AFC Links: Watkins, Shorts, Keisel, Raiders

Last night we not only passed along some Browns notes, but also asked whether Johnny Manziel’s off-the-field conduct was among the NFL’s most intriguing storylines. Let’s take a look at some more news from Cleveland, as well as the rest of the AFC:

  • Sammy Watkins revealed to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal that Browns general manager Ray Farmer met with him in Clemson just a few days before the start of last month’s draft. Watkins, of course, was thought to be an option for the Browns at pick No. 4, but Cleveland ultimately traded the pick to the Bills, who selected the 21-year-old receiver.
  • Negotiations between the Jaguars and Cecil Shorts could take awhile, but Michael DiRocco of thinks an extension could be signed sometime during the first half of the season. DiRocco agrees with a recent assessment that Doug Baldwin‘s contract with the Seahawks could be a template for a new Shorts deal, but cautions that if Shorts demands No. 1 receiver money, an agreement could stall.
  • In his latest mailbag, Scott Brown of writes that he still expects the Steelers to re-sign veteran Brett Keisel, though a reunion may not come until just before the start of training camp. Keisel would serve as a mentor to second-round pick Stephon Tuitt, and act as part of a rotation with the rookie and Cam Thomas.
  • 2011 Steelers fifth-round linebacker Chris Carter might be facing his last chance in Pittsburgh, according to R.J. Schaffer of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Following the release of LaMarr Woodley, there is room for another pass-rusher to step up for the Steelers, but rumors persist that the team might add veteran James Harrison.
  • The Raiders still have more than $10MM left in cap space, and’s Paul Guiterrez wonders if the team should look to spend that money, while questioning why Oakland did not look into signing Brandon Flowers. Personally, I think it makes more sense for the Raiders to roll over that cap space into 2015, as there aren’t any high-impact free agents left on the market.
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