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AFC Whispers

Seymour wants out of Oakland

Posted Jan. 10, 2010 @ 12:57 a.m. ET
By PFW staff

• There apparently were some talks about a contract extension for DRE Richard Seymour during the season, but the Raiders were unable to get close to serious negotiations, and observers in Oakland say it's clear that Seymour wants to play for a different team in 2010. He's said to be very aware that he'll receive the franchise tag this offseason if no long-term deal is worked out.

• Broncos fans should expect to see a competition at punter next season. It's safe to say 37-year-old Mitch Berger, who replaced Brett Kern as the Broncos' punter early this season, will not be returning to Denver next season after a shaky stint. We're told Britton Colquitt, who signed with the Broncos days before their season finale, will likely get a chance to win the punting job next season, but he'll probably compete against a free-agent signee in the offseason. Colquitt, who just completed his first NFL season, is the brother of Chiefs P Dustin Colquitt.

• One of the Chiefs' tougher roster decisions this offseason is likely to be LB Derrick Johnson. While it appeared earlier in the year that the team was ready to let him walk in free agency after demoting him, he grew on the coaching staff more as the season progressed and finished the 2009 campaign with a bang, returning two interceptions for TDs in Week 17. It's likely that Johnson would want to stay in K.C. only if he were put back in the starting lineup.

• When the Chargers signed former Pro Bowl OT Jon Runyan to replace the injured Jeromey Clary in November, the belief was that Runyan would eventually take over as the new starter. However, Brandyn Dombrowski played well enough replacing Clary that head coach Norv Turner confirmed that the first-year player will keep the starting gig throughout the playoffs. With Dombrowski playing well and Runyan adding a veteran presence, San Diego now has surprising depth at the position.

• Bills RB Fred Jackson saved his best for last. With a career outing in Week 17 in which he had 33 carries for 212 yards and caught a TD pass in a win over the Colts, the speedy back likely put a stamp on the starting job in 2010. While Jackson flourished when given the featured opportunity this season, Marshawn Lynch fell flat after missing the first three games due to suspension. He had just one carry in the season finale and will be in a timeshare, at best, in '10.

• Speculation about Ravens RB Willis McGahee's future in Baltimore beyond this season is largely tied to his contract. He is scheduled to make $3.6 million in 2010, and his salary-cap number is slated to be $6.1 million. McGahee, 28, is under contract through 2013, and his salary-cap number escalates into the $8-9 million range in the final three years of his deal. McGahee has been the top backup to Ray Rice this season, and if he were to remain in Baltimore, he would likely retain that role.

• It would not be a surprise if Ravens rookie ILB Dannell Ellerbe pushed hard for a starting job next season. Ellerbe started the final three games of the regular season in place of the injured Tavares Gooden and played well, and he fits into the Ravens' future plans.

• The Bengals' strategy of drafting cornerbacks back-to-back in 2006 and '07 has paid off, as Johnathan Joseph and Leon Hall have developed into one of the NFL's top tandems at their position. Looking forward, it will be interesting to see if the Bengals will be able to keep both players. Joseph is signed through the 2010 season, and Hall is signed through 2011, so the Bengals don't necessarily have to sign the players to new deals this offseason, but there is little doubt both will command lucrative long-term deals if they were to hit the free-agent market, considering how well both have developed during their time in Cincinnati.

• Look for WR Jacoby Jones to get a chance to have a major role in the Texans' offense next season. "Visiting with him in the tunnel today," head coach Gary Kubiak said at his season-ending press conference. "I told him he's got starter ability and it's time for him to think that way. All due respect to (WRs) Kevin (Walter) and André (Davis) and everybody else, but he's got to think that way because he's got the ability to do it and probably this offseason will be his most important one because he's got to come back here in March, whenever we get started, and show his teammates he plans on being that type of player." Walter is slated to be an unrestricted free agent, and Davis has primarily been a kick returner, so opportunity clearly knocks for Jones.

• The way we hear it, second-year DE Quentin Groves has likely played his last game with the Jaguars. Groves has not lived up to expectations since Jacksonville traded up six spots to draft him in 2008, recording only 2½ sacks in 32 games. If Groves is cut, first-round pick DE Derrick Harvey will be the only remaining pick from a terrible Jaguars draft class in '08.

Curtis Painter's efforts under center in the Colts' last two games were not very encouraging, notwithstanding the terrible weather in the last game in Buffalo and the undeniable pressure of having to replace Peyton Manning. "They like him, but it makes you wonder," said one team insider about whether or not the team might be better off with the injured Jim Sorgi as Manning's main backup. "They really do think he was put in some tough spots."

• Jets WR Brad Smith took snaps out of the Jets' version of the "Wildcat" offense in the playoff opener after scoring on a 32-yard run off a direct snap in Week 17, but the Bengals were prepared for it and shut him down. Smith, who will be a restricted free agent this offseason, made only seven catches for 63 yards during the regular season, and he hasn't developed into much of a receiver, but he's a valuable special-teams contributor and sources expect the Jets to re-sign him.

• The Dolphins have lost two defensive assistants since the season ended and there's speculation former Virginia head coach Al Groh, who has a background in coaching linebackers and a history of serving under Bill Parcells, will be heading to Miami to become an assistant. Inside linebackers coach George Edwards left the Dolphins to become Florida's D-coordinator and outside linebackers coach Jim Reid went to Virginia to become the Cavaliers' D-coordinator.

 

NFC Whispers

 

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