AFC Notes: Broncos, Colts, Browns, Steelers

Broncos management is at risk of sending the wrong message to the team’s players if it doesn’t reach a long-term deal with disgruntled franchise linebacker Von Miller by the July 15 deadline, opines Jeff Legwold of Denver’s standoff with Miller comes a year after it reduced then-quarterback Peyton Manning‘s salary by $4MM, writes Legwold, who notes that the Broncos’ willingness to play hardball with their biggest stars isn’t lost on their other players. However, as Legwold points out, the Broncos are the reigning Super Bowl champions, winners of five straight AFC West titles and have managed the salary cap well, so they’re clearly operating in a competent manner.

More from Denver and a few other AFC cities:

  • Quarterback Andrew Luck‘s record-setting contract won’t have an adverse effect on the Colts’ salary cap, argues Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star. Among Holder’s reasons: The cap, which has gone up $22MM since 2014, is likely to continue rising; as evidenced by the deals given to Luck, left tackle Anthony Castonzo, No. 1 receiver T.Y. Hilton and tight end Dwayne Allen since last summer, the Colts are now emphasizing drafting, developing and keeping their own instead of relying on free agency; and Luck helped the Colts by agreeing to a team-friendly pact that will pay him just over $23MM per year, not the $25MM annual amount many predicted.
  • Miami traded fourth-year cornerback Jamar Taylor Cleveland earlier this offseason, and the former second-round pick is excited for a new beginning with the Browns“It’s definitely a fresh start for me. For what I went through in Miami, it’s all over. This is a great group of people here, a great organization, a great staff,” Taylor told Patrick Maks of “Nobody knows me, I know nobody. It’s just really new for me. It’s definitely a fresh start, but it’s a fresh start for everybody. None of the coaches really know a lot of these guys so everybody knows they just have to go put it on tape. You are who you put on tape and you are who you are around your teammates.”
  • Although Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette doesn’t necessarily doubt ex-Guyer Institute pharmacist Charlie Sly’s allegations regarding performance-enhancing drugs in the NFL, the writer blasts commissioner Roger Goodell over the league’s desire to interview the Steelers’ James Harrison concerning PEDs. The 38-year-old linebacker was among several players Sly accused of receiving PEDs and-or painkillers from Guyer Institute in a 2015 Al Jazeera documentary. Sly has since recanted his claims, however, and with that in mind, Starkey doesn’t see the credible evidence necessary to pursue an interview with Harrison. The NFL Players Association echoed a similar sentiment in a letter to the league earlier this week, and Harrison took to social media to express the limited terms under which he’d agree to an interview.
  • Texans minority owner Philip Burguieres has passed away, reports Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston (via Twitter). Owner Bob McNair paid tribute to Burguieres in a statement: “As most of you know, Philip worked tirelessly with me to bring an NFL franchise back to Houston in the late 1990s. He was instrumental to the success of the Texans, serving as Vice Chairman until 2012. Philip also was involved in the McNair Group investment activities. He was a longtime friend of mine and a mentor to many and will be greatly missed.”
  • Broncos safety Shiloh Keo could be subject to league discipline after pleading guilty Friday to a misdemeanor charge for driving under the influence in February, according to Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. Keo, who joined the Broncos last December, re-signed with the team on a one-year deal in April.

Ben Levine contributed to this post.

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