NFL Insider Notes: Which stud O-lineman should Broncos get to protect Trevor Siemian?

As I reported a while back, the Denver Broncos offered the Cleveland Browns Shane Ray and a second-round pick for Joe Thomas last year. Might be time to re-start those talks.

Regardless of which novice quarterback the Broncos play, he is going to need considerable help, Russell Okung has always been an injury concern and is on a cheap contract at left tackle. And the Broncos already know, from Vic Beasley 's four-sack explosion in Week 5, than they are an injury to their right tackle away from total disaster.

Denver is trying to repeat, future high draft picks don't have as much value for them in win-now mode and cracks are showing in Trevor Siemian . Thomas would cement left tackle for several more tears, the contract is manageable and it would send a message to the locker room that they can do this.

John Elway isn't afraid to go bold. ... Continue to be impressed by Browns rookie starter Cody Kessler and sounds like the team is open to seeing if there is a deal to be worked out with emerging running back Isaiah Crowell . That's something that has the potential to heat up as the season goes on similar to the extension for Gary Barnidge during his breakout season a year ago.

Carolina Panthers

It's easy to pile on Cam Newton and I'm not defending his insipid press conference after losing to New Orleans on Sunday, though I do believe the behavior comes out of a genuine hatred of losing. Here's what one scout who dissected the game film of the Panthers/Saints on Sunday told me: "That kid is special. The defense can't stop anybody and they fall behind bid and he keeps fighting his ass off and he gets no help and they still tie the game at 38. The hits he took and the way he hung in there and then you have [Devin] Funchess, who sucks, dropping balls and even [Kelvin] Benjamin is dropping balls he should catch. If I'm the QB there I am ripping all of their asses in that locker room after the game. He's standing in there taking a high-low shot and making a perfect pass and they can't catch it? Yeah, I'd be frustrated after the game, too."

Cincinnati Bengals

Plenty of reasons why the Bengals are struggling -- loss of coaching and playing talent a big key, of course -- but one scout is pointing to a particular position group on defense. "The linebackers stink," he told me. "[Vontaze] Burfict is running around looking for someone to hurt and the other guys can't make a play."

Buffalo Bills

The Bills' turnaround has been a surprise to many, and the secondary continues to be a big key (along with the running game). Big tip of the cap to rookie coach Ed Reed, a future Hall of Fame safety, who seems to have had a very positive impact on the young defensive backs in his short time. After a very slow start through two weeks that secondary has turned it around. Reed's insight and presence certainly can't hurt.

Baltimore Ravens

At some point the Ravens were going to have to get more young pass rushers on the field. Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil are injury-prone and each almost certainly is in his final season in Baltimore. Now with both hurt again, the future is now. The lack of any thrust off the edge has started to cripple the secondary and perhaps adding some youth and speed to the outside will actually improve on what they have been getting.

Houston Texans

Continue to hear rave reviews for former first- overall pick Jadeveon Clowney . He's now doing in the NFL what he did to the SEC at South Carolina. He can turn a game on any snap with his ability to disrupt.

CBS Sports Insider

Before joining CBS Sports, Jason La Canfora was the Washington Redskins beat writer for The Washington Post for six years and served as NFL Network's insider. The Baltimore native can be seen every Sunday... Full Bio

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