On the heels of his six-interception 2015 campaign, third-year cornerback Marcus Williams could be the Jets’ most underrated player, opines Brian Costello of the New York Post. The former undrafted free agent from North Dakota State and ex-Texans practice squad member showed off impressive ball-hawking prowess last season despite serving as a fourth corner and playing just 27 percent of the Jets’ defensive snaps, and he’ll spend the next couple months battling Buster Skrine for a starting job opposite Darrelle Revis. As a contract-year player, Williams stands to earn a significant raise over his $600K salary by next offseason if he proves capable of filling a bigger role – whether as a starter or slot corner – in 2016.
Elsewhere in the AFC…
- There’s a chance Dallas Thomas will beat out first-round pick Laremy Tunsil as the Dolphins’ starting left guard, which would be a nightmare for the team’s fans, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Thomas – whom Pro Football Focus ranked as the league’s second-worst guard among 81 qualifiers last season – seems to be ahead of Tunsil in the pecking order after the rookie struggled in minicamp, per Jackson. Tunsil, the 13th overall pick, was a dominant left tackle at Ole Miss and acknowledged that it’s not easy to learn a new position and playbook.
- Chiefs offensive tackle Eric Fisher, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2013 draft, sees himself “on a steady incline” after transitioning back to the left side midway through last season, he told BJ Kissel of the team’s website. Fisher, whose pro career hasn’t lived up to his draft status, added that his impressive performance against the J.J. Watt-led Texans in the Chiefs’ 30-0 wild-card round victory “almost seemed like a little bit of a turning point in my career.” Having picked up Fisher’s $11.902 fifth-year option for 2017 in early May, the Chiefs are also clearly encouraged by the progress he made last season. That option is guaranteed for injury only, though, so if Fisher stays healthy and fares poorly this year, Kansas City will have the opportunity to reverse course.
- Broncos general manager John Elway‘s competitiveness could be a roadblock in the way of a Von Miller deal, according to Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post. Kiszla wonders if the Hall of Fame quarterback can put aside his hatred of losing to reach a compromise with Miller, the franchise-tagged linebacker who’s fighting with the Broncos over the lack of guaranteed money in their six-year, $114.5MM offer. The two sides have until July 15 to reach an agreement; if that doesn’t happen, the reigning Super Bowl MVP’s only choices would be to sign the $14MM-plus franchise tender or continue sitting out.