AFC South Rumor Mill

Free agency is well underway and the AFC South is taking a less is more philosophy, as there have been less than a handful of players signed by teams in the division. Still, we have checked our numerous league sources and have plenty of information to add.

Houston Texans
  • The Texans have made the biggest free agent splash, signing defensive end Antonio Smith, formerly of the NFC Champion Arizona Cardinals to a five-year, $35 million deal. Houston has also traded away backup quarterback Sage Rosenfels to Minnesota for a fourth-round pick, and replaced him by signing former Lions backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky to a three-year, $9.1 million deal.
  • Houston is still looking for a running back to compliment star rookie Steve Slaton, and it's reported that they are interested in former Giants 1,000 yard back Derrick Ward, and former University of Texas star and Chicago Bears bust, Cedric Benson.

    UPDATE: Looks like Derrick Ward has been picked up by the Tampa Bay Bucs.
  • With some needs in the secondary, don't be surprised if Houston takes a big shot at signing former Bucs safety, Jermaine Phillips, or former Browns safety, Sean Jones. Houston needs safety help desperately.
  • While we're on the subject of the Houston secondary, Texans cornerback Dunta Robinson is not a happy camper thanks to the franchise tag the team placed on him.

    "I'm upset and frustrated because they were dishonest with me," Robinson said. "They told me they weren't going to franchise me. I wasn't expecting it."

    Although Texans GM Rick Smith did tell Robinson that the team wasn't going to use the tag on him and then went back on his word, Dunta will be awarded $9.57 million this season for his trouble.

Jacksonville Jaguars
  • The Jaguars sent a loud and clear message to their fans by deciding to "just say no" to expensive free agents. Jacksonville opted to be one of the most active teams a year ago in free agency and it resulted in a lot of wasted money by owner Wayne Weaver on Jerry Porter and Drayton Florence. Their abstinence from the Albert Haynesworth's and Ray Lewis's of the world clearly sends a message that the team is trying to get younger and rebuild.
  • What about the former Jaguars? Fred Taylor found a new home in New England, where he may be able to win the elusive Super Bowl title that's eluded him.
  • As for Khalif Barnes, Reggie Williams, Mike Peterson, Paul Spicer, and Gerald Sensabaugh, not much has been going on. Sensabaugh has met with the New Orleans Saints where he could potentially reunite with former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Barnes canceled a trip to New Orleans when the team inked Jon Stinchcomb to a deal. Barnes is rumored to have some interest from Seattle. Reggie Williams has received plenty of attention, but not from NFL clubs. Unfortunately for Reggie, the attention he received was from the Houston Police Dept. as they locked up the former Jags receiver for a DUI and possession of marijuana. One of the biggest knocks on Williams has been his lack of maturity, and this certainly won't help. As for Peterson and Spicer, their best opportunity right now would appear to be in Atlanta, as NFL Coach of the Year Mike Smith is very familiar with both players from his time as the Jags defensive coordinator.
  • Rumors of a switch to a 3-4 defense are heating up for the Jags, as Mel Tucker ran the 3-4 during his time in Cleveland. Some of the pieces are there for the Jags, and it is likely that they will use some sort of hybrid defense this season.
  • We've heard rumors of a John Henderson and the #8 overall pick to Detroit for Calvin Johnson and the Lions second-round pick trade. Nobody in either city has substantiated these rumors, and John Henderson's agent has said that nobody has contacted him about a trade for his client. It looks like a major fabrication.
  • With Kansas City trading for Matt Cassel, there will likely be one of the "big two" quarterbacks available when the Jaguars go on the clock with the eighth pick in the draft. The team avoided selecting Brady Quinn a few years ago when he fell all the way to pick #17, and then at pick #21, and now the Jags have no young quarterback to develop. There is a very good possibility that if either Matt Stafford or Mark Sanchez is available at #8, Jacksonville will pull the trigger. Especially if Stafford is that player.
  • Speaking of quarterbacks, with the news that Denver tried to trade away Jay Cutler, teams have been burning up the phones to see if he's still available. With Cutler, some team can get a 26-year old strong-armed, Pro Bowl talent.
  • The Jaguars have met with Philadelphia Eagles left tackle Tra Thomas. The Deland, Florida native could serve as a valuable stop-gap type of player for the Jags as they plan on moving on without free agent tackle Khalif Barnes. This would allow Jacksonville the opportunity to draft and properly develop a left tackle without having to rush him on the field.

Tennessee Titans
  • The biggest move the Titans didn't make was letting Albert Haynesworth walk, as he signed a seven-year, $100 million deal with the Washington Redskins. Tennessee did manage to re-sign quarterback Kerry Collins, who will be the opening day starter for the team as they try to repeat their 2008 AFC South title.
  • With Collins in need of some more talent on the outside, the Titans are reportedly interested in former Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Nate Washington. Washington would supply a legitimate deep threat that Tennessee has been without for years.

    UPDATE: The Titans have agreed to terms with Nate Washington.
  • Another player who could help at wide receiver is former Titan and former St. Louis Ram wideout Drew Bennett. Bennett had his most productive years with Tennessee.
  • The Titans are also interested in former Tampa Bay defensive lineman Jovan Haye, who is expected to visit sometime this week.

    UPDATE: The Titans agreed to a four-year deal with Jovan Haye worth approximately $16 million.
  • As Washington went on their free agent spending spree over the weekend with Albert Haynesworth, DeAngelo Hall, and Derrick Dockery, they parted ways with cornerback Shawn Springs and now defensive end Jason Taylor. Tennessee could bring Taylor in for a workout to see if the 34-year old former All-Pro has anything left.
  • Titans cornerback Chris Carr is scheduled to visit with the Cleveland Browns in the next few days.

Indianapolis Colts
  • The Colts took the opening weekend of free agency off, as they normally do. Indianapolis is one of those teams that signs their key free agents, and replaces the rest, a formula that's equated to an NFL record five consecutive 12-win seasons.
  • The Colts have declined to tender restricted free agent Freddy Keiaho, as they believe Clint Session will play a greater role in their defense.
  • In a very minor move, the Colts signed punter Mike Dragosovich off waivers from the Browns.
  • Indianapolis may look at adding some depth to the defensive line, and if Tony McDaniel is waived from Jacksonville, he may be a perfect fit.

Jaguars Forever Top Stories