Broncos GM George Paton said that Russell Wilson was their “No. 1 target” and the top priority for them this offseason.
“Once we knew that Russell could be available, he was our No. 1 target, he was our priority for the offseason,” Paton said, via ProFootballTalk. “We were going to do anything it took to get Russ. It’s just unique that you can trade a quarterback — a franchise quarterback — in his prime, and we just felt that we had to take that chance. Just watching Russell this year, once we realized he was available, you dig into the tape. He has elite arm strength, elite accuracy. We feel he has the best deep ball in the NFL. Then, you watch him off schedule, his eyes and his instincts and the play-making ability. The ‘it’ factor that all great quarterbacks have, Russ has. He’s the best in the biggest moments. He’s best at the end of the game, to win the game. The durability he’s had throughout his career is unparalleled. He started the first 165 games [of his career] which I think is sixth-most by a quarterback in NFL history.”
Chargers’ new DE Khalil Mack said he has a strong connection to HC Brandon Staley after the coach spent 2018 as the Bears’ outside linebackers coach.
“That was the person that I spent the most time with when I first got to Chicago,” Mack said, via ProFootballTalk. “We would be in the room together going over the playbook. I feel like I had a week to prepare for the Packers — not even a week, maybe like five, six days. It was a quick turnaround, and he was a big part of me consuming a big part of that playbook.”
Staley recalled coaching Mack in 2018, describing that he would often spend extra hours after practice with the edge rusher.
“Dealing with me coming in and having to stay longer, I’m talking about hours after everybody has already left,” Staley said. “Seeing the time and delicacy that he had to put in that time. I mean, I don’t think you really understand how fast I really had to learn a whole defensive playbook and he made it easy. He made it easy. You could just see his passion through it, understanding how much he knew I wanted to get out there for that first game. We were able to do it.”
Mack said that it initially felt “bittersweet” to be traded from Chicago, but was excited to learn he’d be working with Staley once again.
“It was weird to hear, but having a relationship with coach [Brandon] Staley, it went from bittersweet to excited, knowing who I’m dealing with and how much he truly loves football,” Mack said, via ESPN.
Staley feels it is “very special” to be reunited with Mack.
“I’m excited for him to be around our team and build a team with him [on the roster],” Staley said. “It was an amazing year in Chicago, but that didn’t last long enough. To be able to do it again is very special, and I’m excited about it for sure.”
Staley thinks that Mack’s addition provides a “playmaking ability” which they lacked last season.
“He brings the playmaking ability and style of play that we believe in,” Staley said. “I don’t think we had enough of that last year, not even close. He’s a dominant, complete defender.”
- Regarding skeptics saying Chargers’ recently acquired DE Khalil Mack has taken a step back with his production, HC Brandon Staley said he has no concerns about their new edge rusher: “If people are saying that, then they certainly don’t know him. At all. And if they are saying that, then good luck to them. Because you’ll see. You’ll see.” (Daniel Popper)
- Raiders DE Chandler Jones‘ three-year, $51 million deal includes a $12 million signing bonus, his $4 million base salary in 2022 is guaranteed, while his $7.5 million and $16 million salaries in 2023 and 2024 are non-guaranteed. He’s owed an $8.5 million roster bonus in 2023 for skill and injury, can annually earn up to $748,500 in per-game active roster bonuses, another $252,500 workout incentive, and an annual $500,000 Pro Bowl incentive. (Aaron Wilson)
- Jones’ contract includes voidable years in 2025 and 2026. (Aaron Wilson)
- Raiders RB Brandon Bolden‘s two-year, $5.01 million deal includes a $1.25 million signing bonus, his $1.125 million salary in 2022 is guaranteed while his $1.665 million 2023 salary is non-guaranteed. He can also earn up to $297,500 in per-game roster bonuses in 2022, another $510,000 in 2023, and $82,500 and $90,000 workout bonuses over the two years. (Aaron Wilson)
- Raiders FB Jakob Johnson‘s contract includes: One-year deal worth a maximum of $1.5m and $200k guaranteed. Johnson will make the veteran-minimum salary of $965k. (Ben Volin)