AFC South Notes: Colts, Jaguars, Texans

     

Colts

  • According to the Athletic’s Stephen Holder, while it’s not the Colts’ MO to spend big in free agency, they do have $92 million in cap space that could help them bring in Cowboys WR Amari Cooper, Chiefs DT Chris Jones or Buccaneers LB Shaquil Barrett if they hit the open market.
  • Holder also mentions Seahawks DE Jadeveon Clowney as a realistic target given Seattle can’t franchise tag him and the Colts need a long-term option to solidify their pass rush. 
  • Though the Colts haven’t spent big at cornerback, preferring to address the position through the draft, Holder identifies Panthers CB James Bradberry and Cowboys CB Byron Jones as options if Indianapolis decides to go that direction. 
  • At defensive tackle, Holder says the Colts could consider Bills DT Jordan Phillips, though he has just one year of production and is bigger than Indianapolis typically prefers at 341 pounds. 
  • Holder adds Cowboys DT Maliek Collins is another option that would make more sense schematically if he’s available. 
  • Holder expects the Colts to address tight end this offseason, with Chargers TE Hunter Henry the best free agent potentially available. 
  • If Indianapolis needs to address left tackle in free agency, Cardinals OT D.J. Humphries is one potential option, per Holder. 

Jaguars

  • According to the Athletic’s Greg Auman, with only a projected $1.25 million in cap space, the Jaguars are almost certain to cut DT Marcell Dareus ($20 million in cap savings), WR Marqise Lee ($5.25 million), LB Jake Ryan ($6 million) and TE Geoff Swaim ($3.7 million) given their lack of production.
  • Other potential cuts that would leave big holes to fill on the roster include CB A.J. Bouye ($11.5 million) and DL Calais Campbell ($15 million)
  • Auman notes it will be difficult for the Jaguars to get out from under QB Nick Foles‘ deal if they elect to go with Gardner Minshew as the starting quarterback. They could try and eat some salary to convince another team to trade for him. 
  • Auman adds the priority for Jacksonville should be extending DE Yannick Ngakoue, though he’s likely to command around $18 million per year. 
  • Cornerback and defensive line should be Jacksonville’s priorities in the first-round, per Auman. He also mentions Saints DT David Onyemata, Colts TE Eric Ebron and Raiders WR Zay Jones as potential bargain free agent/trade acquisitions. 

Texans

The Texans will be quite familiar with Chiefs S Tyrann Mathieu when they face off against him Sunday. Mathieu spent the 2018 season in Houston and wanted to stay longer. But the Texans couldn’t afford the eventual three-year, $42 million deal Mathieu signed with Kansas City this offseason and now will face the ramifications of that decision. 

“It was hard. He’s a great guy,” Texans HC Bill O’Brien said via Dave Skretta of the Associated Press. “He’s got awesome leadership qualities, you know? Really instinctive, good football player. Cares about his team. Cares about his teammates. But that’s the NFL. The NFL, every team has a salary cap to deal with, every player has the ability once they reach free agency to do what’s best for him and their family. We have a ton of respect for Honey Badger. He did a great job for us last year.”

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