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AFC questions we want answered at scouting combine

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We're just days away from the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine.

While draftniks will be glued to college prospects lifting weights, running sprints and throwing spirals, the Around the NFL crew hits Indianapolis with different eyes.

NFL Scouting Combine

Dates: Feb. 23-29
TV: NFL Network and NFL Combine Live


Combine coverage:

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The combine offers a rare chance to pester coaches and league executives with a laundry list of questions. It's an especially important time for the gaggle of new coaches and front office types meeting the national media for the first time.

Teams are well-schooled at keeping a lid on their plans, but that won't stop us from hunting down clues on what all 32 teams plan to do once the new league year kicks off on March 9.

What do we hope to learn? Starting with the AFC -- we'll hit the NFC on Friday -- here are the questions we want answered:

1. Drama in store at No. 1?


Titans general manager Jon Robinson insists Tennessee will listen to offers for the draft's No. 1 pick. That's no surprise, but will anyone make a pitch? One possible scenario would involve a club falling in love with Ohio State's Joey Bosa. It's less likely someone trades up for a quarterback, but that could change if a passer-needy team wants to hopscotch Cleveland at No. 2. Perhaps even the Browns would consider jumping up to avoid missing out on their top signal-caller. Let's hope the combine provides hints on who's willing to wheel and deal.

2. How will Miami spend its money?


New coach Adam Gase and first-year general manager Chris Grier have their work cut out for them. The woefully underused Lamar Miller is set to hit free agency amid reports that Miami "definitely" wants to keep the fifth-year running back. But will Miller listen? This might boil down to how Gase views Miller, something we hope to hear more on next week.

There's also the case of pending free agent Olivier Vernon. The Miami Herald reported the Dolphins have yet to talk with the pass rusher. Miami might be working toward franchising Vernon, but we're looking for more clarity on how the club plans to use its cap space.

3. Will the Browns provide clarity on Manziel, Gordon, Mack?


NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported weeks ago that Cleveland would cut Johnny Manziel come March 9. We don't expect that to change, but will new coach Hue Jackson offer up a clear confirmation in Indy? And how does the new regime feel about Josh Gordon, the uber-talented (but suspended) wideout hoping for reinstatement in 2016? Has Cleveland heard from center Alex Mack about his potential contract opt-out? While the Browns refuse to be interesting during the football season, they're consistently intriguing at the Combine. Look for that to continue.

4. Will the Jets keep Wilkerson and Harrison?


We expect the Jets to tag defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, but what's the plan for Damon "Snacks" Harrison? "I think we should be able to get something done," Harrison said Tuesday, adding: "All hopes point to me coming back here." Coach Todd Bowles said after the season that he wanted both players back, but Gang Green already has $22.7 million in salary-cap room tied to Leonard Williams, Sheldon Richardson and Wilkerson (if they tag him). With Snacks certain to draw attention on the open market, we'll be listening to what GM Mike Maccagnan says about his space-eating nose tackle.

5. Have the Broncos opened talks with Osweiler?


Denver remains patient with Peyton Manning's future, but it's time to think about Brock Osweiler. Have the Broncos kicked off negotiations with their young quarterback? Set to hit free agency, Osweiler could trigger offers from beyond, with The MMQB's Peter King reporting that Cleveland could make a pitch for the Broncos arm. With Von Miller a lock to be franchised, Denver still has plenty to sort out with Osweiler and fellow free agents Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan. GM John Elway is always a fun interview at the combine, so we're hoping he'll toss out a few breadcrumbs.


6. Will the Bills tag Cordy Glenn?


We'd be surprised if the answer is no, although the nuance here is Buffalo's hope to re-sign their left tackle to a long-term deal. The Bills are hamstrung by the cap. Even when they part ways with pass rusher Mario Williams, it barely opens up enough room to tag Glenn. With the tackle set to become a hot commodity on the open market, we need answers from quote-fountain Rex Ryan on how the front office will maneuver Buffalo's tight financial situation.


7. Will New England chase after Matt Forte?


With LeGarrette Blount set to hit free agency, could Forte wind up in a Patriots uniform? It's a nice fit, but good luck getting Bill Belichick to sing in Indy. New England's coach is nothing short of a ghost at the combine. Information will be sparse, but we'll dig away.

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