Malik Reed

AFC Notes: Kelly, Colts, Titans, Bates, Broncos, Reed

Chad Kelly could be back on an NFL roster soon. The former Ole Miss standout passer and nephew of legendary Bills quarterback Jim Kelly has had a tumultuous road. He was kicked off the team at Clemson during his college days, and was arrested last season in a bizarre incident following Von Miller‘s Halloween party that caused the Broncos to release him. Last week we heard that he could be nearing a deal with the Colts, and we have a new development there.

Kelly hasn’t officially been signed yet, but he is attending the team’s rookie minicamp as a tryout player this week, per Mike Chappell of CBS4 (Twitter link). Kelly has struggled with injuries in addition to his off-field issues, but he managed to open the 2018 season as Case Keenum‘s backup. He played well in the preseason and had a ton of support from the team’s fanbase, and for a while it looked like he might’ve been on the verge of replacing Keenum before he was arrested. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Colts sign him as a developmental option considering current backup Jacoby Brissett is likely to pursue a starting job next offseason.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • Speaking of off-field issues, Titans linebacker Daren Bates was recently charged with marijuana possession, per Terry McCormick of Titansinsider.com. The charge doesn’t sound too serious in McCormick’s recap, but he still could potentially face league discipline. Originally signed by the Rams as an undrafted free agent out of Auburn back in 2013, Bates has been able to stick in the league thanks to his special teams prowess. Bates, who has been with the Titans since the 2017 season, played only 40 defensive snaps last year but he played 83 percent of the team’s special teams snaps. He’s heading into the final year of a three-year, $6MM deal.
  • Mike Klis of Denver9News “like(s) the chances” of undrafted pass-rusher Malik Reed to make the Broncos’ 53-man roster, he tweets. Klis is very plugged in with John Elway and Denver’s front office, so this is worth noting. The Broncos gave him a $15K signing bonus, so they definitely think highly of him. Reed was very productive in college, and he had 15.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks with Nevada last year. With Miller and Bradley Chubb, the Broncos already have a very solid pass-rushing nucleus.
  • In case you missed it, the Patriots signed ten undrafted free agents, and we broke down the class here.

Broncos Sign 17 UDFAs

The Broncos UDFA list is up to 17 players, and it now officially includes quarterback Brett Rypien, whom the club agreed to sign several days ago. Today, Denver waived Garrett Grayson to make room for Rypien. Here’s the updated list (Mike Klis of 9News.com passes along the signing bonuses for all of the players for whom that information is available).

The Broncos have been consistent in identifying UDFA talent during John Elway‘s tenure, with Chris Harris becoming a perennial Pro Bowler and C.J. Anderson and Phillip Lindsay each making the Pro Bowl during their initial years as starters.

Lindsay’s late-season injury may create a chance for Jackson, who rushed for 1,385 yards and 12 touchdowns last season at the Division II school. The 5-foot-7 ball carrier will give the Broncos a two-Devontae running back room, with Devontae Booker entering a contract year.

Denver lost two offensive linemen in free agency and only drafted one, Dalton Risner, pointing to an opportunity for its quartet of UDFA blockers.