Here are some notes from the AFC as the third London game continues on Week 8 Sunday.
- With another Browns season unfolding in typical fashion since the franchise rebooted, the team has engaged in discussions to trade starting linemen Joe Thomas and Alex Mack, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. A potential Hall of Famer, Thomas has played in Cleveland since being drafted third overall in 2007. The eight-time Pro Bowler has no guaranteed money on his 2016 deal. However, the left tackle is under contract (for $9MM in ’16) until 2018 and would rocket to the top of the trade block if he’s being dangled. Mack can opt out of his Browns deal after this season, as the Jaguars intended when they designed the contract to make it difficult for Cleveland to match in 2014. The center’s deal features a no-trade clause, but he is allowed to waive it to expedite a move to a contending team, Rapoport tweets. Ohio.com reporter Nate Ulrich notes the Browns would likely have to be “blown away” by an offer to part with either of these two (Twitter link).
- Browns outside linebacker Paul Kruger is also available for a trade, ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter reported on SportsCenter (as relayed by Ohio.com’s Marla Ridenour on Twitter). Kruger’s played in Cleveland for three seasons after signing a big free agent deal in 2013. At $7.7MM, Kruger has the sixth-largest cap number on the Browns (Thomas and Mack are second and fifth, respectively). He’s under contract for two more seasons and carries just $3.6MM worth of dead money. Kruger, who will make $6.5MM and $7MM in base salaries the next two years, posted 11 sacks last season, but the 29-year-old has just a half-sack this year.
- Teams have called the Ravens on Steve Smith and have been told the 36-year-old wideout’s unavailable, Schefter reports (via Twitter). This approach would lend to the thinking Baltimore can convince Smith to postpone his retirement. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk wonders if Smith will soften his stance on retiring instantly if traded if the Ravens lose today and drop to 1-7.
- The Chiefs do not plan to play host in London again for a while, Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star reports (on Twitter). Chairman Clark Hunt did say the team would consider going abroad for a road game in the coming years (Twitter link).
- Paylor examines the reasoning for the Chiefs to cede a home game in favor of a London excursion. Growing the Chiefs’ brand and potentially joining the list of cities vying for a future Super Bowl are among them.
- Chris Ivory would like to continue his career with the Jets despite the team’s coaching staff upheaval, the New York Post’s Steve Serby reports. Ivory, who has 501 rushing yards and is barely 300 from a single-season career high, is a free agent at season’s end.