Saturday Mailbags: Paea, Manziel, Titans

More from the designated mailbag day from the NFL media. Some notes from Washington, Cleveland and Tennessee rumblings from ESPN’s John Keim, the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot and ESPN’s Paul Kuharsky, respectively.

  • In signing two players who started as 4-3 defensive tackles for their former teams last season, Washington must relocate one of them in their 3-4 look, writes Keim. Before either Terrance Knighton or Stephen Paea will put on a red and gold jersey, Paea appears to be the one on the move. The former Bears defensive tackle will slide to end as Knighton, at more than 340 pounds, is expected to clog the A gap. Paea will be expected to rush from inside on passing downs, however, with Knighton coming off the field in many of those scenarios as he did in Denver last season. Keim said Jason Hatcher, Ricky Jean-Francois or Chris Baker will spell Knighton on passing downs.
  • Keim is uncertain why Washington, which pursued Derek Newton before he re-signed with the Texans and eventual Jaguars signee Jermey Parnell, hasn’t made a push to sign Joe BarksdaleThe Rams right tackle’s initial asking price reportedly surprised Jeff Fisher, but Keim expects Barksdale to be back in St. Louis next season. Keim lists right tackle, where unsigned free agent Tyler Polumbus and Tom Compton struggled last season, as the team’s biggest pre-draft offensive need.
  • Despite rumors out of Cleveland earlier this week that the Browns‘ intent was to move on from Johnny Manziel, Cabot does not expect that to occur after just seven quarters of NFL quarterbacking experience. Manziel, still in rehab despite his recent golf outing (Twitter link), is expected to be given a chance to prove his tools can translate in a run-oriented offense despite evidence to the contrary last year. Per Cabot, Manziel progressed under new quarterbacks coach Kevin O’Connell in preparing for the draft last year, furthering the belief the Browns intend on giving him another chance.
  • Cabot estimates a trade up for Marcus Mariota could cost the Browns three first-round picks. Cleveland owns selections 12 and 19 this year. Defensive lineman Danny Shelton will be a target for the Browns at No. 12 after they ranked last in the league in run stoppage in 2014, according to Cabot.
  • The Titans drafting a running back in the second round doesn’t make sense to Kuharsky, considering the team’s previous second-round investment in Bishop Sankey, the first back off the board last year.
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