AFC Notes: Colts, Texans, Titans

     

Colts

Colts DT Grover Stewart said he feels like he is performing well this year after totaling 34 tackles and four tackles for loss through nine starts.

“I feel like I’m having a good year,” Stewart said, via George Bremer of The Herald Bulletin. “[I] still feel like I could do more than what I’m doing now.”

Stewart, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract, said he shed 37-pounds over the offseason and it is enabling him to more playing time. 

“I get to play more snaps because I don’t get as tired,” said Stewart. “My body feels great, and it allows me to play more, get more plays and move quicker so I can make plays sideline to sideline or behind the line of scrimmage or running down the field.”

  • ESPN’s Mike Wells thinks the Colts let WR T.Y. Hilton walk after this season given he’s having one of his least productive years and he just turned 31. 

Texans

Texans CEO Cal McNair reiterated that interim GM Jack Easterby would not maintain that title past the end of this season and the team plans to hire a new person in that role. But he reaffirmed Easterby’s position as one of the most powerful people in the organization right now. 

“Let me reiterate: Jack will not be our general manager. But he will have a significant role in helping shape our future here within the Texans,” McNair said via ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “(Easterby) is going to be an incredibly valuable part of our franchise moving forward as he works with our next general manager and head coach…I want to build something that our fans, players and staff are proud of. It’s ok to be under construction right now.”

  • ESPN’s Sarah Barshop expects Texans WR Will Fuller to price himself out of Houston and end up signing elsewhere in free agency. 
  • The Athletic’s Aaron Reiss notes Texans RB David Johnson is an easy cut to project next offseason given the potential $6.9 million in savings. Fellow RB Duke Johnson has a $5.15 million cap hit with no guaranteed money but Reiss thinks he’s a strong candidate to stay on a pay cut. 
  • At wide receiver, Reiss says the Texans can’t do a lot about WR Randall Cobb with how much guaranteed money he still has on his deal.
  • That’s not the case for WR Brandin Cooks, who has no guarantees left making him a potential trade chip to acquire a pick and potentially free up space to keep Fuller. However, Easterby has praised Cooks as a culture fit which could lead to the team prioritizing him over Fuller. 
  • Reiss expects Houston to cut G Zach Fulton to save about $3 million. Texans C Nick Martin has also struggled since signing a three-year, $33 million deal but Reiss thinks Houston restructures his deal rather than cutting him outright.  
  • Reiss projects a lot of turnover on the defensive line for Houston, with a likely trade of DE J.J. Watt — probably for a third-round pick or a second at best — DL Carlos Watkins on an expiring rookie contract and DL Brandon Dunn a potential cap casualty to save $3 million. 
  • Reiss also thinks the Texans will move on from OLB Brennan Scarlett as his contract is expiring. Texans LB Benardrick McKinney is also a potential cap cut to save $7 million in 2201. 
  • Texans CBs Gareon Conley, Vernon Hargreaves and Phillip Gaines are all set to be free agents and Reiss doesn’t think Houston brings any of them back. 
  • Because Texans S Eric Murray still has a good amount of guaranteed money left on his deal, Reiss says Houston is pretty much stuck with him in 2021. 

Titans

  • ESPN’s Turron Davenport expects the Titans to try and re-sign TE Jonnu Smith as he’s been a valuable part of the offense. The tight end market did spike this year, though. 
  • Davenport adds OLB Jadeveon Clowney is likely to test the market again but he doesn’t rule out Tennessee bringing him back if the price is right. 
  • Based on how poor the trade market for CB Desmond King was, Davenport thinks the Titans should be able to re-sign him on a pretty reasonable deal. 
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