Landry Jones

Steelers Notes: Brown, Bell, Timmons, Jones

The Steelers have a number of to-do items on their offseason docket, and today general manager Kevin Colbert addressed the media with a focus on what Pittsburgh plans on doing over the next few months. Let’s take a look at the highlights from Colbert’s press conference, courtesy of Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

  • Stating that he wants both wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell to remain Steelers for life, Colbert said the club has opened extension talks with Brown, the only player with whom Pittsburgh has discussed a new deal, according to Dulac. Brown is signed through 2017 with a cap charge of roughly $13.6MM, while Bell is an unrestricted free agent but will likely be retained via the franchise tag. Colbert specifically called reaching a new contract with Brown an offseason “priority,” although a recent report indicated that talks between the two sides will move slowly.
  • Re-signing veteran linebacker Lawrence Timmons could also be in the cards for the Steelers, but negotiations with Timmons won’t be as cut-and-dry as talks with Brown and Bell. “Would you like to have him stay? Absolutely,” Colbert said. “Does it all fit? We can make it work, but at what cost? He’s never been a free agent. I’d like to see him finish his career here and he would too.” Timmons, 30, has spent a decade in Pittsburgh, and is coming off a 78-tackle, 2.5-sack season.
  • The Steelers aren’t counting on former second-round cornerback Senquez Golson, who has missed his first two seasons in the NFL with injury, for anything more than potential depth. “I’m a little more apprehensive,” said Colbert. “Just from sitting out two years, where you haven’t played at all, it’s not real easy to just step out there and catch up.” As such, Colbert said Pittsburgh could consider selecting a cornerback in this year’s draft.
  • Because Golson is a question mark, the Steelers could be open to re-signing cornerback Justin Gilbert, who was released last week, tweets Dulac. Gilbert has become a massive draft bust since being selected eighth overall in 2014, and played only 11 defensive snaps last season. He’s still just 25 years old, however, and would make for an interesting (if uninspiring) depth peice.
  • Despite reports of a possible retirement, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is expected to return in 2017, and the Steelers hope to re-sign backup signal-caller Landry Jones, as well, as Dulac writes. “We’d like to have Landry stay in the mix,” Colbert said. “Will we add a guy? Absolutely. When? It’s hard to say. Sooner or later we will have to address that.” If Pittsburgh doesn’t view Jones as the long-term replacement for Roethlisberger, the club could look to draft a QB at some point.

Injury Updates: Bradford, L. Jones, Jaguars

While Peyton Manning‘s torn plantar fascia was probably the biggest injury news of the day, since it’ll lead to a Brock Osweiler start for the Broncos in Week 11, it’s hardly the only notable Monday injury update. Here are a few more:

  • Based on initial tests, Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford, who sustained a concussion and a left shoulder injury, is expected to miss at least one game, and potentially two, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Philadelphia is scheduled to play on Thanksgiving afternoon in Week 12, so Bradford won’t have a full second week to recover if he aims to play in that game.
  • Rapoport also provides another QB injury update, tweeting that Steelers signal-caller Landry Jones has a “pretty severe” low ankle sprain. Pittsburgh has a bye this week, but Michael Vick looks likely to back up Ben Roethlisberger for the team’s next game.
  • Lions head coach Jim Caldwell told reporters today that cornerback Josh Wilson suffered a “significant” knee injury, according to Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com (Twitter link). Detroit has yet to make a roster move involving Wilson, but it sounds like his season might be over.
  • Jaguars defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks has been diagnosed with a torn triceps, per Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union (Twitter links). That’s typically a season-ending injury, though O’Halloran notes that Marks is getting a second opinion before Jacksonville makes any definitive decisions.
  • O’Halloran adds (via Twitter) that surgery for a sports hernia may be in play for Jaguars wide receiver Allen Hurns, who would be sidelined for four to six weeks if he underwent that procedure. Hurns is visiting a specialist this week to assess the extent of his abdominal injury.
  • Titans defensive tackle Al Woods has a high ankle sprain, and will be out for a few weeks, according to Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com (Twitter link).

Extra Points: Browns, Hardy, Texans, Steelers

Columbus, Ohio officials and Browns executives are working towards an agreement that would make the city the home to the organization’s training camp, reports Tom Reed of Cleveland.com. The team had it’s largest turnout for a practice in nearly a decade at Ohio Stadium on Friday, as about 50,000 fans packed the venue. This expectedly made Browns owner Jimmy Haslam very enthused.

“It’s not there yet, but I think we’re getting closer,” Haslam said. “(I) had dinner with (Ohio State athletic director) Gene Smith (Thursday) night and that was positive.

“Columbus has been great to deal with. I think it has been good for our guys to get away from Berea for a couple days. A little different scenario. And to play in front of 45, 50 thousand people is fun whether you’re a veteran or a young person. So, it has been a great two days at Ohio State and the city of Columbus has been great to work with.”

Reed had reported earlier in the week that Columbus was seeking a five- to ten-year agreement from the organization, with a plan to build a facility backed by public and private money. Such a venue wouldn’t be ready until 2017, but Reed notes that the team could still practice in a temporary home until then.

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the league…

  • Even with Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy seeing his suspension reduced last month, Rand Getlin of the NFL Network tweets that the NFLPA is still considering whether they should seek “further reduction” in court.
  • Following Arian Foster‘s injury, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle tweets that the Texans are hoping to add another running back. The team’s current core includes Alfred Blue, Jonathan Grimes, Chris Polk and Kenny Hilliard.
  • Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review says the Steelers are trying to determine whether former fourth-round pick Landry Jones can be Ben Roethlisberger‘s long-term backup. The former Oklahoma standout will get his chance during Sunday’s Pro Football Hall of Fame Game, where he’s expected to play most of the game. “He has had his moments before, but none more definitive than this in this part of his career,” said quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner. “He is getting a whole lot of work with (first string), the (second string) and now is the time to let this all come together.”