AFC Notes: Colts, Jaguars, Texans, Titans, Ryan Tannehill


  • Colts GM Chris Ballard said despite teams inquiring about C Ryan Kelly and DB Kenny Moore, both will be on the roster in 2023: “They’re both great Colts, and we’re glad they’re here.” (Zak Keefer)
  • Trading CB Stephon Gilmore was partially cap-related and partially an effort to free up opportunities for CBs Isaiah Rodgers and Dallis Flowers. Ballard doesn’t expect to replace Gilmore in the lineup: “We feel like they can take another step. Now, are they Stephon Gilmore? No. There’s not a lot like Stephon.” (Joel Erickson)
  • Ballard didn’t eliminate the possibility of the team adding QB Lamar Jackson: “Anytime a special player is available – which he is — you gotta do the work. I’m not gonna get into deep discussions on where it’s at, what we’re doing or what we might do, but he’s a really special player. You never know how any of this will work out.” (Keefer)
  • Ballard said the team didn’t trade up with Chicago for the No. 1 pick due to uncertainty at the top of the draft board and the depth of the class: “History kind of tells you when you do that, you better know what you’re getting…we weren’t quite ready to do that. And we feel like there was enough depth in the draft that we were gonna be OK.” (Keefer)
  • Colts owner Jim Irsay when asked about fully-guaranteed contracts in the NFL: “As an owner, I do not believe in fully-guaranteed contracts. I think that a percentage is one thing, but from what I’ve seen from the NBA and baseball, I don’t see it as a positive competitively.” (Keefer)


Jaguars HC Doug Pederson was upset to see OT Jawaan Taylor leave the team but can’t fault him for taking the Chiefs’ $80 million offer. Now their focus turns to Walker Little, who will get his chance to start full-time on the right side. 

You hated to see him go, but I get it,” Pederson said, via Jags Wire. “That’s part of our business and that’s what’s gonna happen. I wish him all the best and success in Kansas City. But now for us, it’s about moving forward. Walker Little, it’s a great opportunity for him to step up, and I do believe there are some good offensive linemen in this draft if the right guy is there, obviously. We’ll see how it all plays out.


  • Texans HC DeMeco Ryans said DB Jimmie Ward was brought to Houston specifically to play safety, not slot corner: “Jimmie can play anywhere, but I’m going to play him at safety.” (Aaron Wilson)
  • The Texans’ contract with TE Dalton Schultz is for one year with a max value of $9 million. The deal has a $4.5 million signing bonus, $6 million guaranteed, a salary of $1.5 million fully guaranteed, $14,750 per-game active roster bonuses, and also includes incentives. (Wilson)


Titans HC Mike Vrabel expects QB Ryan Tannehill to be the team’s starter in 2023, but wouldn’t commit to him.

Of course [we expect Ryan Tannehill to be the starter],” Vrabel said, via Titans Wire. “Of course we do. We’re in March, we’re continuing to build a football team, the best football team we can. And Ryan is healthy, he’s getting healthy, I would say that he’s putting work in, it’s been good to see him around the building. So, yeah, we always expect that, but to make predictions — I think I’ve been through this last year — [I’m] not going to commit to anybody being on our roster in September. I’ve seen it change too quickly. And of course we want Ryan as our quarterback and everybody else that’s helped us win.

Vrabel also noted that the team would like to have joint practices with another organization during training camp this summer. 

“We’d like to,” Vrabel said, via Jim Wyatt of the team website. “We’ve had some conversations with a few teams – can’t really commit to anything right now because of the schedule. But I think we’ll probably travel to somewhere and work, and then probably host somebody the third week. … There’s some data that some of these injuries we can try and mitigate after the first two weeks of training camp. So the recommendation is that the joint practices occur after the first preseason game. So, we’ll try and do weeks two and three potentially.”

Another offseason issue that Vrabel was willing to comment on during the owner’s meetings was the status of veteran S Kevin Byard.
“Kevin is under contract, and Kevin is a valuable, valuable member of our football team,” Vrabel said. “I’ve said that – his durability and his leadership… The communication has been really good (with him). I’ve tried to make a great connection with him as a player and captain on our team for five years. Those are conversations that happen between Kevin and his agent and Ran (Carthon) and myself, and we’ll try to find ways to continue with our football team.”

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