AFC Notes: Gipson, Jets, Chargers, Bengals

Safety Tashaun Gipson, the league’s only unsigned restricted free agent, almost certainly took notice when the Browns added a $2MM+ salary to their payroll for a punter (Andy Lee) this past weekend, writes Pat McManamon of As McManamon points out, Gipson wasn’t thrilled when the team assigned him a second-round tender, and is believed to be seeking a long-term deal that assures him of some guaranteed money up front.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • Brian Costello of the New York Post ran down the top storylines to watch for in Jets camp, including the return of Muhammad Wilkerson, who is in the building today, as expected (Twitter link via Kristian Dyer of Metro New York). It’ll also be interesting to see whether offseason addition Ryan Fitzpatrick can eventually leapfrog Geno Smith for the starting job. For now, Jets coaches say that Smith will be under center unless he totally flames out this summer.
  • San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer is now going on the offensive against the Chargers and the team isn’t happy about it, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes. “This new negative advertising campaign against the Chargers — launched just as the team began negotiations with the city — speaks volumes about what the Mayor and his political operatives have really been up to on this issue from the start,” Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani said of the mayor’s sponsored Facebook post going after the club. “They have always seemed more concerned with political cover than with actually building a stadium.”
  • Former NFL wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh is among the intern coaches on the Bengals‘ staff for the 2015 season, according to Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer (via Twitter). Houshmandzadeh, who spent most of his career in Cincinnati and earned a Pro Bowl spot as a Bengal in 2007, last played for the Raiders in 2011.
  • As Field Yates of details, Joe Cardona‘s rookie contract with the Patriots features only a $100K signing bonus rather than the $190K his draft slot calls for. However, Cardona can earn up to $100K in roster bonuses over the next three seasons if he’s on the team, so the Pats are presumably protecting themselves a little in case the long snapper has to serve in the Navy.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

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