Brock Osweiler

AFC Notes: Bengals, Osweiler, Hali

Tyler Eifert and Vontaze Burfict are both entering their contract seasons, and while the Bengals have not allowed a Pro Bowl player to leave via free agency who is under the age of 32 since 2011, both players present unique considerations. Both are justified in aiming to be paid at the top of the pay scale for their respective positions, but Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer says Burfict, because of his injury history and run-ins with the league’s player safety rules, is more likely to receive a contract like Dont’a Hightower‘s (four years, $35.5MM with $17MM in guarantees) than Luke Kuechly‘s (five years, $61.8MM with $34MM in guarantees). Also, given Hightower’s difficult time in free agency this season, it is unclear whether Burfict will want to try his luck on the open market.

Eifert’s own injury history could hinder his financial prospects, though league sources indicate he is in line for a five-year pact with an AAV of roughly $9MM. Unlike Burfict, however, the franchise tag is an option for Eifert if the two sides cannot hammer out a long-term deal this year, although both parties are motivated to get something done.

Now for more from the AFC:

  • Brock Osweiler apparently still has a chance to start for the Browns in Week 1. Although Cody Kessler and DeShone Kizer are considered the most likely candidates to open the season under center, a lot will depend on Kizer’s development. As Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com writes, if Kizer does not develop as anticipated during training camp — he has progressed well to this point, but things can always change when the pads are on — then Osweiler could reenter the mix as a challenger to Kessler.
  • Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich is entering his contract year, but at this point, he does not foresee himself playing for anyone other than New England, as Mike Reiss of ESPN.com writes. Ninkovich was drafted by the Saints in the fifth round of the 2006 draft and spent several years with the Dolphins, but his career did not blossom until he signed with the Pats in 2009. Since 2010, he has posted at least four sacks per season as a versatile defensive end/linebacker, including three consecutive eight-sack seasons from 2012-14. He is so grateful for his time in New England that, when asked if he could envision himself playing for another club, he said, “I wouldn’t do that.”
  • Tamba Halis Twitter rant last night drew quite a bit of attention, but the Chiefs linebacker says he is not considering holding out and he has not been told he is not in the team’s 2017 plans. He said he simply wants to play more (Twitter link). Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star says (via Twitter) that Hali did address the matter internally back in January, and he was told by head coach Andy Reid to just “keep getting better.” That obviously did not sit well with Hali, who apparently stewed about it for some time before unleashing a bit last night.
  • Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union wonders what, if anything, Trai Turner‘s recent four-year, $45MM extension could mean for Jaguars center Brandon Linder, who was drafted one spot behind Turner in the 2014 draft. Linder started his career at right guard but was moved to center last season after missing 13 games due to a shoulder injury in 2015. He has missed 15 total games in his career, and it sounds as if Jacksonville will simply allow him to play out his contract because of that injury history. If contract talks do commence this year, it will be interesting to see if Linder gets paid like a center or if he receives a deal that suggests he could return to right guard in the future.

Poll: Who Should Browns Start At Quarterback?

Hue Jackson identified the goal to name a starting quarterback by the Browns’ preseason opener. While that might be ambitious given that the team again brought in multiple new pieces to vie for this job, that date is approaching fast. And Cleveland boasts one of the more NFL’s more interesting quarterback competitions.

The Cody Kessler-vs.-DeShone Kizer-vs.-Brock Osweiler battle brings disparate profiles. While the Browns aren’t exactly in position to challenge for a playoff spot now, they spent an offseason loading up on long-term deals for when they are. So, establishing a quarterback now will be important.

"<strongKessler entered the Browns’ offseason program as the man to beat here. The former USC passer and 2016 third-rounder was thrust into action midway through last season after injuries befell both players in front of him.

Although he obviously did not win any games, going 0-8 as a starter, the 6-foot-1 Kessler fared decently for a player viewed as more of a developmental project. He completed 66 percent of his passes and threw six touchdown passes compared to two interceptions despite the Browns not having much in the way of skill-position depth.

