AFC Notes: Colts, Jaguars, Texans, Titans

     

Colts

  • According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the Colts will roll over approximately $8,310,897 in cap space to 2021, with the final amount pending an audit by the NFL. 

Jaguars

  • ESPN’s Michael DiRocco notes Jaguars OT Cam Robinson has been inconsistent, though he’s dealt with an ACL tear, during his four years in Jacksonville, so the team might let him go and try to upgrade. 
  • Per the Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec, the Jaguars are also interested in speaking with Ravens defensive passing game coordinator Chris Hewitt for their defensive coordinator vacancy. 
  • Jacksonville has also interviewed Ravens DL coach Joe Cullen for the position. 
  • CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora says the Jaguars are interested in former Chargers HC Anthony Lynn for their offensive coordinator job. 
  • According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the Jaguars will roll over approximately $23,481,404 in cap space to 2021, with the final amount pending an audit by the NFL. 

Texans

  • ESPN’s Sarah Barshop notes that a factor in how the Texans proceed with pending free-agent WR Will Fuller could be how QB Deshaun Watson feels, as he’s publicly expressed his desire for Fuller to stay with the team long-term multiple times this season. 
  • The Texans have also blocked teams who have requested interviews with OC Tim Kelly, who is highly thought of by Watson, per ESPN’s Dan Graziano.
  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler talked to NFL executives to paint a full picture of the situation Houston finds itself in with Watson. Fowler notes from a contractual standpoint, Watson is actually a massive bargain in a trade, as the Texans would pay his bonuses and the acquiring team would just be responsible for his $10.5 million 2021 base salary. 
  • An NFC executive tells Fowler Watson’s leverage goes beyond his no-trade clause: “He’s the franchise QB that speaks on behalf of a frustrated locker room. If he’s not happy, those guys in the locker room will follow him. And that can have a lasting impact on your entire team’s performance in 2021.”
  • One AFC executive told Fowler that what’s being lost in this is how strong of a hire Nick Caserio was as general manager and how fans should have confidence in him to navigate this situation: “The one thing I know about Nick is he’ll do what’s best for the Texans — if that means Watson stays, he’ll stand firm on that. I believe that.”
  • From the Texans perspective, Fowler says their leverage is banking on Watson not jeopardizing his salary, adding that an extended option could potentially default Watson’s contract and require him to pay back signing bonus money he’s been paid. 
  • Watson isn’t a finished product, which is why one NFC executive tells Fowler he’ll be in high demand if actually made available: “Deshaun can continue to improve as a quarterback, which is probably the most exciting thing about him. He’s a high-level guy with all the tools and he’s still got nuances that he can master, and he seems to be chipping away at those each year.”
  • The consensus is that Watson is worth at least three first-round picks and probably another high pick for good measure, Fowler says. The Jets and Dolphins, given their draft capital, are considered the leaders for Watson because of that.
  • Other teams mentioned by league executives that could pursue Watson include the Panthers, Bears and Washington. 
  • Fowler adds if Houston decides to trade Watson, it would be advantageous to do it before the draft. However, one AFC executive represented a split of opinion on whether or not the two sides would repair their differences: “He just signed his deal, what, five months ago. You’ve got to think they had plans to stay together long term when they did this. I know things have changed but if the right people get on the phone and cooler heads prevail, maybe they can squash all this.”
  • Another said it’s possible to see a result where Watson is indeed ultimately dealt: “It seems like he might just be fed up. And if he’s willing to dig in on it, there might be no coming back and the team figures it has to do a deal when draft capital is so precious in today’s game.”
  • According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the Texans will roll over approximately $9,189,845 in cap space to 2021, with the final amount pending an audit by the NFL.
  • A few current and former Texans players told Fansided’s Matt Lombardo that they believed hiring Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy as the head coach could go a long way toward fixing Houston’s issues not just with Watson, but organizationally: “I’ll say this, for Deshaun and for the Texans. And really for the benefit of the whole league … Hire Eric Bieniemy!”

Titans

  • NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo notes that Titans WR A.J. Brown‘s recent cleanup operation on both of his knees should not affect him for the 2021 season. 
  • ESPN’s Turron Davenport expects the Titans to try and figure out a way to keep WR Corey Davis despite also having a star in Brown who will need a long-term deal of his own in the next couple of years. 
  • According to AL.com’s Matt Zenitz, the Titans are hiring Vanderbilt LB coach Kenechi Udeze in an undisclosed role to their defensive coaching staff.  
  • Over The Cap’s Nick Korte released updated compensatory pick projections. Typically Korte’s projections are the most accurate available, but he acknowledges this year will be potentially less accurate because of changes to the league’s confidential formula stemming from the new CBA and the pandemic. 
  • Nevertheless, Korte projects the Titans to receive a third-round pick for the loss of OT Jack Conklin.
  • According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the Titans will roll over approximately $2,348,822 in cap space to 2021, with the final amount pending an audit by the NFL.
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