Colts Rumors

Extra Points: AB, Castonzo, Cowboys, Browns

Antonio Brown will soon be battling the Raiders off the field. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler tweets that the wideout’s grievance against the organization will be heard by an arbitrator in May. Brown filed a grievance over lost wages, including more than $30MM in guaranteed money.

Meanwhile, his grievance against the Patriots has yet to be scheduled, according to Fowler. Brown would be looking to recoup some of his $9MM signing bonus.

Let’s check out some more notes from around the NFL…

  • Colts offensive lineman Anthony Castonzo is set to hit free agency, and GM Chris Ballard is confident that the 31-year-old can still contribute for several years. The executive recently said during a radio appearance that the left tackle has three or four years left in the tank (via Albert Breer of SI.com).
  • Keith O’Quinn won’t continue as the Cowboys special teams coach, but he’ll stick around with the organization. The veteran coach has accepted the role of director of advance scouting (via Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com). O’Quinn has been with the Cowboys for 13 years, including the past 10 on the coaching staff. He spent the 2018 and 2019 seasons as Cowboys’ ST coach, but he was replaced by John Fassel after Mike McCarthy was hired as head coach.
  • The Browns announced today that Jeremy Garrett has been hired as the assistant defensive line coach. He’ll work alongside DL coach Chris Kiffin, who was actually a graduate assistant at Ole Miss back when Garrett was a player. “I think we have both grown as coaches,” Garrett told Andrew Gribble of the team’s website. “I bet night and day he has grown from when he was a GA and coached me, and I have grown from when I was a player and starting off my coaching career. So I think we are both at a point that we have grown a ton and we are looking forward to continuing that growth together.”

AFC West Notes: Chargers, Rivers, Broncos

Where will quarterback Philip Rivers land after parting ways with the Chargers this offseason? This week, longtime teammate and pending free agent Melvin Gordon took an educated guess.

I think he’ll go to the Colts,” Gordon told CBS Sports Network. “I don’t know, that’s just my thought. He has Nick (Sirianni) there, the (offensive coordinator), he came from here. They run the same playbook, so it’d be easy, he could come right in….That’s probably the best fit.

Gordon doesn’t claim to have inside info, but it’s a logical thought – Rivers’ familiarity with Sirianni and head coach Frank Reich (the Bolts’ QB coach and OC during some of Rivers’ best seasons) would make for a seamless transition. The Colts, meanwhile, are far from sold on Jacoby Brissett and they have a clear need for a proven winner under center.

Rivers, 38, says that he has two years left of football, at max. After moving on from the only franchise that he’s ever known, he could spend his twilight years with familiar faces for one more chance at a Super Bowl ring.

Here’s a look at the AFC West:

  • Could the Chargers replace Rivers with Tom Brady? Mike Sando of The Athletic spoke with league execs about Brady’s potential destinations and found a wide range of takes on Brady’s odds of landing with the Bolts. “I think the Chargers would write whatever contract Brady needs to get,” an exec said. “They are the only team that would do that, in my opinion…If they can get Brady, then I think all of a sudden they become a real competitor for the Rams in the market.” Others, however, were quick to point out the Chargers’ organizational philosophy of spreading dollars around. “The Chargers ain’t paying anybody $30 million – anybody,” another exec said.
  • In an in-depth and worthwhile read, The Athletic’s Nicki Jhabvala examined the power struggle surrounding the Broncos‘ ownership situation. Ultimately, the messy in-fighting could result in the sale of the franchise.
  • Last week, former Raiders edge rusher Lamarr Houston announced his retirement from football after eight seasons in the NFL.

Opinion: Colts Could Pursue Rivers

  • Speaking of Rivers, Jim Ayello of the Indianapolis Star suggests that the veteran could be a target for the Colts. For such a signing to take place, the writer opines that the front office would have to believe that Rivers is an upgrade over incumbent Jacoby Brissett. On the flip side, Ayello believes the signing wouldn’t clash with the sentiment that Indy needs to draft a young QB, as the player could realistically sit behind Rivers for the next two seasons.

Poll: Who Will Tom Brady Play For In 2020?

