AFC Free Agency Notebook

INDIANAPOLIS — Scout.com has arrived in Indianapolis and already things have been heating up. Here's what's going on around the AFC, including an update on some key players who could be of interest to the Vikings.

Baltimore RavensWhile his status with the team remains up in the air, running back Jamal Lewis has put his home up for sale. That's not a true indicator of what will happen with a player but more often than not a player will make that kind of move when he doesn't expect to re-sign with his team.

Cincinnati BengalsA league source told Scout.com recently that the team is expected to select a defensive lineman, probably a tackle in this year's draft. The team badly wants to improve their run defense and they're also looking to beef up their rotation on the defensive line. They're also expected to select one or two safeties and at least one on the first day of the draft.

Cleveland BrownsMany fans of the team were wondering why general manager Phil Savage made it known that they will let wide receiver Antonio Bryant make it to free agency.

Scout.com had a chance to talk to a personnel evaluator recently about the mercurial Bryant recently and he said while Bryant is still very talented, he has many "chinks in the armor."

Bryant still drops too many passes (seven last season), isn't a precise route runner (still freelances from time to time, which was a problem with Dallas), and clearly has concentration lapses. Bryant, despite his solid numbers from last season, isn't seen as a No.1 type of receiver.

Denver BroncosTight end Jeb Putzier's agent still hasn't gotten an indication whether or not the team will exercise the roster bonus by the deadline of March 3. Agent Joe Linta told Scout.com this week that Putzier's bonus is $1.5 million.

Houston TexansBecause the team is changing their defensive scheme from a 3-4 to a 4-3, many who follow the team closely are wondering what they will do with their linebackers since one will have to come off of the field. The team has committed a lot of cap dollars to linebackers Morlon Greenwood and Kailee Wong. Both figure to be starters next season (one inside and one on the weakside). The big issue is where to play Antwan Peek and last year's surprise, Shantee Orr. It's possible Peek gets moved to end to make sure he gets on the field.

Indianapolis ColtsWith running back Edgerrin James not expected to re-sign with the team, don't look for his backup, Dominic Rhodes, to be his replacement. Rhodes has done a nice job in limited playing time but the feeling is he's too small to be an every-down back. He's seen more as a change of pace. Look for the team to address a potential starting job in free agency or in the draft.

Kansas City ChiefsThe feeling from those who know him well feel that veteran guard Will Shields will return to play for his 14th season with the team as his ailing back seems to be under control. The key for Shields is getting through training camp. If he feels new head coach Herman Edwards will take it easy on him in camp, look for Shields to play. Former head coach Dick Vermeil gave Shields lots of rest, which helped him to go full speed during the regular season.

Miami DolphinsThe team is expected to acquire a younger quarterback in the draft or in free agency. The NFL signal callers that they are said to have interest in are Patrick Ramsey, Josh McCown, and Drew Brees (should he not re-sign). Brees would cost them the most and the team isn't in great cap shape so he could be out of their price range.

New England PatriotsWide receiver David Givens would like to re-sign with the team but that won't happen unless he's willing to accept less than he might be able to make in free agency. The feeling in league circles is the team sees him as a complementary receiver and if Givens wants to be paid like a No.1, he'll be playing elsewhere next season.

A player that the team is trying to get a good look at is running back Earl Charles who is playing over in NFL Europe (Hamburg). Charles has good size and ability, and if he has a productive showing he should find his way to training camp this summer. The team is looking for a developmental prospect that could vie for a backup job over the next few seasons.



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