AFC Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs, Raiders

Broncos

  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports the Broncos, Patriots, and Panthers all had interest in signing T La’el Collins before he opted to sign with the Bengals.

Chargers

The Chargers were among the teams making splash moves to start the new league year, pulling off a blockbuster trade for DE Khalil Mack and going on a free agent spending spree that brought in CB J.C. Jackson, DT Sebastian Joseph-Day and DT Austin Johnson. It wasn’t just indiscriminate spending, though. Chargers HC Brandon Staley has personally coached both Mack and Joseph-Day, while there are a number of other connections on the staff to Jackson. All told, the Chargers feel confident in the fit of the new pieces they’ve acquired. 

“It’s such a critical point, the background information, the character and then the scheme fit,” Staley said via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “Because all these guys, there’s not a projection. And so I think that that was a huge component, because you want to know what you’re buying. That’s part of free agency, is you want to know what you’re getting. And that was a big part of it. I felt like that’s why we were so tactical in our approach. This group of guys that we’re looking at, it’s like, ‘No, we really targeted these guys specifically.’”

  • Joseph-Day’s three-year, $24 million deal includes a $7.5 million signing bonus and base salaries of $2.5 million, $6.5 million and $7.5 million. The first two years of the deal are guaranteed. (Over The Cap)

Chiefs

New Chiefs WR JuJu Smith-Schuster is excited to join his new team, despite the fact that he may have to find a role among established pass catchers like WR Tyreek Hill and TE Travis Kelce.

“You come into a team where they’ve got guys who can stretch the field, guys that have been here doing it for quite some time now,” Smith-Schuster said, via Pete Sweeney of ArrowheadPride.com. “For me, I made the decision to come here to win. I’m all about winning. I’m all about what I can do to help the team and produce. This year you’ll see that. You’ll see that obviously, they have Tyreek, Travis, and Mecole, and all those guys, they’ll still make their plays. And the plays that I do get, I’ll want to make them too. Like I said, I’m here to win.”

Raiders

Raiders LB Chandler Jones spoke about his decision to join Las Vegas in free agency.

“A lot went into it honestly. As you and me discussed earlier in the week, we spoke with the Jets and Bills – others too – and I obviously thought a lot about staying with the Cardinals, he sai via Jordan Schultz.

Jones continued on what drew him to sign with the Raiders, including HC Josh McDaniels, DC Patrick Graham, DE Maxx Crosby, and QB Derek Carr.

“But as you know from our previous conversation, Vegas came in with a plan and offer that I couldn’t resist. I thought, ‘okay, here’s an opportunity to play with a young superstar in Maxx Crosby.’ I thought that would be really special. He’s a transcendent young player and I think pairing up with him would make it very difficult for teams to game plan us…Patrick Graham is a great coordinator and he’s known me since the first day I came into this league. Having Josh McDaniels and my old Patriots’ coaches there makes it feel like home to me, and I just know we can win there, which ultimately made my decision easier…I’ve always liked Derek Carr. Our offense will be nice, and I want to further cement myself as one of the best ever. I want to earn multiple rings and I’m ready to do it for Raider Nation.”

  • NBC Sports’ Peter King reports the Raiders first reached out to the Packers about WR Davante Adams last Sunday right before the start of free agency. They chatted half a dozen times over the next few days and settled on a first and second-round pick as the value. 
  • The Raiders initially didn’t want to give up both picks in 2022 but Packers GM Brian Gutekunst was adamant about that to give them the flexibility to replace Adams right away. 
  • Raiders OL Alex Bars‘ one-year deal includes a $250,000 signing bonus, $1.055 million base salary, one-time roster bonuses of $52,500 for being active, $15,000 for being inactive, and up to $85,000 in per-game active roster bonuses. (Aaron Wilson)

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