AFC Notes: Darius Leonard, Colts, Titans


Colts LB Darius Leonard said he believes the Colts value him enough to give him a contract extension.

“They take value in me,” Leonard said, via’s Nick Shook. “Hopefully, that will show. I think I put in enough work the past three years, I give it my all day in and day out, never miss a day. Once I step on that field I give everything I got, and they know that. Hopefully, we get everything settled and hopefully we’re good to go.”

  • The Athletic’s Zak Keefer believes Leonard and the Colts are close on a new deal. 
  • According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, although the Colts do not have an extension in place with Leonard yet, he would like to become the league’s highest-paid off-ball linebacker. 
  • Rapoport notes the benchmark for Leonard’s negotiations would be eclipsing Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner‘s $18 million average annual salary.


  • Leonard said he is happy that the team prioritized defense in the draft: “When you see that, it lets you know what kind of standard we hold ourselves to. Defense wins championships.” (Jim Ayello)
  • Leonard also said the defense has to clean up mistakes in order to be great: “To be a championship defense, we gotta stop shooting ourself in the foot.” (George Bremer)
  • The veteran loves what he’s seen from first-round DE Kwity Paye so far: “He’s everything that we need, that motor, that meanness, that toughness. He’s a very humble guy. I like to refer to him as a DeForest Buckner. He’s quiet, but once he’s on the field, the switch flips.” (Keefer)
  • Leonard mentioned he’s gonna miss former Colts LB Anthony Walker: Anthony Walker was that guy that everybody leans on.” (Bremer)
  • Colts RB Jonathan Taylor said he is happy RB Marlon Mack is healthy: “I was so happy. Especially watching his camp last year. I knew. I knew he was going to go off.” (Ayello)
  • Taylor also mentioned that this year’s offseason is totally different than what he went through last year as a rookie: “Everything was learning at a super accelerated pace.” (Ayello)
  • Colts TE Jack Doyle said all the quarterbacks he’s played with have been great people, and that won’t change with QB Carson Wentz: “Carson fits that mold.” (Bremer)
  • Doyle also said he is feeling “really good” about his routine heading into the season. (Bremer)
  • Colts OT Braden Smith, who also is entering the final year of his contract, said he is letting his agent handle his looming extension: “I just let my agent handle that. That’s what he gets paid to do. I get paid to play football.” (Joel Erickson)
  • Colts WR Parris Campbell (knee) is fully recovered after being medically cleared last week. (Erickson)


The Titans receiving corps underwent a dramatic makeover this offseason as they turned over almost the entire position aside from star WR A.J. Brown. Fourth-round WR Dez Fitzpatrick is one of the newcomers and he’s looking to prove he can take advantage of all the attention defenses will give Brown. 

“I told the GM and the head coach on the phone when they drafted me: I am going to live up to all the expectations that they think I can do,” Fitzpatrick said via Jim Wyatt of the Titans’ website. I am going to work my tail off to prove everybody right, and prove the Titans right and everybody else wrong of why they drafted me.”

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