AFC Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs, Raiders

     

Broncos

  • According to Over The Cap, the Broncos will need to save $4,665,554 in cap space to sign their draft picks this year.
  • Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press reports the Broncos are one of a handful of teams in the running for C Brett Jones but “nothing is considered imminent.” The Vikings are also interested in bringing back Jones. 
  • Broncos S Justin Simmons acknowledged he gambled on himself by playing on the franchise tag instead of taking whatever Denver’s offer was last year and now he’s won with a long-term deal to reset the safety market: “That was part of the process … knowing the pandemic and playing under the tag. At least individually, I was still able to reach some of the goals I had for myself. I definitely feel like that is something I’ve accomplished. Just in general, it’s never been about the individual success.” (Klis)
  • Boston College LB Isaiah McDuffie has had a virtual meeting with the Broncos. (Justin Melo)

Chargers

  • According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Steelers were close to re-signing OL Matt Feiler before the start of free agency but he ended up going to the Chargers on a three-year, $21 million deal that Pittsburgh couldn’t match. 
  • The Chargers weren’t willing to match the $3.5 million OT Sam Tevi got to sign with the Colts, per Fowler. Los Angeles plans to add a left tackle in the draft. 
  • According to Over The Cap, the Chargers will need to save $3,872,604 in cap space to sign their draft picks this year.

Chiefs

  • According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Chiefs have been involved to some degree with a number of the top free-agent wide receivers this year, including Curtis Samuel, Corey Davis, JuJu Smith-Schuster and A.J. Green. They obviously have struck out so far. 
  • Fowler says it’s clear the Chiefs want to add a new No. 2 receiver but there’s not much momentum for a deal to get done to bring back WR Sammy Watkins at this point. 
  • To fill their need at left tackle, Fowler notes the Chiefs have checked in with LT Russell Okung and he expects them to at least explore swinging a trade for Ravens OT Orlando Brown.

Raiders

Raiders QB Marcus Mariota, who agreed to a pay cut in order to return for 2021, said he is excited to continue playing in Las Vegas given it’s the closest he can be to his home state of Hawaii. 

“I’m just excited to be a Raider,” Mariota said, via Christian Shimabuku of Khon2.com. “Everyone talks about Las Vegas being the 9th island. For me, this is the closest I can get for playing for my hometown. That in itself is such a special opportunity. I’m just excited to come back and get ready to go.”

Mariota explained that he was willing to accept a reduced salary in order to stay with the Raiders. 

“I think at the end of the day. I focus on controlling what I can control. That’s the product in the field. Everyday I wake up, I train and get ready to go. At the end of the day, we’re very blessed to play this game for a living. A lot of us make a really good amount of money. For me, I just love playing the game. The excitement, the opportunity to be a Raider, overcame all of that. To be here in Vegas, to be a part of this organization meant a lot more to me. I’m excited to be able to come back.”

Mariota added that he feels “a little bit of stability” on the Raiders’ roster after dealing with injuries throughout his career with the Titans. 

I think at the end of the day the adversities, the challenges that you face, ultimately will kind of develop who you are. I’m just excited to hopefully get over that hump. I feel like I’ve gotten healthy. I have an opportunity to have a little bit of stability, something that’s kind of been elusive in my career. I’m just excited to be in a place that I’m comfortable. I’m confident. I’m just going to do everything I can help this team win,” said Mariota.

  • A source tells ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler that C Rodney Hudson telegraphed his exit during the season and was expecting not to be back with the Raiders in 2021. They added he had the Cardinals on his list of hopeful destinations. 
  • While the offensive line isn’t as much of a strength anymore, Fowler notes the Raiders added a third-round pick, two fifths and $25 million in cap space by revamping the position and ditching Hudson, RT Trent Brown and G Gabe Jackson. He adds the Raiders felt Brown had motivational issues and Hudson’s age at 32 was a concern. 

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