AFC Notes: Broncos, Idzik, Jags, S. Smith

In a Wednesday mailbag, a reader asked Troy E. Renck of The Denver Post why the Broncos didn’t make more of a push to sign La’el Collins. According to Renck, the lack of a resolution for Collins’ potential criminal case gave Denver pause during the draft — the team shied away from him in the seventh round more because of that uncertainty, not because of the lineman’s vow that he wouldn’t report if he was drafted on Day 3.

Once Collins became a free agent, he narrowed his choices rather quickly to teams with proven quarterbacks, coaches and line coaches. Denver offered all of those things, but Collins didn’t want to play in cold weather and wanted a team close to home, leading him to the Cowboys.

Of course, given today’s news on Ryan Clady‘s torn ACL, the Broncos may be regretting not rolling the dice on Collins with one of their seventh-round picks.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • Former Jets general manager John Idzik, hired back in February as a consultant by the Jaguars, has been named to a full-time position of special assistant to the general manager, according to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union. “He’ll do a little bit of everything,” GM Dave Caldwell said of Idzik. “He’s a great cultural fit for us. He has a great understanding of the salary cap and the different ways to do a contract.” As O’Halloran writes, the Jags also promoted Chris Polian to director of player personnel and Chris Driggers to director of pro personnel.
  • Ravens wideout Steve Smith said he didn’t really contemplate retiring after last season, but he knows he won’t play forever, or even until he’s 40, like Jerry Rice (Twitter links via Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun). Smith turned 36 earlier this month.
  • Browns third-round running back Duke Johnson wasn’t in attendance when the team’s OTAs got underway this week. However, according to Mary Kay Cabot of, it’s because of a personal matter rather than anything contract-related. Johnson is the only one of Cleveland’s 12 draftees who remains unsigned.
  • Titans running back Bishop Sankey was a bit of a disappointment in his rookie season, but the Titans are betting he’ll be better following some offseason strength training, Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean writes.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

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