While the Browns are likely to move on from newly acquired quarterback Brock Osweiler before he ever plays a down in Cleveland, head coach Hue Jackson indicated Sunday the 26-year-old will have a chance to compete for the team’s No. 1 job, tweets Jeff Schudel of The News-Herald. It’s difficult to take Jackson seriously in this case, however, and Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com senses that he’s uninterested in trying to transform the former Bronco and Texan into a viable starter. As such, the Browns remain on track to jettison Osweiler via trade or release, Cabot writes.
The latest on a couple other AFC teams:
- Count Jets owner Woody Johnson among the many around the NFL who are unimpressed with the city of Oakland’s attempt to keep the Raiders. “They didn’t make a valiant effort,” Johnson told Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal (Twitter link). It seems fair to infer from Johnson’s comment that he’ll vote in favor of the Raiders’ relocation bid Monday. The Raiders’ Mark Davis will need 23 yes votes from the league’s other 31 owners to realize his Vegas goal. He’s unlikely to have difficulty garnering approval from his colleagues, two anonymous owners told the Associated Press. “Not only have no hurdles been made clear to us, but there isn’t any opposition to it,” said one. Added the other, “It’s going to happen and the sooner we do it, the better it is for the league and for the Raiders.”
- Pittsburgh took a serious run at inside linebacker Dont’a Hightower in free agency before he re-signed with the Patriots, which Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert addressed Sunday. “We made an attempt (to sign Hightower). It didn’t work. We’re fine, we move on,” said Colbert (via Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review). The Steelers also lost stalwart ILB Lawrence Timmons in free agency, though Colbert insists that they’re “very confident” that Vince Williams is capable of stepping up in the wake of Timmons’ departure. Williams has only started six games since an 11-start rookie campaign in 2013, though, and played just 25.7 percent of the Steelers’ defensive snaps last season. It “remains to be seen” if the 27-year-old has what it takes to be a three-down player, offered Colbert.
- A far more prominent member of the Steelers, running back Le’Veon Bell, is entering a contract year as the team’s franchise player. Long-term negotiations between the two sides will ramp up after the draft, per Rutter. “It will be a very complicated type of deal,” said Colbert, who added that locking up Bell “always has been our goal.” The leaguewide deadline to re-up franchise tag recipients to multiyear pacts is July 15, which will give the Steelers two-plus months to get a deal done with Bell if they take a post-draft approach.