AFC Notes: Chargers, Colts, Texans



  • According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, many around the NFL see the Chargers as a viable home for Panthers QB Cam Newton if he ends up leaving Carolina and Chargers QB Philip Rivers continues to struggle in the last year of his deal. 
  • Chargers signed WR Tyron Johnson to their practice squad.
  • Chargers released DB Chris Johnson from their practice squad.


Despite giving up 27 points — 34 points including a blocked kick — in a loss to the Titans on Sunday that dropped the Colts to third-place in the AFC South, Colts GM Chris Ballard is thrilled about the progress Indianapolis’ defense has made. The Colts had six sacks and two takeaways Sunday and DC Matt Eberflus has been mentioned as a potential head coaching candidate after the season for the job he’s done. 

“Matt Eberflus and his staff have done a tremendous job,” Ballard said via Andrew Walker of the team website. “I mean, we’ve overhauled the unit here in the last two years, and I think we have three players left from ’17, and to watch this unit come together and grow and all the young players that they’re playing, to see these guys grow together and start to understand what Matt wants — the effort he wants, the techniques he wants and the execution he wants — I think over time the more they play together they have a chance to create something really special.”

  • Ballard added the team was disappointed WR Devin Funchess‘ injury derailed his season but they were happy with what Funchess showed in his limited availability and he could return next year: “It’s a shame that it’s worked out the way that it has — you never know what the future gonna hold — but we were very pleased with who he was as a person and teammate here over the last few months.”


Seahawks DE Jadeveon Clowney entered the season on the franchise tag after he and the Texans were unable to come to an agreement on a long-term deal, but Clowney had no intention of holding out to try and force a trade. While he was waiting to sign the tender until after the preseason to minimize his injury risk in a contract year, he never planned on playing anywhere else in 2019 until he realized Texans HC Bill O’Brien was determined to trade him to the highest bidder. 

“What people don’t know about that situation was, O’Brien called me five or six times over the offseason, and I always told him I would come in and sign the tender, but not till right before the season,” Clowney said via NFL Media’s Mike Silver. “I love Houston, and I love my dudes, but I wasn’t under contract, so I wasn’t going to take the risk.

“It was getting close to the time I said I’d come in, and all of a sudden [O’Brien] called me and said, ‘You need to come in and talk to us.’ When I got there they’re talking about me signing the tender and going to the Dolphins (via trade). They said, ‘It’ll be good for you and good for us.’ I’m like, ‘Good for me? They’re gonna tank the season for a damn quarterback! Find me a team that can win, and I’ll sign the damn tender.'”

After Clowney vetoed the trade to Miami, the Seahawks were the next team to inquire with the Texans and ultimately get the deal done for a third-round pick and a pair of backup players. While the Texans currently lead the AFC South, Clowney is happy with how things have turned out in Seattle, which looks like one of the top teams in the NFC. 

“People say, ‘He was trying to leave.’ That’s a lie. I didn’t ask them to trade me. I didn’t even ask them to pay me any more. I just wanted to play one last year with my teammates,” Clowney said. “But hey, it’s part of the business. It was a business move, and I got the short end of the stick at the time. Now? It looks like I got the big end of the stick.”

  • The Texans also worked out defensive end Eric Lee. (Aaron Wilson)
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