Got it. Big tailgater? No problem. Want a Halloween costume that shows your fandom? We got you covered.

If you see something you like, but it’s featured in your rival’s colors, don’t worry. Almost all of the items below can be found sporting the colors of your favorite NFL team.

 

AFC North watch: Injuries bite hard in Week 1

Here’s a quick look around the AFC North division and the aftermath of Week 1.

The Cleveland Browns needed every last yard in Carolina to win in Week 1. Cade York’s epic game-winning field goal looks even bigger when taking a gander around the AFC North.

Cleveland needed the win to stay with the pack early, with three of the four teams in the division seizing victories in Week 1. But they could be Pyrrhic victories for Baltimore and Pittsburgh, while the Bengals have some major clean-up to do after an error-filled loss to the Steelers.

Here’s a quick look around the AFC North division and the aftermath of Week 1.

AFC North Update: TJ Watt leaves win with likely torn pec muscle

AFC North note: Steelers likely lost Watt for the year in their win versus the Bengals

The Cleveland Browns weren’t the only AFC North team to deal with a close game that came down to a field goal. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals played late into overtime in a game that was full of mistakes.

Each team missed a field goal in overtime while QB Joe Burrow threw four interceptions.

With new QB Mitchell Trubisky not making mistakes while throwing for 194 yards and a touchdown, the Steelers eeked out the victory. Cincinnati failed to run the clock down on their final punt which gave Pittsburgh just enough time to kick the game-winner.

Unfortunately, not all the news was positive for the Steelers.

T.J. Watt, one of the best edge rusher in the league, may have lost for the season with a torn pec. He seemed to say as much as he was leaving the field:

Later, we got a report that the Steelers believe that had happened but would await tests to confirm:

Alex Highsmith becomes Pittsburgh’s top pass rusher along with DL Cameron Heyward. Both Highsmith and Heyward had injuries during Week as well but neither were as serious as Watt. Highsmith led the team with three sacks against the Bengals.

Watt’s injury is likely to be confirmed sometime tomorrow if not earlier.

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AFC North Watch: Lamar Jackson contract talk deadline is Friday

Watson’s huge guaranteed contract could have an impact on two AFC North teams starting with Baltimore which has a Friday deadline to get a deal done with their QB

The Cleveland Browns were one of the biggest storylines of the offseason specifically around the quarterback position. Early reports at the NFL combine were that the team would build around QB Baker Mayfield unless a clear upgrade was available.

Shortly after, the team pursued QB Deshaun Watson, flying down to Houston to speak with him. Mayfield requested a trade, it was reported that Watson had eliminated Cleveland before a twist of fate and choosing the Browns finally.

Mayfield was traded to Carolina while Watson was given the largest guaranteed contract in the NFL.

It is that final part that may have the biggest impact on the NFL and especially within the AFC North.

The Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals both have franchise quarterbacks who will be looking for new contracts soon. For the Ravens, that happens this offseason as QB Lamar Jackson is set for free agency.

Jackson has been negotiating with Baltimore on his own without an agent but stated earlier this offseason that he would not negotiate during the season. Wednesday we found out the exact deadline is Friday:

It is believed that guaranteed dollars are one of the biggest sticking points between the two parties due to what Cleveland gave Watson.

The Ravens can use the franchise tag on Jackson for the 2023 and 2024 seasons if they are unable to work out a long-term deal.

We will keep you up to date on the AFC North throughout the season. The division is highly competitive which makes news from the other teams important news for the Browns.

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Kenny Pickett brings clarity to Steelers’ quarterback confusion

Touchdown Wire’s Laurie Fitzpatrick dives into the Steelers’ QB competition, and why Kenny Pickett is staking his claim.

Coming into the 2022 season, the Pittsburgh Steelers find themselves undefined at the quarterback position for the first time since 2004. That’s the year in which the team selected Ben Roethlisberger out of Miami (Ohio) with the 11th overall pick in that draft. Roethlisberger spent the next 18 season establishing a Hall of Fame resume, but with his retirement, the Steelers are looking to replace him in every possible way.

