AFC Notes: Colts, Raiders, Texans

     

Colts

Regarding the Eagles reportedly being close to trading QB Carson Wentz and Colts being among teams interested, GM Chris Ballard said they are “exploring options” but no trade is currently imminent. 

We are exploring lots of options…I can tell you this, there’s no trade going down today,” said Reich, per Kevin Bowen

Ballard added that he’s confident HC Frank Reich and his staff will do well with “whoever we end up getting” at quarterback. 

“I have a lot faith in Frank (Reich), whoever we end up getting, he’ll make it work,” said Ballard, via Jim Ayello

As for the possibility of trading up for a quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft, Ballard explained that it’s important to avoid taking the “wrong guy” in that scenario. Although, he did say that they will be “aggressive” if they feel a need to do so. 

You can’t trade up and take the wrong guy…there’s a fine line between being aggressive and desperate. We are not going to operate in a desperate world…we will be aggressive when we need to be aggressive.”

  • Ballard added that moving RT Braden Smith to the left side could “absolutely be done,” but pointed out that an offensive line coach compared converting to the opposite side to a “left-handed golfer playing right-handed.” (Bowen)
  • As for Texans QB Deshaun Watson‘s trade demands, Ballard said he can’t comment on his situation but would like the quarterback out of the AFC South: “I can’t talk about Deshaun Watson. I just know this, it would be nice to get him out of the division.” (Bowen)
  • Ballard mentioned that the Colts are planning to re-sign RFA WR Zach Pascal. (Bowen)
  • Ballard also said that Colts’ impending free-agent QB Jacoby Brissett is “in the mix” to be their quarterback next season: “We like Jacoby. He will be in the mix (to re-sign/play). We have to let that play out and work out how it should.” (Bowen)
  • Ballard indicated that rookie QB Jacob Eason is also “in the mix” but they still need to evaluate him: “He’s in the mix. I don’t know what he is…I know he is a big, talented kid that can throw the football…We like what we’ve seen so far.” (Bowen)
  • Regarding the possibility of re-signing veteran OLB Justin Houston, Ballard said it depends on his market price: “It’s going to come down to the market.” (Joel A. Erickson)

Raiders

Former Jaguars OC Jay Gruden would be “shocked” to see his brother, Raiders HC Jon Gruden, trade Derek Carr this offseason. 

I don’t know. I never know what Jon’s gonna do. But I’d be shocked, really. The way that Derek played this year, I don’t know why he’d want to get rid of him. But who knows, if there’s another guy out there that they really, really like, it is a business at the end of the day. You got to think about not only the year coming up but the future five, six, seven years. Jon’s going to be there for the next six, seven years so he’s got to think about that as well,” said Gruden, via Ben Standig of The Athletic

Texans

  • According to SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano, Texans QB Deshaun Watson does not have the Jets near the top of his list of teams he’d prefer to be traded to. However, they are contenders. 
  • A source close to Watson says he’s a big fan of new HC Robert Saleh and the Jets are certainly a viable destination: “Really, though, the top of his list might be, ‘Anywhere but Houston.’ If he really wants out, why would he say, ‘No,’ to any trade?”
  • NFL Media’s Tom Pelisero reports that the Texans are expected to hire Miles Smith as their next linebackers coach, who is DC Lovie Smith’s son.
  • Pelissero adds that Texans ILBs coach Bobby King will convert to the defensive line coach. Houston also plans to retain RBs coach Danny Barrett.
  • Aaron Wilson reports that the Texans have dismissed Director of Football Administration Kevin Krajcovic, Equipment Manager Mike Parson, and Director of Practice Facility Development and Special Projects Doug West.
  • Wilson adds that moving on from a salary-cap specialist and contract negotiator like Krajcovic is likely due to the fact that new GM Nick Caserio spent an extensive amount of time negotiating contracts during his time with the Patriots.
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