AFC Mailbags: Browns, Titans, Raiders

Here are some points from some of the AFC mailbags emerging on Sunday.

  • Tashaun Gipson‘s signing of his second-round restricted free agent tender could help expedite the Browns‘ Pro Bowl safety in his push for a long-term deal, writes Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The longtime Browns beat reporter expects the team to make him a lucrative offer to Gipson in the near future. He’ll play for just more than $2MM this season, which will be his age-25 campaign.
  • Cabot expects either Isaiah Crowell or Terrance West to rush for 1,000 yards this season and sees rookie Duke Johnson mixing in, probably on third downs, but not usurping the team’s second-year duo just yet. Although Crowell ended up being the go-to back by season’s end in 2014 despite being regarded as the third choice to start at this point last year.
  •’s Paul Kuharsky views the Titans‘ latest Pac-12 top-10 quarterback as a far better product than their last, with Marcus Mariota‘s leadership skills and pro-ready ability dwarfing recently retired Jake Locker‘s.
  • He of six sacks in three seasons as mostly a Falcons reserve, Jonathan Massaquoi should be the Titans’ third edge-rushing talent behind Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo, notes Kuharsky. Although he wouldn’t characterize the corps as injury-prone despite Morgan’s past ACL tear and Orakpo’s two season-ending chest injuries, Kuharsky views Tennessee’s pass-rushing contingent as thin.
  • Sio Moore should be ready to start the regular season after major offseason hip surgery, notes Bill Williamson of, but the Raiders scribe notes it’s not a lock and that Malcolm Smith is the just-in-case option.
  • The 25-year-old Moore’s health will go a ways to helping a pass rush that Williamson doesn’t believe was appropriately bolstered in the offseason. Khalil Mack remains a potential superstar and was Pro Football Focus’ No. 1 4-3 outside linebacker last year, but Justin Tuck‘s five sacks still led the team last year and second-rounder Mario Edwards Jr. (eight sacks in his college career at Florida State) looks in line to start at end.
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