While the first day of the NFL’s legal tampering window has been relatively slow, things figure to heat up in the coming days as the new league year approaches. Two AFC North clubs stand to be in on the action, as the Browns and Steelers are both expected to be active when free agency begins, per Tony Grossi of ESPN.com (Twitter link) and Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL.com (Twitter link). Pittsburgh will be “working the phones” more than usual, per Kinkhabwala, but that doesn’t mean the usually conservative team will be targeting more free agents than is customary.
Here’s more from the AFC:
- Although the Titans have interest in retaining safety Rashad Johnson, he’s expected to have other suitors, tweets Terry McCormick of TitansInsider.com. Johnson, 31, signed a one-year, $2MM deal with Tennessee last offseason, and proceeded to start seven games for the club in 2016, posting 38 tackles in the process. He ranks as PFR’s No. 15 free agent safety, just behind Mike Adams and Jairus Byrd.
- The Jets are expected to pursue interior offensive lineman Brian Schwenke, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. Schwenke, 26 this month, started 28 games during his four-year run with Tennessee, but lost his hold on the club’s starting center job when the Titans inked Ben Jones last offseason. Also capable of playing guard, Schwenke has also been linked to Seattle.
- Although previous reports have indicated Sylvester Williams is not only likely to test the market, but leave the Broncos altogether, Denver does have “some interest” in retaining the former first-round defensive lineman, reports Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Williams hasn’t lived up to his draft billing, but does offer 48 games of starting experience. The Broncos declined his 2018 fifth-year option last summer.