AFC Notes: Broncos, Browns, Texans

Contract talks between the Broncos and franchise-tagged pass rusher Von Miller are going so poorly that the Super Bowl 50 MVP could consider holding out until November both this year and, if needed, in 2017, according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link). Cole says that the Broncos’ current offer to Miller is worth only a little more per year than what the Giants gave the far less accomplished Olivier Vernon ($17MM) in free agency and doesn’t contain nearly enough guaranteed money for Miller’s liking.

Here’s more on Denver and a couple other AFC clubs:

  • Broncos quarterback Mark Sanchez is working hard to take the reins in Denver, showing leadership, and impressing his teammates in the process, reports Lindsay H. Jones of USA Today (video link). “I can tell he wants to be a leader on this team. He wants to be our quarterback. He wants to be The Guy. And that’s the type of guy we need,” receiver Emmanuel Sanders said. Of course, early reviews aside, Sanchez is a long shot to win the Broncos’ starting job. The team could foil his plans to start by trading for the 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick, adding a high-round draft pick, or signing free agents like Brian Hoyer or Ryan Fitzpatrick.
  • After the Browns released veteran defenders Karlos Dansby and Donte Whitner earlier this offseason, linebacker Paul Kruger worried about his own status with the team, he told Mary Kay Cabot of “Yeah I was definitely anticipating something,” the 30-year-old said. “Made me a little nervous, I’m not going to lie.” The Browns could still part with Kruger and save $5.3MM before June 1 or $6.5MM if he’s a post-June 1 cut, but they already have the third-most cap space in the league. Kruger, for his part, now expects to remain in the fold. “Those are discussions that I let my agent and those people take care of but hey, I’m here right now and this is where I’m planning on being come August,” he said. Kruger’s sack total plummeted from 11 in 2014 to 2.5 last season, though he still menaced opposing quarterbacks, finishing with the league’s fourth-most hurries (33).
  • The Texans will bring in Wisconsin fullback Derek Watt and Arkansas running back Jonathan Williams for Wednesday visits, reports Tania Ganguli of ESPN (Twitter links). Derek Watt is the brother of superstar Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt.
  • Wide receivers Cam Worthy and Saalim Hakim, offensive lineman James Brewer and defensive back Dax Swanson will partake in Browns minicamp this week as tryout players, tweets the team’s communications manager, Dan Murphy.
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