AFC South Notes: Colts, Jaguars, Titans

     

Colts

1070 The Fan’s Kevin Bowen notes that the Colts have a number of prominent players entering contract years, including: 

Jaguars

Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew came out of nowhere for Jacksonville last year, going from sixth-round pick and possible practice squad candidate to taking over for starting QB Nick Foles twice, once after injury and again after Foles was ineffective following his return. Minshew tightened his grip on the starting job after the Jaguars traded Foles but Jacksonville still has been a popular speculative landing for quarterbacks with more hype or established success. Jaguars GM Dave Caldwell thinks it’s because Minshew is still being overlooked. 

“I think probably because he was a bit of an unknown commodity,” Caldwell said via Pro Football Talk. “He was a sixth-round pick. He didn’t have the name recognition of being a first-round pick or maybe the team didn’t invest in him like other first-round picks or get the benefit of the doubt. But he was rookie of the week seven times last year, so I think that was the most out of any rookie and definitely the most out of any rookie quarterback but [he] wasn’t even on the rookie of the year ballot, which was interesting. So I think that how he got here and the way people maybe perceive him because he was a sixth-round pick they think we have a wandering eye. With that being said we’re always about competition and getting the best people here, so we do need depth at that position and to bring in other guys.”

Caldwell acknowledged that the Jaguars have been exploring adding other quarterbacks, but he said it’s as much about having a viable backup for Minshew as it is making sure there’s an alternative in place as insurance if he’s a one-year wonder. 

“I think you always want someone there to push and challenge him and also for security and to be able to sleep at night because as we all know we learned last year you’re eleven or twelve plays away from losing your starting quarterback for a large portion of time,” Caldwell said. “So last year we went into the season and Nick Foles got injured eleven plays into the first game of the season and that’s where kind of the Minshew Mania took off from there, so you always want to have some type of depth at that position, someone to come in and push the starter. Gardner doesn’t need anybody to push him. He is incredible, he’s got incredible desire to compete at the highest level, and I think his teammates see that and they feed off that.”

While Jacksonville had a player like that on the roster in Foles — and indeed the indications earlier this offseason was that the two were going to compete for the starting job — Caldwell said when the Bears came calling it was too good to pass up. 

“I think with Nick’s situation is we weren’t looking to move him,” Caldwell said. “We were looking to keep him, and then there were a handful of teams that were interested in him and we felt that his value and if we were going to start him, we thought enough of Gardner to name him the starter or at least to compete with Nick to be a starter, and then if we could get a good-value draft pick, which we did out of Chicago, and get out from underneath the contract, we just felt like it was the best thing to do for the team.”

  • Caldwell also confirmed the Jaguars had some discussions with QB Andy Dalton after the Bengals released him and before he signed with the Cowboys: “We did have some discussions with his agent and him and I guess I’ll leave it at that.” 
  • The Athletic’s Joe Person writes while the Jaguars don’t necessarily have an established quarterback and thus could be seen as a potential landing spot for former Panthers QB Cam Newton, they seem committed to either Minshew or setting themselves up to get a rookie quarterback in 2021. 

Titans

  • According to Fox Sports 26’s Mark Berman, the Titans are one of the teams that have expressed interest in free-agent DE Jadeveon Clowney.
  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer writes the Titans would make sense for Clowney on a one-year deal for 2020 to try and boost his value. 
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