AFC Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs, Raiders

     

Broncos

The Broncos released a statement following the announcement they have officially hired former Vikings assistant GM George Paton to be their next general manager. 

“Early in this process, it became clear why George has been such a coveted GM candidate for so many years,” Broncos team president John Elway said. “He is a proven evaluator who knows every detail of leading football operations. With his experience in all aspects of the job — the college and pro sides, salary cap, trades, working with the head coach and bringing the staff together — George is more than ready to succeed in this role. George has waited and worked for the right opportunity, which shows that he is smart and serious about winning. We’re thrilled to name George Paton as general manager of the Denver Broncos.”

Paton offered a brief statement of his own addressing how he will approach the job. 

“In many ways, I feel like this team is a sleeping giant. For me, it is the right place and the right time for this opportunity,” Paton said in a statement. “I believe in hard work, the grind and not taking any shortcuts to achieve our goals. Drafting and developing players is the No. 1 priority. We will be aggressive — but not reckless — in adding talent to our roster.”

Chargers

Things didn’t go according to plan for the Chargers this season. But the future looks bright with the ascension of first-round QB Justin Herbert. The Chargers will also be getting back a young star on the other side of the ball when S Derwin James presumably returns to full health. Injuries limited him to five games in 2019 and then wiped out his entire 2020 season before it even began in training camp this past year. 

“It was devastating because I went down the year before kind of in the same spot of the field, the same moment in training camp,” James said via Hayley Elwood of the team’s official website. “It kind of hit me again like, no, not again … I just dealt with it and took the approach of what’s next? What do I have to do next? Just get better every day, one percent, and control what you can control … I had just been through it and knew every part of the rehab process (like) how long it would be and the amount of work and dedication it would take. I just dedicated myself to doing it every day and if it was gonna make me better and stronger, let’s do it.”

James is predictably itching to get on the field with this high-potential group. 

“I think I’m about to starve, how hungry I am,” James added. “I can’t even lie to you. I feel like I just need to eat something. I’m hungry.”

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer says his read is that Bills OC Brian Daboll and Rams DC Brandon Staley are the two most intriguing candidates to watch for the Chargers head coaching vacancy. 

Chiefs

  • Per the Athletic’s Nate Taylor, Chiefs HC Andy Reid said first-round RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire is a little bit ahead of schedule in his return from an ankle injury. 
  • However, Reid said the Chiefs won’t have RT Mitchell Schwartz Sunday against the Browns due to his back injury: “We’re literally taking it day by day. He physically can’t do that right now. We’ll see how it goes down the road. I don’t think anybody has lost hope.” (Taylor)

Raiders

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