NFL notebook: Lynn thinks QB Taylor could start in 2020


Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Tyrod Taylor could have an opportunity to earn the starting job for the 2020 season, coach Anthony Lynn said Thursday.

Taylor served as the team’s backup in 2019 to longtime Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, who parted ways with the franchise after 16 seasons on Monday. Taylor, who signed a two-year, $11 million contract last offseason, joins Easton Stick as the lone quarterbacks on the Chargers’ roster.

“Tyrod Taylor is a heck of a quarterback,” Lynn told AM 570 LA Sports. “We couldn’t have a better backup right now, and now he has an opportunity to maybe step up into a starting role. I’ve had Tyrod before (in Buffalo), and I know what this young man brings to the table, in the passing game and the running game.

“I believe every year he’s started in this league he’s been the No. 1 quarterback in taking care of the football. … So if we can just take care of the football and take it away, we’ll be OK.”

—Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is making positive strides in his recovery from a surgically repaired right elbow, general manager Kevin Colbert said.

But NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the Steelers still are expected to take it slow with Roethlisberger during the spring.

Roethlisberger, who will turn 38 next month, underwent surgery on Sept. 23 to repair the season-ending injury he sustained in a Week 2 game against the Seattle Seahawks. Colbert would not address if Roethlisberger had Tommy John surgery but said the quarterback remains on pace in his rehab and has a checkup scheduled for Feb. 21 in Los Angeles.

—Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said that the team’s top offseason priority is its defense, as opposed to addressing the status of quarterback Jameis Winston.

“Oh, yeah. To me, it’s the whole defense,” Arians said, via ESPN. “You can’t get ‘em all, but … those young guys grew. We can’t let that go. I don’t care who’s my quarterback. We’ve gotta have a defense.”

Re-signing outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett, who led the NFL with 19.5 sacks this past season, likely would serve as the top priority. He signed a one-year contract upon his arrival to the Buccaneers in 2019. Linebackers Jason Pierre-Paul and Carl Nassib as well as defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh, Beau Allen and Rakeem Nunez-Roches are all set to become free agents.

—Colin Kaepernick hopes to return to the NFL but has other plans if his football playing days are over.

Kaepernick is writing a memoir and planning to launch a publishing company, affording him a chance to answer questions and help steer a narrative he believes has largely been controlled by others.

“I’ve had a lot of questions surrounding what got me to the point of protesting,” he told USA Today. “Why did I do it? Why did I do it at that moment? … A lot of questions surrounding what led me to that point. Which led me to wanting to share that story and give insight. So I think there’s a lot of interest around it, but time will tell when the book comes out.”

—Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn responded to percolating rumors that quarterback Matthew Stafford was being shopped in trade talks. According to Quinn, Stafford isn’t going anywhere.

In a response to reports that Stafford’s name has been in the trade mill for a few weeks, Quinn told the Detroit Free Press that report was “100% False!!!”

WDIV-TV’s Bernie Smilovitz in Detroit had the original report of Stafford, 32, being shopped. After starting only eight games last season due to a back injury, Stafford is viewed as the stabilizing force for the 3-12-1 Lions.

—Tennessee Titans tight end Anthony Firkser signed a one-year contract extension, the team announced. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Firkser, 24, recorded two touchdown receptions in the 2019 playoffs for the Titans, who advanced to the AFC Championship Game.

Firkser had 14 receptions for 204 yards and a touchdown in 15 games in 2019.

—Former Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson has returned to the Cleveland Browns to serve in an advisory and consulting role, NFL Network reported.

Grigson, who turns 48 on Feb. 23, was previously with the Browns from May 2017 until January 2018 as an executive personnel consultant. He joined the Seattle Seahawks in an advisory role in June 2018.

New Browns general manager Andrew Berry worked in various scouting roles for the Colts from 2009-2015 and was also with the Browns during Grigson’s first stint there. Grigson was the Colts general manager from 2012 until being fired after the 2016 season.

—Field Level Media