Kizer, though, closed the gap during OTAs and minicamp. The Browns having made a second-round investment in the former Notre Dame signal-caller positions him well in the quarterback-of-the-future discussion. The team is not interested in the 6-4 player sitting just to sit this season, with Jackson saying he will play if he’s ready.

Viewed as relatively raw and coming with the kind of questions his 2017 rookie-QB peers also had, the 21-year-old Kizer may benefit from observing for a bit. But he’s not exactly blocked by a proven player, so Jackson may want to get him reps soon. Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot saw Kizer show superior physical skills during OTAs compared to the other quarterbacks, and QBs coach David Lee said the rookie has a bright NFL future.

"<strongThe obvious wild card here after arriving in one of the weirdest trades in NFL history, Osweiler has impressed thus far. He brings the most experience, even if no action of consequence occurred until his fourth season, but is a polarizing presence after the way the Texans season unfolded.

Osweiler is being paid $16MM this year as part of the agreement with the Texans, and he helped the 2015 Broncos secure home-field advantage en route to their Super Bowl title. But after his Denver audition had peaks and valleys, the 26-year-old passer bombed in Houston, throwing 16 interceptions and limiting the Texans’ offense. Lee is working on refining the 6-7 quarterback’s three-quarters delivery, and Cabot notes he is a viable threat to start in Week 1.

Kessler probably has the best handle on Jackson’s system, with Kizer having a higher upside as of now. One anonymous exec still thinks the Browns will find a way to trade Osweiler before the season. The team tried to do so after acquiring him, making Osweiler’s chances at securing the job interesting. But he also isn’t facing the kind of steep odds most backup-type passers are around the league. Kevin Hogan is also on the team, and Jackson said he would receive first-team reps, but the 2016 fifth-rounder is not likely to be a serious candidate come camp.

So, who will win this job? Did Kessler show enough on a 1-15 team last season to earn another opportunity? Or will Jackson throw Kizer into the fire despite his age and seeming need for development? How much of a chance do you give Osweiler here? Vote in PFR’s latest poll and weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Browns, Texans, Jags, Jets

Second-round signal-caller DeShone Kizer is in the mold of Super Bowl-winning division rivals Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers) and Joe Flacco (Ravens), according to Browns quarterbacks coach David Lee, but it doesn’t sound as if he’ll see the field for a while. “He’s got a great future,” Lee told reporters, including Nate Ulrich of Ohio.com. “He’s just a long way from being ready. He’s not ready, but he’s climbing on it, and he’s making progress.”

Kizer, the 52nd overall pick from Notre Dame, is competing against Brock Osweiler and Cody Kessler to open the season as the Browns’ starter. Osweiler has impressed Cleveland’s coaches since coming over in March in a surprising trade with Houston, and the fact that he’s the most experienced and accomplished of the Browns’ QBs matters to Lee. “You can say what you want, but the guy in the last two years has taken two different teams [Texans and Denver Broncos] to the playoffs, and there’s nobody else in that room that can say that,” Lee pointed out. “Plus, this is his sixth year of experience. [The other guys have] got [little or] no experience. … So he’s the senior citizen. He looks like a guy who’s played before. He’s great at the line of scrimmage. He’s great in the huddle, I mean calming effect. Is he the quarterback? We don’t have one yet, but he’s in the mix for sure.”

  • The Texans worked out safety Jaiquawn Jarrett on Monday, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Jarrett, a former second-round pick, spent the first two seasons of his career with the Eagles before joining the Jets from 2013-15. He didn’t appear in the NFL in 2016. A veteran of 47 career games, Jarrett boasts nine starts through five pro seasons. Houston has no plans to sign either Jarrett or fellow defensive back Aaron Williams, whom the Texans hosted earlier this week, as Wilson writes in a full article.
  • Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey underwent core muscle surgery Thursday, per NFL.com’s Mike Garafalo, who adds that he should be ready for the regular season (Twitter link). Ramsey also dealt with a notable injury last spring, a torn meniscus that required surgery and kept him out of organized team activities and minicamp, but still went on to post an excellent rookie season. Last year’s fifth overall pick, Ramsey started all 16 of the Jags’ games, intercepted two passes (one of which he returned for a touchdown) and ranked as Pro Football Focus’ 21st-best corner.
  • Josh McCown has a smaller-than-anticipated lead over Christian Hackenberg as the Jets’ training camp quarterback battle approaches, writes Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. McCown wasn’t all that sharp in minicamp, whereas Hackenberg exceeded expectations, per Cimini, who notes that Bryce Petty is a clear third in the race. The Jets invested a second-rounder in Hackenberg only a year ago, but it seems the ex-Penn State Nittany Lion is widely regarded as a lost cause after he couldn’t crack the lineup last season for a club whose QB play was among the worst in the league. But Hackenberg should get on the field sometime this year for a team that’s now in a full-scale rebuild.

