AFC Notes: Barrett, Cassel, Browns, Texans

Shaquil Barrett won’t be participating in any further Broncos offseason workouts after suffering a hip injury away from the team’s facility recently, but the outside linebacker won’t need surgery, Mike Klis of 9News reports (on Twitter). The third-year outside linebacker contributor will still be out “a while,” per Klis, who notes (via Twitter) this injury could keep him out of some training camp time. Barrett is expected to be the Broncos’ No. 3 outside ‘backer behind Von Miller and Shane Ray, with the group thinning out after DeMarcus Ware‘s retirement. The Broncos signed Kasim Edebali after the Saints didn’t extend him an RFA tender this offseason but didn’t further address the position. A lengthy Barrett absence could lead the team to explore potential edge defenders in free agency.

Here’s the latest from the AFC.

  • The Titans have a slightly more prominent player in the same boat, with Matt Cassel expected to be out six weeks after injuring his throwing thumb, Jim Wyatt of tweets. The 13th-year veteran will have surgery on the thumb, according to Paul Kuharsky of Cassel is signed for another year as Marcus Mariota‘s backup. This timetable puts him in line to be able to rejoin the team come training camp, per Mike Mularkey. Alex Tanney resides as Tennessee’s third-stringer.
  • Isaiah Crowell addressed his contract situation from Browns OTAs, saying “both sides are trying to get something done,” Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal tweets. Crowell reported late to Cleveland’s voluntary workouts. He signed his RFA second-round tender earlier this month and is entering a contract year. The 24-year-old managed to gain nearly 1,000 yards last season despite being a 1-15 team’s primary running back. After the Browns beefed up their line this offseason, Crowell is in better position to play well in a possible audition season for other teams, should the sides be unable to get a deal done before this season. The Browns have $57MM in cap space and signed Christian Kirksey to an extension earlier this week.
  • Corey Coleman will be held out of remaining Browns offseason practices after the second-year wideout fell on the ball while making a catch last week, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Hue Jackson steadfastly denied Coleman broke a bone during the tumble, but it looks like the 2016 first-rounder won’t re-emerge on the practice field until camp. Coleman missed six games last season because of a broken hand.
  • Duane Brown is again a no-show as the Texans continue their voluntary workouts, and John McClain of the Houston Chronicle confirms (Twitter link) this absence is contract-related. The Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson reported last week the longtime left tackle wants a new contract and is staying away for the time being. McClain wonders if the 31-year-old Brown will show for mandatory minicamp next month. Two years remain on Brown’s six-year, $53.4MM extension. He has non-guaranteed base salaries of $9.65MM and $9.75MM on tap for 2017 and ’18.
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