There’s Mason Rudolph, on the roster since the Steelers took him out of Oklahoma State in the third round of the 2018 draft. There’s former Bears first-round pick and Bills backup Mitch Trubisky, signed to a two-year, $14.3 million contract with $5.25 million guaranteed. And there’s Pitt alum Kenny Pickett, selected with the 20th pick in the 2022 draft.

That’s a lot of moving parts, and not a lot of definition at the game’s most important position. Through two preseason games, Pickett has muddied the waters for anyone who thought that Trubisky would be the de facto starter.

Right now, Pickett has a 142.5 quarterback rating with only three incompletions and three touchdowns on only 22 dropbacks.

Not only did Pickett understand and exploit his pre-snap reads, but he played with great anticipation and trusted his receivers to make plays; especially in the two-minute drive before the half last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Let’s dive into the film to break down why Pickett is making the starting quarterback position a battle in the Steelers’ camp!

Bengals receivers disdain Browns corners; Ward, Newsome respond

Bengals say it is “on sight” when they see Browns corners, Ward and Newsome respond. They could have referenced the Browns four straight victories over the Bengals as well:

The Cleveland Browns may have rivalries in name with teams in the AFC North but their decade-long struggles have minimized the rivalries on the field. The playoff victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers was a fun start to try to revive that long-storied rivalry but both teams have new quarterbacks since then.

The team ripped from the heart of Cleveland by Art Modell has dominated the team that replaced them but the Baltimore Ravens suffered through many injuries last year but still swept the Browns.

It is the Cincinnati Bengals that Cleveland has had more recent success against including last year. Despite the Bengals making the Super Bowl, the answer to the question “Who Dey (think gonna beat them Bengals)?” was the Browns. The 41-16 and 21-16 victories weren’t enough for Cleveland to make the playoffs but the wins made an impact.

The last time Cincinnati beat their in-state rival was Week 17 of the 2019 season. The last time the Browns lost at home to the Bengals was Week 4 of the 2017 season.

Cincinnati’s receivers are particularly focused on facing Cleveland’s cornerbacks:

Denzel Ward took notes and responded on Instagram (as recorded below):

Second-year corner Greg Newsome II, who was mentioned in the video above, also took note of the comments:

 

The Bengals have a talented trio of receivers in Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd. Unfortunately for Cincinnati, that receiver talent hasn’t led to victories over Cleveland very often recently.

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After requesting a trade, Roquan Smith could join the AFC North

Could Smith’s trade demand find him landing in the AFC North?

The Cleveland Browns are not the only team dealing with drama this offseason. The Chicago Bears, in the midst of a change in regimes, joined the fray on Tuesday. Star LB Roquan Smith demanded a trade from the Bears after contract negotiations didn’t go the way he wanted.

For the Browns, a trade for Smith is highly unlikely. The team has invested in Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah for the long-term and values what Anthony Walker does for them at the position. Jacob Phillips has a chance to bounce back after injuries have limited him.

After the trade for QB Deshaun Watson, Cleveland also doesn’t have a lot of draft resources to spare either.

Smith still could be making his way to the AFC North, however. While the Cincinnati Bengals are being frugal with their star safety, they join the Browns as unlikely to pursue the Chicago linebacker.

On the other hand, the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers may be in the market for a linebacker. Both teams have spent first-round draft picks at the position but have not gotten the performance they would have wanted from Patrick Queen and Devin Bush.

The Steelers already declined Bush’s fifth-year option.

Baltimore and Pittsburgh have been known to be aggressive, especially in building their defense. One analyst pegged the Ravens as the best fit:

Smith’s situation will be interesting to monitor. The AFC has loaded up with quality quarterbacks so bringing in better defenders may be a requirement. The AFC North seems up in the air this year, any team adding Smith is likely to improve their chances in the division.

Stayed tuned to Bears Wire, our sister site, for everything related to Roquan Smith’s trade request.

AFC North: Mason Rudolph could win Steelers starting QB job

After signing Trubisky early in free agency and drafting Pickett with their first-round pick, what would it say about the Steelers if Rudolph wins the job?