Dallas Robinson contributed to this post.

North Notes: Browns, Ravens, Lions, Vikings

Browns edge rusher Myles Garrett, the first pick in this year’s draft, suffered a left foot injury Wednesday that left him in “obvious pain,” reports Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland. A day later, Garrett sat out practice as team doctors evaluated his foot, a club spokesman announced. The Browns won’t provide further details on Garrett’s ailment, per Cabot, who relays that the injury likely isn’t serious. Meanwhile, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that Garrett should be “fine.” Foot issues are nothing new for Garrett, who dealt with soreness throughout organized team activities and battled a high ankle sprain during his final year at Texas A&M last season. Fortunately, though, it looks as if he and the Browns will escape relatively unscathed in this instance.

More from the NFL’s North divisions:

  • Unsurprisingly, it appears injured tight end Dennis Pitta‘s release from the Ravens last week will bring an end to his career. When speaking with reporters Thursday, Pitta didn’t announce his retirement, but he conceded, “I’m not delusional” (Twitter link via Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun). Hip problems limited Pitta to seven games from 2013-15, but he returned last season to post a 16-game campaign and catch a team-high 86 passes. The soon-to-be 32-year-old suffered a hip dislocation earlier this month, though, leading the Ravens to cut ties after seven seasons.
  • In his first meeting with the Detroit media on Thursday, newly acquired Lions offensive tackle Greg Robinson called the trade that sent him from Los Angeles to the Motor City “a big surprise,” per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Robinson busted with the Rams, who selected him second overall in 2014, and acknowledged that things “haven’t really went the way I would like” to this point. The 24-year-old expects to jump-start his career in Detroit, however. “I plan on benefiting from (my fresh start) tremendously,” Robinson declared. “It’s really refreshing and I plan to make the most out of it.”
  • Browns quarterback Brock Osweiler has been “very happy” with his performance this spring, and the ex-Texan explained Wednesday why his play has improved from his disastrous 2016 in Houston. “The best part is I’m getting coached hard on my fundamentals,” Osweiler said, via Nate Ulrich of Ohio.com. “And I believe firmly that when your fundamentals and your feet are right as a quarterback, you’re going to make great decisions and you’re going to throw accurate footballs.” Osweiler added that his “fundamentals slid” last year, but he declined “to go into great detail” on why. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk interprets Osweiler’s remarks as a shot at the Texans’ coaching staff, particularly Bill O’Brien, who didn’t get along well with the signal-caller last season.
  • Defensive back Lardarius Webb experienced a “tepid market” during his month of unemployment before re-signing with the Ravens in May, as Zrebiec details. The only club known to have expressed interest in the 31-year-old Webb was the Vikings, although Baltimore reportedly had interest in bringing Webb back almost instantly after releasing him. The Ravens saved $5.5MM in cap space by originally cutting ties with Webb, who has since inked a new three-year deal worth $6.3MM (with another $1.4MM available annually via incentives).
  • Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer indicated Wednesday that both kicker Kai Forbath and punter Ryan Quigley will have to fight for their jobs this summer, telling reporters that “there’s an open competition” at both spots (via Mark Craig of the Star Tribune). Forbath, whom the Vikings signed last November after releasing Blair Walsh, made all 15 of his field goal attempts with Minnesota in 2016 but will battle second-year man Marshall Koehn to stay with the club. “He’s got the stronger leg,” Priefer said of Koehn. “This kid is coming on strong. It’s a great competition.” Quigley, an April signing, will try to fend off another second-year player, Taylor Symmank, after averaging a career-worst 41.6 yards per punt on 34 attempts with the Cardinals last season.