As expected, Tom Brady‘s name has become a mainstay in NFL headlines as we creep closer to the opening of free agency in March. Even as the 2019 season was in progress, his future in the league was often discussed, and several teams were rumored as potential landing spots if he should continue his playing career and elect to leave the Patriots.

And while Brady put an end to any retirement drama immediately after New England’s ouster from the playoffs by saying he would return to the field in 2020, the question of where he will play is still very much unsettled.

The Chargers, long rumored as a possible fit, were definitively linked to Brady just last week, when Ian Rapoport of NFL.com confirmed that the Bolts would make a push for the six-time Super Bowl champ. Given the talent that LA boasts at the skill positions and the fact that the club could incorporate Brady’s TB12 workout facility into its brand new stadium — not to mention Brady’s connections to SoCal — a Chargers-Brady partnership is a logical one.

But LA’s division rival, the Raiders, are also planning to pursue the future Hall of Famer. Adding Brady at this point in his career would not necessarily represent a slam-dunk upgrade over Derek Carr, but it would make a ton of sense from a marketing perspective for the Las Vegas-bound outfit and for Brady, and if the Raiders improve their receiving corps — which they are fully expected to do — they could compete for a wildcard berth in 2020.

The Colts and Titans have been more speculative fits than anything else, but the Colts hung around the playoff picture for much of the 2019 season, the AFC South looks like it will be up for grabs again in 2020, and Brady could be the boost that gets Indianapolis back to the postseason. The Colts are also flush with cap space, so they could afford to sign Brady while also providing him with a couple of additional weapons, though they already have a few talented pieces at the skill positions.

Of course, the Titans were the team that ended the Patriots’ 2019 playoff run, and they advanced to the AFC Championship game behind a dominant running game and good defense. Ryan Tannehill was more of a game manager in the playoffs than he was in his regular season renaissance, and recent reports have suggested that Tennessee may not be as committed to him as was once believed. If Brady is interested, the Titans may be, too.

And then there’s the Patriots, who became one of the all-time great dynasties in sports with Brady under center. Owner Robert Kraft has made it clear that he wants Brady back, but some around the league believe the 42-year-old will leave Foxborough, leaving the Pats without a definitive answer at QB for the first time in 20 years.

So what do you think? Will Brady remain with the only team he has ever known, or will he play out the remainder of his career trying to bring glory to another franchise? Vote in the poll below and show your work in the comments.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts Make Staffing Additions

The Colts are just about finished rounding out their coaching staff for 2020. We heard earlier this week that they had hired former Eagles OC Mike Groh to be their new receivers coach, and now we have a few new additions to pass along. They’ve hired Brian Baker as defensive line coach and Tyler Boyles as assistant to the head coach, with Parks Frazier being promoted to offensive quality control coach.

They also named Kevin Patullo as their pass game specialist. Patullo had previously been receivers coach, but was reassigned when Groh was hired. Baker is a longtime veteran of the coaching game with 36 years in the business under his belt. Most recently, he served as an associate head coach and defensive line coach at Alabama last year. He spent 19 years as an assistant in the NFL from 1996-2014. Boyles is more of a fresh face who spent the past handful of years at Middle Tennessee State. This will be his first NFL experience.

Frazier had previously served as assistant to the head coach, the role Boyles was just hired for. He came from the college ranks as well, and interestingly also had a stint at Middle Tennessee in 2015. Overall Indy is retaining both of their coordinators, and Frank Reich has had very little turnover on his staff since taking over.

Mike Groh Named Colts WRs Coach

  • We learned this past weekend that former Eagles offensive coordinator Mike Groh was joining the Colts coaching staff. NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero tweets that the 48-year-old will be Indy’s new wide receivers coach. Groh was a natural fit for the Colts, as he actually replaced current Colts head coach (and former Philly offensive coordinator). Frank Reich in 2018. Kevin Patullo, who previously held the role of wide receivers coach, will remain on the staff in a different role.

2020 Draft Order

Super Bowl LIV is in the books, which means the order for the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft is set. By virtue of their 31-20 win Sunday night, the Chiefs will have the final pick in the first round. The 49ers dropping to 5-2 in Super Bowls will result in the NFC champions approaching the podium at No. 31.

