AFC Rumors: Smith, Browns, Broncos, Bengals

Neither Geno Smith nor Robert Griffin factor into Sunday’s game plans, but NFL personnel eye the Jets‘ potential quarterback washout as the player with the better chance of salvaging his career despite Griffin’s superior on-field sample thus far, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports.

They’re the same guy,” a personnel director told Mehta. “Both are slightly delusional about their abilities. In five years, RG3 will be some type of ambassador for Baylor. Geno will be a backup quarterback.”

Statistically, Smith hasn’t produced close to a standout stretch like Griffin delivered in his rookie of the year campaign, but the injured Jets quarterback doesn’t have quite the toxic circumstances Washington’s embattled backup currently does.

As a result of this, Mehta hears Washington will jettison Griffin before his $16MM fifth-year option kicks in for next season. Should Washington cut RG3 before the start of the 2016 league year, it would not be on the hook for that escalator.

Despite not entering the league with the profile RG3 did or having yet to complete 60% of his passes in a season, Smith, in the view of scouts surveyed, profiles as a player still capable of an ascent, albeit with a lowered ceiling.

They did him a disservice by forcing him to play (right away),” an NFC front office executive told The Daily News. “The talent is there, but the mental makeup isn’t. A year under (Ryan Fitzpatrick) should help… Geno may end up being the starter with the Jets.”

Here is some other news from AFC facilities as Week 6 Sunday looms.

  • In light of his latest alcohol-related trouble this week, Browns backup Johnny Manziel should re-enter rehab, Mary Kay Cabot of writes. With the police report indicating Manziel was swerving to avoid traffic and hit speeds of 90 mph after admitting drinking earlier in the day Monday, Cabot writes there are enough warning signs from this incident to put a halt on the second-year quarterback’s career again. The longtime Cleveland scribe also notes the Browns should consider the domestic violence allegations of Manziel’s girlfriend, even though police deemed the woman’s story too inconsistent to charge Manziel, in light of offensive line coach Andy Moeller being fired for DV accusations despite not being charged.
  • Browns OC John DeFilippo wants Brian Hartline to play a bigger part of the offense after catching just two passes the past two games, per Terry Pluto of The recently signed free agent recorded 96 receiving yards against the Raiders but hasn’t exceeded 20 in the other four contests.
  • Both Vontaze Burfict and linebacker Sean Porter may not be ready to return when they are eligible to be removed from the PUP list prior to the Bengals‘ Nov. 1 game against the Steelers, reports Jake Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer. League sources told the paper Porter isn’t in Cincinnati’s plans as of now as he recovers from a torn ACL while indicating Burfict could need more time to re-emerge successfully from microfracture surgery.
  • After the Broncos cut tight end Richard Gordon in order to promote running back Kapri Bibbs from the practice squad, the coaching staff asked Gordon to stay in town, as there’s a good chance Denver re-signs him next week, Mike Klis of 9News reports. With third-stringer Juwan Thompson hampered by a hamstring injury, the Broncos had a need for an extra tailback this week.
  • The Colts worked out second-year punter Michael Palardy, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). Palardy spent time with the Raiders last year but did not punt in a game.


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