Updated Jan. 2, 2010 @ 5:59 p.m. ET
• Ralph Cindrich, the agent for Ravens backup QB Troy Smith, recently announced via Twitter that his client would seek a trade after the season. However, it's unclear whether Baltimore would have any interest in dealing Smith, their No. 2 quarterback behind Joe Flacco, the way we hear it. "I know from a coach's perspective, I want Troy Smith here as long as we can keep Troy Smith here," Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said last week. "Troy Smith is a heck of a quarterback, and I know at some point in time, I'm sure he wants to be a starter. But Troy Smith is a Raven, and we're going to try to keep him a Raven as long as we can."
• The Browns got a boost in the final weeks from DE Corey Williams, who started to get more playing time because of injuries. Williams played a major role in the upset of Pittsburgh in December, notching two sacks. An effective pass rusher, Williams thrived as a defensive tackle in a 4-3 scheme in Green Bay. The move to the 3-4 in Cleveland has presented some challenges, but the way he has finished the season could be a good sign for 2010.
• While the loss of rookie SLB Rey Maualuga to a season-ending ankle injury is a blow to the Bengals' defense, there may not be much of a drop-off to replacement Rashad Jeanty, the way we hear it. Jeanty plays the run well and was the starter on the strong side before Maualuga took the job in training camp.
• Dolphins OLB Jason Taylor will become an unrestricted free agent in March, and the team has a potential replacement for him in Cameron Wake, who has shown flashes of brilliance as a situational pass rusher in his first NFL season. Sources in Miami, however, expect Taylor, who had a very solid year at 35 years old, will be back with the Dolphins. One observer called him the epitome of a team leader.
• Bills fans were eager to see what the team had in QB Brian Brohm, who was signed off the Packers' practice squad in-season. After watching him play, however, there's not quite as much excitement about his future, as the second-year QB struggled in his first career start in Week 16. Throwing for 146 yards and two interceptions at Atlanta, Brohm didn't give any indication that he could be the club's quarterback of the future.
• The way we hear it, Tom Brady's masterpiece in Week 16, in which he completed 23-of-26 passes for 267 yards and four TDs, was especially troubling to the Jaguars because it almost mirrored his performance in the 2007 playoffs, when he set an NFL record for single-game passing accuracy with 26-of-28. Thirty-two games later and Jacksonville still has no answer for elite quarterbacks. Kurt Warner also completed 92.3 percent of his passes against the Jaguars in Week Two.
• Titans FB Ahmard Hall has observed QB Vince Young's development throughout his collegiate and pro career; the two were teammates at Texas as well. And Hall is impressed with Young's growth as a quarterback, both on and off the field. "He's come full circle," Hall told PFW. "He is in there studying, making the reads and doing everything you would expect a groomed NFL quarterback to do." Noted Hall of Young, "When he got here, he was going off of pure athleticism."
• Our Colts sources believe seventh-round rookie P-PK Pat McAfee hasn't gotten nearly enough credit for the solid job he has done this season. "His punting has been solid," said one team insider. "But where he's really been a godsend is on his kickoffs with all of his touchbacks. I don't think the team has ever had such a consistent guy kicking off."
• The Chargers picked up free-agent DT Ian Scott to give them veteran depth on the defensive line, but he has turned out to be a more valuable addition than they originally planned. With Ogemdi Nwagbuo going to I.R., Scott has stepped in to start six games at nose tackle and has been functional at the very least. Although his stats are pedestrian, the 28-year-old has done a satisfactory job taking up bodies in the middle to allow San Diego's aggressive linebackers to make plays.
• He doesn't get noticed on a Chiefs defense that is one of the worst in the league, but ILB Demorrio Williams has been a tackles machine in 2009, racking up 111 total and 90 solo. Although he hasn't made a lot of big plays — he has no sacks or interceptions — we're told that Williams has played well overall. His numbers certainly haven't been hurt by a porous Kansas City defensive line, which has provided the six-year vet with copious chances to make tackles at the second level.
• OLB Robert Ayers didn't make the kind of impact (18 tackles, zero sacks) some expected from him when the Broncos selected the Tennessee product in the first round of the draft, but teammate Elvis Dumervil said he has seen improvement from the rookie. "I think Robert Ayers is definitely coming along," he said. "I think he had his best game this past Sunday against Philadelphia. The kid, I think he's starting to learn the speed and what it takes to be able to play in this game and I think he's playing with great effort."
• We hear Raiders DE Greg Ellis recently considered retiring after this season, but has decided to play another year. Ellis has an arthritic condition in his knee and had surgeries on the knee and his shoulder during the team's bye week. He signed a three-year deal with $5 million guaranteed in June.
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