Dallas Robinson contributed to this post.

AFC North Notes: Osweiler, Steelers, Ravens

The Browns and Texans’ historic trade did send a second-round pick to Cleveland, but Brock Osweiler remains on the payroll after the team tried to trade him for more draft picks. This leaves Osweiler in an uncertain place despite the sixth-year quarterback working with the Browns at OTAs. However, one NFL executive believes the team will still find a way to unload Osweiler.

I think they still will flip him,” the anonymous exec said, via Mike Sando of ESPN.com (Insider link). “I think they are going to pay even more of his salary where he is only, say, a $2MM player, and then they will trade him for something. This is Plan B. Plan A was to take his salary down to $8MM and trade him right away. Plan C is that he is on their team or they just outright cut him. That could very much happen.”

This exec paints a grim portrait of Osweiler’s future in northeast Ohio. The Browns have been impressed with their unique trade acquisition so far, and Osweiler is competing for the starting job with Cody Kessler and DeShone Kizer. But Cleveland still was keen on unloading the 26-year-old passer, and taking on plenty of Osweiler’s $16MM salary to do it. The Browns have been unable to do so yet but have more than $60MM in cap space, so a prospective deal wouldn’t be out of the question this year. But one could well depend on a team’s injury situation at quarterback come training camp, along with the portion of the quarterback’s salary the Browns would agree to pay and what kind of draft compensation they now want.

Here’s the latest coming out of the AFC North as minicamps approach.

  • In the same Sando piece, an NFL personnel director questioned the Steelers‘ hesitance at trying to keep up with the Patriots this offseason. Perhaps the top AFC challenger to New England, Pittsburgh did not make moves in free agency or on the trade market, calling this anonymous exec to question the franchise’s traditional, build-from-within approach. “Pittsburgh never seems to make the big impact move,” the exec said. “They seem to just keep trying to get guys who fit into their locker room or fit into their scheme. It is almost like they are a little bit of plug-and-play and not really willing to stretch out and put themselves out there.” The Steelers did add wideout weaponry but did so through the draft (second-rounder JuJu Smith-Schuster) and via Martavis Bryant‘s reinstatement. Otherwise, the team is similar to its 2016 edition.
  • The costs to keep the trio of Le’Veon Bell, Stephon Tuitt and Alejandro Villanueva could cost the Steelers well north of $100MM collectively, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com writes. The Pittsburgh-based reporter slots Bell’s deal as the highest priority, Tuitt’s as the player who wouldn’t need to be re-signed right away, and Villanueva as the wild card in this equation in being an ERFA that could hold out after a months-long negotiation. The Steelers have the July 15 franchise tag deadline with Bell but could let Tuitt’s talks slip into August, Fowler notes. The fourth-year defensive end is under contract at $1.47MM for 2017 before his rookie deal expires. Tuitt wants to stay in Pittsburgh but will be a costly cog to retain. The Steelers possess $16.3MM in cap space.
  • The Ravens are shifting to a more power-based run scheme under new offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris, according to the Baltimore Sun’s Edward Lee. Baltimore used zone principles under Juan Castillo, who is now working as the Bills’ O-line coach.

AFC Notes: Broncos, Browns, Fins, Jets

Broncos second-year safety Will Parks is facing two misdemeanor charges stemming from a March 31 arrest, reports Mike Klis of 9News. Parks, charged with harassment and non-violent domestic violence, has a court date in Brighton, Colo., on June 30. His ex-girlfriend told police that Parks started making threats against her because he believed she stole his social security card, birth certificate, football rings and football jerseys. Parks claims he never threatened her, but she nonetheless filed a restraining order against him. The Broncos knew about Parks’ arrest before it became public knowledge, the team informed Klis. “We became aware of the issue involving Will Parks immediately after it occurred in April,” stated the club. “It was promptly reported to the league office and we are continuing to monitor the matter.” The NFL is currently determining whether Parks violated its personal conduct policy, tweets Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post.

