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NFL notebook: Steelers weigh decisions on Ben, Brown


The Pittsburgh Steelers are expected to restructure Ben Roethlisberger’s contract for the benefit of reducing the impact of trading high-dollar wide receiver Antonio Brown.

FILE PHOTO – Dec 30, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) throws a first quarter pass against the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers are listening to offers for the disgruntled Brown ahead of the opening of free agency, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

ESPN first reported Roethlisberger’s deal, which expires after 2019, would be amended in the form of an extension before the new league year begins March 13.

The report comes just days after head coach Mike Tomlin acknowledged that a time could be near when the All-Pro wideout Brown is more of a distraction than he’s worth in Pittsburgh. The Steelers would owe $21.25 million in dead money if they trade Brown.

—The Los Angeles Chargers won’t activate tight end Hunter Henry from the reserve/physically unable to perform list before Sunday’s wild-card playoff game at the Baltimore Ravens, according to multiple reports.

If the Chargers win Sunday and advance, they’ll have to decide by Monday whether to activate Henry — which would require another move to make room on the 53-man roster — or leave him on the reserve list for the rest of the season.

ESPN reported Monday that Henry was expected to play against the Ravens, 7 1/2 months after he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Head coach Anthony Lynn said Thursday that no decision had been made, and the tight end would be on a pitch count if he played. Instead, he will sit out entirely.

—The Tampa Bay Buccaneers interviewed two-time NFL Coach of the Year Bruce Arians for their head-coaching vacancy, the team announced.

Arians, 66, previously said the Cleveland Browns job was the only one he would consider but apparently had a change of heart when the Bucs fired Dirk Koetter on Sunday.

Arians has prior relationships with both Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht and quarterback Jameis Winston. Licht was Arizona’s vice president of player personnel when Arians was head coach of the Cardinals. Winston attended Arians’ football camp in Birmingham, Ala., when he was a kid.

—Bucs offensive coordinator Todd Monken had a head-coaching interview with the Green Bay Packers scheduled for Saturday evening, according to an ESPN report.

Monken also will interview for the Cincinnati Bengals’ head-coach opening on Monday and the New York Jets’ vacancy on Tuesday, per the report.

Monken, 52, took over play-calling duties from Koetter this year and helped the Bucs finish third in total offense, though turnovers kept them out of the top 10 (12th) in scoring.

—Dallas Cowboys assistant coach Kris Richard has three head-coaching interviews scheduled for Sunday, a day after coaching against the Seattle Seahawks in the wild-card playoffs.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Richard is set to meet with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Jets and Miami Dolphins.

The former USC and NFL defensive back has emerged as one of the hottest names among prospective coaches after helping turn around the Cowboys defensive backfield as the team’s passing-game coordinator this season.

—The NFL fined San Francisco 49ers safety Antone Exum Jr. $53,482 for a hit he put on Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods last Sunday.

NFL Notebook: Steelers Weigh Decisions On Ben, Brown
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This fine marks the third time Exum has been penalized this season for a hit.

Exum was flagged for unnecessary roughness on the play against Woods, which took place in the third quarter of the Rams’ 48-32 victory over the 49ers. Exum hit Woods in the midsection after breaking up a long pass attempt.

—Field Level Media



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