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NFL Notes: Bills, Browns & Jaguars

 

Bills

Second-year QB Jeff Tuel has proven to be a “much improved signal caller” who could push Thad Lewis for the Bills backup job.

“That’s just confidence honestly. You come in here as a rookie like myself last year and you’re kind of testing the waters when you first get here,” Tuel said, via Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com. “But once we started playing I’ve just got to let it go and let it rip and that’s something I’ve continued to grow with because as a quarterback the worst thing you can do is try to aim the ball and be perfect. I think both EJ (Manuel) and I have grown with that as well coming into our second year just letting it go and just ripping it no matter what.

Tuel, 23, signed with the Bills as an undrafted free agent out of Washington State last year. After a few injuries to first-round pick E.J. Maunel and backup Lewis, Tuel was forced into action seeing time in two games.

He completed 44.1 percent of his passes for 309 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. The Bills lost both games by a combined 23 points.

Browns

Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer expects the Browns to sign a few players in the coming weeks and specifically mentions that they are likely to add more depth at receiver.

Cabot wouldn’t rule out Cleveland signing as many as two receivers before the start of training camp.

As things stand right now, the Browns have several question marks at receiver as Josh Gordon facing a potential year-long suspension and Nate Burleson, Charles Johnson and Travis Benjamin are all coming off injuries.

Miles Austin has dealt with his fair share of injuries in recent years as well, so it’s hard to put a lot of stock in any of their current receivers being healthy for all 16 games.

Santonio Holmes represents the best available free agent receiver as of now, but the Browns could wait and see if some more appealing options end up being available once teams begin to trim their rosters.

Jaguars

According to Gene Frenette of the Florida Times-Union, teammates and members of the Jaguars’ organization have reached out to suspended WR Justin Blackmon in recent months, but they haven’t heard much from him.

Frenette’s sources have mentioned that Blackmon is believed to be living in the Oklahoma City area.

The Jaguars haven’t said much about Blackmon and his future status with the team since the draft concluded, but all indications are that they are treating him as a luxury moving forward.

“I feel at times there’s probably a little emptiness,” HC Gus Bradley said. “There are some unknowns there and you don’t know how it’s working. You don’t want to shut it off. We haven’t heard much and it doesn’t sound like it’s going in the right direction. … We can’t count on him.”

Blackmon was suspended for multiple violations of the league’s substance abuse policy and still has two years left on his contract. However, the Jaguars are not on the hook for his salary during the suspension.

Jacksonville spent two draft picks this year on USC WR Marquise Lee and Penn State WR Allen Robinson. in an attempt to bolster their receiving corps while adding some protection in the event that Blackmon never suits up for them again.

Blackmon appeared in only four games last season, registering 29 catches for 415 yards, with one touchdown.