AFC Notes: Texans, Broncos, Jags, Spiller

With Ryan Mallett no longer in the Patriots‘ plans, the Texans were able to acquire Tom Brady‘s former backup last weekend on the cheap, parting ways with just a sixth- or seventh-round pick, depending on how much playing time Mallett sees in Houston. According to Lance Zierlein of Sports Talk 790 in Houston though, Mallett wasn’t the only signal-caller the Texans explored trading for. Zierlein tweets that Houston also targeted Matt Barkley of the Eagles before landing Mallett.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • The Broncos‘ contract talks with receiver Demaryius Thomas and tight end Julius Thomas aren’t dead but they’re not active either, writes Mike Klis of The Denver Post. Demaryius Thomas‘ agent Todd France probably wants to see a resolution to Dez Bryant‘s contract talks before striking a deal. Meanwhile, the Broncos have exchanged proposals with Orange Julius’ agent Frank Bauer but those talks appear to have stalled.
  • The Jaguars worked out kickers Derek Dimke and Alex Henery and even though they liked what they saw, they sent them home now that Josh Scobee is recovering from his groin injury, tweets Adam Schefter of
  • Bills running back C.J. Spiller, who could hit the open market this offseason, is signing on with agent Chad Speck, according to Jason La Canfora of (on Twitter).
  • When Tom Brady and the Patriots part ways, former Pats center and CSNNE analyst Dan Koppen says it will be Bill Belichick‘s call, not Brady’s. “As long as Bill is here, he will make those decisions,” said Koppen. “If Tom is not carrying his weight or he’s in a decline Bill’s going to bring him in the office and have a little speech. “Maybe he gets a hug at the end, but I guarantee it’s going to be, ‘Tom, we’re going to release you. Thanks for coming. We appreciate everything You’ve done, but I’ve got to do what’s best for the football team.'”
  • In his latest piece for, Albert Breer examines the quarterback situations for the Jaguars, Chiefs, Raiders, and Bills, including a look at the rookies in Jacksonville and Oakland, as well as Kansas City’s investment in Alex Smith.
  • People around the league believe that Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith has plenty of good football ahead of him, writes Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. “Steve’s getting up there in age, but he hasn’t changed his tenacity and physicality,” said former Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward, an NBC analyst. “He’s still able to impose his will. When you talk about his style of play, pairing up with the Baltimore Ravens, the two go hand in hand. He brings that toughness to the offense they haven’t had since Anquan Boldin was playing for them.”

Zach Links contributed to this post.

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