AFC South Notes: Colts, Jaguars, Texans, Titans

     

Colts

  • Colts GM Chris Ballard told reporters on Friday that they aren’t going to force taking a quarterback in the draft this year: “You can’t force the quarterback position. … It’s got to be the right guy, the right fit. I don’t know when that’s going to happen. Maybe this year, maybe next year, maybe two years from now.” (Joel A. Erickson)
  • Ballard mentioned that the decision to trade for DT DeForest Buckner was a no brainer from their perspective: “I thought it was very easy. Here’s a 26 year old, he’s got everything we stand for — high character, he’s a producer. … Just watch the Super Bowl game. I mean, that guy played his ass off.” (Andrew Walker)
  • Regarding the depth at receiver in this year’s draft class, Ballard said he doesn’t view the position as being void of talent: “Getting T.Y. back healthy again, getting Parris Campbell healthy again, having Zach Pascal … it’s not like it’s a complete void at the position.” (Andrew Walker)
  • According to Ballard, they “dabbled” with a couple of free agent wide receivers, but nothing worked out. (Kevin Bowen)
  • Ballard said of signing of CB Xavier Rhodes: “I think he’s pretty hungry. I think being released by Minnesota sparked a fire in him. It’s going to be fun to watch him play with a chip on his shoulder.” (Andrew Walker)
  • Ballard did say that he would still like to add some more draft picks if possible: “To be honest with you, I’d like more picks. I feel very confident. I’d like more picks. We’ll see if that happens or not.” (Andrew Walker)
  • As for picking up S Malik Hooker’s fifth-year option, Ballard said they’ll talk about that after the draft. (Joel A. Erickson)

Jaguars

Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette mentioned during an appearance on “ESPN’s First Take that he believes the team should sign free agent QB Cam Newton

“Cam went to the Super Bowl,” Fournette said, via Michael DiRocco of ESPN. “He’s a great guy. I’ve been knowing Cam for a minute now. And like I told some people that talked to me, it’s no disrespect to [Gardner Minshew]. I’m just trying to get in the best position as a team as we can [to] win. That’s all that was about. Just friendly competition ’cause that brings out the best in people.”

Jaguars HC Doug Marrone and GM Dave Caldwell spoke during a pre-draft news conference on Thursday and revealed that the team will add another quarterback to go along with Minshew and Josh Dobbs. Regardless, if the move comes in the draft or free agency, Marrone said he was confident in Minshew as the starter in 2020.

“Right now if we went to play, Gardner Minshew‘s our guy and I’m excited about that,” Marrone said. “But do I want competition for him? Absolutely. You want competition for everyone, though. I don’t want to make it where I’m answering this question and [people are saying], ‘Marrone’s not as confident [in Minshew].’ I want [competition] not just for the quarterback but I want competition for everyone.”

Texans

Texans HC Bill O’Brien said Thursday that the team is excited about the return of WR Will Fuller in 2020.

Will Fuller is doing great,” O’Brien said, via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “Since we’ve left, I’ve been in touch with him a couple of times. He’s working out. He looks good. We’re excited about Will. We’re excited about the 2020 Will. We feel like he’s really working.”

  • Aaron Wilson reports that progress is being made in the contract negotiations between the Texans and LT Laremy Tunsil. According to Wilson, the Texans have made an offer to make Tunsil the highest-paid offensive lineman in the NFL with an $18.5 million average yearly salary.
  • New Texans RB David Johnson said of what went wrong for him last season: “‘I think last season was just rough, had little nicks and bruises, nothing major. Kliff told me they were going with the hot hand. It was tough to bounce back from that. It’s a new team, I’m excited.” (Aaron Wilson)
  • As for his reaction to being traded to Houston, Johnson said: “We were very excited. The Texans are very successful, very thankful talking to Bill O’Brien and the way he wanted to utilize me. It was excitement from the start. I have that chip back on my shoulder. I want to get back to 2016, if not better.” (Aaron Wilson)
  • Regarding the negative reaction to the trade from fans, Johnson said he’s not paying too much attention it: “I don’t pay too much attention to that. You can’t please everyone. Everyone has something to say, especially with social media getting so big. There’s always going to be something.” (Aaron Wilson)
  • The Texans signed OT Brent Qvale to a one-year deal worth $1.047M that includes a $137,500 signing bonus and $300,000 total guaranteed. (Aaron Wilson)

Titans

  • Daniel Jeremiah believes that Arizona State WR Brandon Aiyuk makes sense for the Titans at pick No. 29: “I love Brandon Aiyuk – he’s my fifth receiver,” Jeremiah said, via Jim Wyatt of TenneseeTitans.com. “He is so sudden and so quick. I know the 40-time says 4.50, but he plays a lot faster than that. And one of the things that is unique about him is he has rare length. He is really long.”
  • The Titans had a virtual meeting with TCU DT Ross Blacklock. (Aaron Wilson)
  • Mike Garafolo reports that Utah DE Bradlee Anae has had teleconference meetings with the Jets, Lions, Bears, Titans, and Browns recently. Garafolo also says that Anae will likely be chosen on the second day of the draft.
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