More from the AFC:

  • Browns quarterback Brock Osweiler has emerged as a serious candidate to start Week 1 because he has exceeded head coach Hue Jackson‘s expectations since joining the team via trade in March, relays Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com. Osweiler’s performance last year in Houston was ugly, and he even came with behind-the-scenes concerns that led to wariness from Jackson. But Osweiler “has been outstanding in our building, and that’s what’s most important,” noted Jackson, who has teamed with quarterbacks coach David Lee to help tighten up the 6-foot-8, 235-pounder’s delivery. “I told him this yesterday — I went back and watched a little bit of film of him from last year, and he looks much better right now,” said Jackson. “He’s more compact. He’s throwing the ball with a lot more velocity. He’s doing a lot of good things.”
  • The Dolphins and wide receiver Jarvis Landry have discussed a contract extension, but the talks haven’t gotten serious, writes James Walker of ESPN.com. “We’ve talked back and forth but there’s nothing really going on,” said Landry. “We’re just really focusing on right now today.” Landry has no plans to hold out as he enters the last year of his rookie contract, per the Miami Herald’s Adam H. Beasley, who expects him to sign a deal worth upward of $12MM per annum at some point. As Beasley notes, no NFLer has caught more passes in his first three years in the league than Landry, who hauled in 288 from 2014-16.
  • The Jets traded safety Calvin Pryor to Cleveland on Thursday in part because they wanted him out of their locker room, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. There was a belief within the organization that Pryor “had an inflated opinion of himself” and didn’t buy into head coach Todd Bowles program, per Cimini.

Brock Osweiler To Compete For No. 1 Job

Oft-derided quarterback Brock Osweiler raised eyebrows Wednesday when he said he showed enough on film over the past two years to continue as a starter, but he might actually have a shot to earn the No. 1 job in Cleveland, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (video link).

Brock Osweiler

Since Cleveland acquired Osweiler and a second-round pick from the Texans in a stunning trade in March, the 26-year-old’s existence on the Browns “has changed dramatically,” reports Rapoport. Osweiler is a “far, far different quarterback” than he was with the Texans last season, says Rapoport, who expects the 6-foot-8, 235-pounder to compete for a starting role with the Browns.

When Cleveland landed Osweiler, the early belief was that they did so just to acquire second-rounder at the cost of his $16MM salary, and that he wouldn’t be on the Browns come September. It remains possible Osweiler won’t make the Browns, but it could help his cause that they didn’t address the quarterback position via free agency or another trade, nor did they use one of their two first-round picks on a signal-caller. The Browns instead waited until the second round, selecting former Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer at No. 52 overall. Like Osweiler, Kizer will compete to start, though he’s certainly not a lock to take the reins immediately.

As Rapoport notes, Osweiler intrigued enough in Denver two years ago to have both the Broncos and Texans offer him sizable contracts in free agency the ensuing offseason. Osweiler was hardly spectacular with the Broncos in 2015, but if he resembles that version of himself more than his disastrous 2016 form in the coming months, he could beat out the inexperienced trio of Kizer, Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan to emerge as the Browns’ season-opening starter.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Bills, Browns, Patriots

The Bills will send representatives to Clemson to meet with quarterback Deshaun Watson on Friday, reports Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Bills general manager Doug Whaley is supposedly “in love” with Watson, but there’s a belief that the team’s highest-graded QB prospect is North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com said Thursday on NFL Network (via Conor Orr of NFL.com). The problem for Buffalo, if it looks to draft a first-round passer, is that Trubisky might not be on the board when it’s on the clock at No. 10. Cleveland, which owns the 12th pick, may be angling to move ahead of the Bills to ensure it grabs Trubisky.