The Cleveland Browns are not the only team with question marks at the quarterback position. While the Deshaun Watson story is the biggest lingering issue, a couple of other quarterback issues linger in the AFC North.

The Baltimore Ravens are set at the position with Lamar Jackson but the two sides have not been able to lock up a long-term extension. With Jackson, along with his mother, acting as his own agent the negotiations could get interesting.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are far more of an unknown at the most important position in the league.

The Steelers, looking to replace the retired Ben Roethlisberger, signed Mitchell Trubisky quickly this offseason. While the two-year deal isn’t huge, it could be worth $27 million if incentivizes are met. A little over a month later, Pittsburgh used their first-round pick to draft Kenny Pickett.

Despite both of those moves, Mason Rudolph could be the team’s starting quarterback for 2022:

“Mason’s getting the second reps right now, almost equal to, maybe slightly less than Mitch,” Canada said, via Pro Football Talk. “He’s being given a very fair shot. To this point in camp, it might have been exactly equal. Mason has made a lot of plays at times, he’s played very well at times for us. He’s got a great shot at it. He’s being treated that way. His history with our plays, with our system, is a positive for him,”

Rudolph signed a one-year, $5 million extension during the 2021 season.

The former third-round pick has played in a total of 17 games since being drafted in 2018. He has completed 61.5% of his passes with 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He may be most famous for the altercation where Browns DE Myles Garrett hit Rudolph with his own Steelers helmet.

Also involved in that tussle, new Pittsburgh teammate Larry Ogunjobi said he and the quarterback talked it over already. Another teammate thinks Rudolph doesn’t get enough credit:

Should Rudolph win the job out of training camp, it will call into question the moves for Trubisky and Pickett. It could also lead to multiple changes at the position throughout the year.

The Steelers have been successful with lesser QB play at different times including late in Roethlisberger’s career and Devlin “Duck” Hodges. Yet, it is hard to see the team competitive in a division with Jackson, Watson (for however many games) and recent Super Bowl participant Joe Burrow with their current triumvirate of quarterbacks.

Bengals Jessie Bates won’t report to camp; Watson’s contract’s indirect impact

The Bengals owner joked about it when discussing their financial decisions but Bates’ not reporting to training camp could be a cash issue:

Somewhere between “the salary cap is a myth” and “the salary cap keeps teams from keeping good players” is the truth.

The NFL uses the salary cap primarily as an accounting tool to keep teams in line with each other and encourage parity. Every dollar paid to a player must be accounted against the cap somehow. The creativity comes with the ability to decide when that happens.

The use of bonuses has long been a tool to spread cap hits out. Recently, teams have started using void years in contracts to do the same.

Generally, the salary cap doesn’t keep teams from retaining their top talent but often can cost them some of the middle-of-the-roster guys.

The Cincinnati Bengals, seemingly, have gone cheap with their franchise safety Jessie Bates and, now, he won’t be reporting to training camp:

According to the team’s owner, retaining other players like Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase is the highest priority:

One interesting aspect of the NFL’s financial rules is that all guaranteed money in a contract must be placed into a separate account by ownership immediately. Bates’ contract offer had very little guaranteed money over the franchise tag.

The Cleveland Browns could play a role in Cincinnati’s decision-making. The contract they gave QB Deshaun Watson was fully guaranteed which puts pressure on teams like the Bengals to guarantee a big chunk of Burrow’s contract. Kyler Murray, the latest quarterback to sign, has the second most guaranteed money at over $100 million.

From a salary cap perspective, the Cincinnati Bengals could find a way to keep all of their top players. From a cash-on-hand perspective, it is possible that they cannot upfront the kind of guaranteed money it would require to keep all of their top players. Brown’s use of Patrick Mahomes’ statement at the end of the above video seems to reference that.

Based on NFL rules, Bates can no longer sign a long-term deal this season.

Ranking the QB depth charts in the AFC North

Which team in the AFC North is set at quarterback?

The quarterback situation in the AFC North is a real mixed bag. This might be the best division from top to bottom but how these four teams stack up depends amost entirely on consisten, high level quarterback play. This is especially true in division matchups. Here are our rankings of the quarterback depth charts in the AFC North.