Here is the full first-round order:

1. Bengals (2-14)

2. Redskins (3-13)

3. Lions (3-12-1)

4. Giants (4-12)

5 Dolphins (5-11)

6. Chargers (5-11)

7. Panthers (5-11)

8. Cardinals (5-10-1)

9. Jaguars (6-10)

10. Browns (6-10)

11. Jets (7-9)

12. Raiders (7-9)

13. Colts (7-9)

14. Buccaneers (7-9)

15. Broncos (7-9)

16. Falcons (7-9)

17. Cowboys (8-8)

18. Dolphins (via Steelers 8-8)

19. Raiders (via Bears 8-8)

20. Jaguars (via Rams 9-7)

21. Eagles (9-7)

22. Bills (10-6)

23. Patriots (12-4)

24. Saints (13-3)

25. Vikings (10-6)

26. Dolphins (via Texans 10-6)

27. Seahawks (11-5)

28. Ravens (14-2)

29. Titans (9-7)

30. Packers (13-3)

31. 49ers (13-3)

32. Chiefs (12-4)

Chargers May Tag Philip Rivers, Colts And Retirement Also Options

Philip Rivers‘ future is very much up in the air. There have been indications that Rivers could be headed for a split with the Chargers, although that certainly isn’t definite. To that end, Los Angeles hasn’t “firmly decided” what they’re going to do with Rivers, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter video link). 

Rapoport reports that the Chargers are still mulling using their franchise tag on Rivers. If they do decide to move on, Rapoport says not to be surprised if the Colts emerge as a landing spot. Rivers has plenty of connections to Indy, as head coach Frank Reich used to be his offensive coordinator in San Diego and he also played under Colts OC Nick Sirianni. We’ve also heard that Bruce Arians and the Buccaneers could be interested in Rivers’ services.

Interestingly, Rapoport says that retirement is still an option for Rivers if his market isn’t too hot, which is new. Rivers said immediately after the season ended that he had no plans to retire. Rapoport’s NFL Network colleague Mike Garafolo said in the same clip that he had also heard retirement is still on the table.

Rivers had a down 2019 due to a lot of turnovers, but the year before he was one of the best passers in the league. He led the Chargers to a 12-4 record that year while tossing 32 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions, averaging a robust 8.5 yards per attempt.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Mike Groh Joins Colts Coaching Staff

Mike Groh has found a new gig. Less than a month after getting canned as the Eagles offensive coordinator, the 48-year-old has joined the Colts coaching staff, reports SiriusXM’s Alex Marvez (via Twitter).

The connection with the Colts makes sense, as Groh replaced current Colts head coach (and former Philly offensive coordinator) Frank Reich in 2018. The Eagles offense was about middle-of-the-road during Groh’s two seasons at the helm, an impressive feat considering the injuries the offense has dealt with.

While Carson Wentz has mostly been healthy (besides brief injuries that led to Nick Foles and Josh McCown making their way into the lineup), the same couldn’t be said of the receivers corps. After starting six different wideouts in 2018, Groh had to turn to nine different starters in 2019. The team’s running backs have also dealt with their share of injuries, meaning the only consistent besides Wentz was tight end Zach Ertz. Despite all of this context, the Eagles still fired Groh in early January.

Groh spent a number of years at Virginia, eventually working his way up to offensive coordinator. He later moved on to Alabama and Louisville before joining the Bears as their receivers coach. He held that role for the Rams (2016) and Eagles (2017) before earning the offensive coordinator promotion in Philly.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts Reinstate Rodney Adams

This week, the Colts reinstated wide receiver Rodney Adams from the reserve/retired list. It’s likely an indication that the former fifth-round pick is planning to play in 2020.

[RELATED: Latest On Andrew Luck]

Adams was parked on the reserve/retired list in April of 2018, months after signing a futures deal with the Colts. He’s yet to see live action, despite spending some time on the Vikings’ active roster and practice squad as a rookie in 2017.

Adams, 26 in September, put himself on the NFL radar after transferring from Toledo to South Florida. As a junior, he caught 44 passes for 816 yards and nine scores. Then, he wrapped his collegiate career with a 67/822/5 stat line. His speed and proficiency in the run game put him on the radar for several teams on Day 3 of the ’17 draft and the Vikings pulled the trigger. Even though he didn’t stick in Minnesota, the Colts were curious enough to give him a spot on their 90-man roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.