AFC Notes: Courtland Sutton, Broncos, Ravens, Steelers

     

Courtland Sutton

Injuries sabotaged the Broncos’ season before it ever even really got going, and the first player to go down was budding young WR Courtland Sutton. Instead of potentially following up on a breakout season, Sutton found himself rehabbing a torn ACL. That process seems to be going well and Sutton recently started running again. 

“It was such a surreal moment,” Sutton said via Ryan O’Halloran of The Denver Post. “I stood there, looked at my cleats, looked at the grass and just took in the moment. The last time I had cleats on was the day I got hurt. To jog like I did, 50 yards down and back, it was humbling and puts everything into perspective of how precious the day-to-day things are, like waking up and walking, like getting out of bed and your knee isn’t hurting, like being able to go up and down the stairs. It makes you appreciate all those little things even more.”

The injury was bad timing for Sutton, as if he’d had the type of season many were expecting, he could have been in line for a long-term extension sometime later this offseason. As it is, he enters a contract year with a lot more uncertainty. 

“I’m not going to sweat about [the contract],” Sutton said. “The contract is controllable to an extent, but what I can really control is how I meet, how I practice, how I play. I’m going to continue to dominate this rehab and come back next season and dominate every practice and dominate every game. I’ll make sure to do those things so when it’s time to have a conversation, I’ll know I’ve done everything I can to put me in a position to get the best out of that next contract.”

Ravens

  • The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec writes he got the impression team officials were caught off guard by OT Orlando Brown‘s Twitter message indicating he’s staunchly opposed to playing anywhere other than left tackle. They knew he preferred the left side but they didn’t become aware it was a major problem until recently. 
  • Zrebiec adds Brown is one of the team’s feel-good stories and he’s spoken reverentially about the organization, where his father played, in the past. Taking his message publicly to Twitter seems out of character, so Zrebiec wonders if contract negotiations behind the scenes aren’t going well. 
  • Brown is the final year of his rookie deal and the team committed a ton of money to LT Ronnie Stanley this past season before he tore his ACL.
  • Some league sources were skeptical the Ravens would get a first-round pick back if they were to trade Brown, per Zrebiec, which makes a trade even less appealing. 
  • Ravens defensive coaching analyst Brian Duker will be joining the Lions’ coaching staff. Assistant OL coach Richard Angulo is a candidate to join former assistant HC David Culley on the Texans’ staff. 
  • Zrebiec thinks a trade for Texans DL J.J. Watt is unlikely given his cap hit but he wouldn’t rule it out. 
  • He adds the addition of C Greg Mancz to a futures deal all but ensures C Matt Skura will be gone. Baltimore is also considering shifting G Bradley Bozeman to center.
  • The Falcons are hiring Dwaune Jones as their assistant director of college scouting. He was previously with the Ravens for the past four years. (Jason Butt)

Steelers

  • According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, the Steelers are promoting assistant OL coach Aaron Klemm to their primary OL coach role. Klemm has been in his position in Pittsburgh for two seasons. 
  • The Steelers requested an interview with Texans OL coach Mike Devlin but didn’t end up speaking to him. (Aaron Wilson)
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