More on Buffalo and two other AFC clubs:

  • Shortly after Cleveland acquired Brock Osweiler from Houston last month, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported the Browns were willing to eat around half of the quarterback’s $16MM base salary for 2017 in order to trade him. It turns out the exact number is $10MM, tweets La Canfora. It seems likely that the Browns will eventually cut Osweiler if they’re unable to trade him, but given that he’s still on the roster, both executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown and head coach Hue Jackson have said that they expect him to compete for the team’s starting QB job. Of course, the Browns will probably add another signal-caller in the draft (be it Trubisky or someone else), perhaps lessening Osweiler’s chances of making the club.
  • The Patriots ventured to the University of Connecticut on Thursday for a meeting with safety Obi Melifonwu, according to Ryan Hannable of WEEI. New England’s not slated to pick until the third round, No. 72 overall, and Melifonwu should be long gone by then. However, trading cornerback Malcolm Butler to the Saints for the 32nd pick could put the Patriots in position to select Melifonwu.
  • Austin Knoblauch of NFL.com offers more details on a bizarre incident involving Bills offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio this week. Police in Elma, N.Y., responded to a 9:22 a.m. call on Wednesday regarding a suspicious man in a field, which turned out to be a partially undressed Kouandjio. Firefighters then had to administer first aid to Kouandjio for an undisclosed condition. And though Kouandjio screamed “Shoot me!,” he was cooperative with deputies and was not arrested. Kouandjio did go to Erie County Medical Center for further evaluation, however.

Browns Unlikely To Trade For Veteran QB

The Browns don’t envision trading for a veteran quarterback, general manager Sashi Brown told reporters, including Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com (Twitter link), today. Depending on Brown’s definition of the word “veteran,” that could rule out pursuits of the Patriots’ Jimmy Garoppolo and the Bengals’ A.J. McCarron.Jimmy Garoppolo (Vertical)

[RELATED: Browns Likely To Keep No. 1 Overall Pick]

New England reportedly isn’t willing to deal Garoppolo, but that hasn’t stopped the Browns from inquiring. The Patriots’ price for Garoppolo has varied, but Cleveland’s No. 12 pick isn’t going to get a deal done. The Browns aren’t willing to trade the No. 1 overall pick in exchange for a quarterback, so they may simply not match up with the Patriots on a swap.

The Bengals, meanwhile, aren’t actively shopping McCarron, but are willing to trade him (and would even be comfortable shipping him within the AFC North). Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com recently hinted Cincinnati would be open to sending McCarron and the ninth overall pick to Cleveland for pick Nos. 12 and 33. Using Chase Stuart of Football Perspective‘s draft value chart, that deal would imply McCarron is worth the 44th overall selection on his own.

At present, the Browns’ depth chart at quarterback includes Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan, and Brock Osweiler. Although Osweiler had been expected to be traded or released, Brown said today the ex-Texan will have a chance to compete for the starting QB role, tweets Marc Sessler of NFL.com. Of course, that sentiment could simply be lip service until Cleveland decides how to proceed with Osweiler.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Chargers, Steelers, Osweiler

Some assorted notes from around the NFL on this Sunday evening…

  • Chargers general manager Tom Telesco and his staff have been preparing for the upcoming draft for more than a year, and ESPN.com’s Eric D. Williams writes that they were prepping with former defensive coordinator John Pagano’s system in mind. However, despite the addition of head coach Anthony Lynn and new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, Telesco says the team’s plans haven’t been disrupted.
  • The Chargers acquiring Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman “makes too much sense to ever happen,” writes Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. Besides Sherman’s connection with defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, Florio notes that the California native’s temperament would benefit a team that’s seeking “a dynamic personality.” The writer wonders if the Chargers’ 38th-overall pick would be of any interest to Seattle.
  • Now that Lawrence Timmons has departed the Steelers for Miami, Vince Williams projects to start at inside linebacker for Pittsburgh alongside Ryan Shazier. Of course, the Steelers did pursue Dont’a Hightower in free agency, and as Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes, the team’s draft strategy will say a lot about Williams’ future with the club. If the Steelers select an inside linebacker in the first three rounds of the draft — and this year’s class of inside linebackers is very thin — then that would suggest that their faith in Williams is rather shaky.
  • Nothing has changed on the Brock Osweiler front. Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer says the Browns will continue to look to trade Osweiler over draft weekend, and if they cannot find a taker, they will continue to pursue a trade over the coming months. Otherwise, they will simply cut him. Cabot believes the team will still try to add a veteran that can start for them in 2017, and if Osweiler is still on the roster when the regular season rolls around, it will be because they failed to find someone they like better.

Rory Parks contributed to this post.