AFC South Notes: Colts, Jaguars, Texans, Titans

     

Colts

The Colts had high expectations for former WR Deon Cain entering his second season. Cain flashed as a rookie before a torn ACL during the preseason ended his season. Instead of picking up where he left off, Cain struggled to establish himself in 2019 despite plenty of opportunities to do so. Colts GM Chris Ballard finally had enough, releasing Cain and putting him on the practice squad. The Steelers came with an offer and Cain elected to sign with Pittsburgh for a fresh start. 

“You have to do things the way we are asking you do them, the way we are asking you to work, the way we are asking you to prepare,” Ballard said via 1075TheFan.com’s Kevin Bowen. “If you don’t do them that way, you are not going to be here. It got to a point, where Deon is a young player, and a very talented player, but we weren’t getting what we needed. So we decided to release him.”

Jaguars

Despite going back to sixth-round rookie QB Gardner Minshew and benching Nick Foles late last season, the Jaguars have not committed to Minshew as their starting quarterback in 2020. The mustachioed gunslinger says the team has told him he and Foles will both have plenty of snaps to compete for the starting job and he’s planning to do everything he can to prove he should keep the job.  

“I got two and a half months right now to work my tail off to be as ready as I can be for my team,” Minshew said via Pro Football Talk. “We’ll show back up and I’m gonna try to prove I’m the best guy for my team and that I can help us win games. Anything beyond that is beyond my control.”

Texans

  • ESPN’s Sarah Barshop says there’s a good chance the Texans try to extend QB Deshaun Watson this year to try and get out in front of any Chiefs’ deal for QB Patrick Mahomes.
  • Conversely, Watson could be incentivized to wait for Mahomes, which might push the timeline into 2021, in order to try and top his deal. 
  • Complicating matters is the Texans’ decision to fire salary cap manager Chris Olsen, leaving HC Bill O’Brien as the team’s GM with another major market-setting extension for LT Laremy Tunsil also likely imminent. 
  • Houston’s options for creating cap space include extending DE J.J. Watt and working out new deals for WR Will Fuller and CB Vernon Hargreaves, both scheduled to play out their fifth-year option in 2020. 
  • The Texans have promoted assistant secondary coach D’Anton Lynn to their official secondary coach. (Aaron Wilson)

Titans

  • ESPN’s Turron Davenport mentions the Titans also have a major decision about whether to re-sign OT Jack Conklin in addition to resolving the expiring contracts of QB Ryan Tannehill and RB Derrick Henry.
  • Tennessee declined Conklin’s fifth-year option last summer but the 26-year-old right tackle rebounded in 2019 and is now set to cash in on the open market if the Titans don’t pony up with a new deal. 
  • Davenport mentions CB Logan Ryan, LB Kamalei Correa and OT Dennis Kelly as other mid-tier free agents the Titans will need to decide if they can afford to re-sign. 
  • Davenport expects the Titans to re-sign WR Tajae Sharpe, TE Anthony Firkser and CB Tye Smith for depth. 
  • The Titans hired Texans’ assistant Anthony Midget as their new secondary coach. (Aaron Wilson)
  • Titans ILBs coach Tyrone McKenzie is leaving the team. (John Glennon)

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