AFC Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Raiders

     

Broncos

Apparently new Broncos GM George Paton has been busy, as aside from an introductory conversation he has not talked with S Justin Simmons much so far this offseason, including about Simmons’ expiring contract. That’s not necessarily an indicator that Denver is planning to let Simmons leave, however. 

“From everything that I heard and I’ve been a part of for the past, it will be five years now, it seems like Denver wants me back and I want to be there,” Simmons said in an interview on Sirius XM NFL Radio. “I know everyone knows that at the end of the day it is a business, it’s just a matter of it working out on both sides and that’s just the business aspect of the game.”

Simmons is being tagged for the second straight season, which means the two sides will again have until July 15 to work out an extension. They weren’t able to come to an agreement last summer and Simmons isn’t sure if it will be different this year. 

“I wish I could give a percentage but it’s tough because there’s new management,” he said. “All I know is, like I said at the beginning, I’ve wanted to be there, I’ve expressed that the last year when I got tagged. I’ve expressed that this offseason. Just from everywhere else and hearing they obviously would want me back as well, that’s pretty much all I know at that point.”

Simmons acknowledged that playing out another one-year deal with the cap set to potentially rebound in 2022 might not be the worst thing. 

“That’s definitely something you think about, we’ve talked about with my agent,” he said. “It’s not anything that I would say I’m overly stressed about. … These things will take of itself if we just do what we need to do on our end.”

  • Speaking with the media on Thursday, Paton said: “Justin’s one of our core guys. Our goal since I got here was to sign him to a long-term deal. So we’ve had good discussions with his agent. I don’t know if we’ll get a deal done or not but that’s the goal.” (Mike Klis)

Chargers

Chargers’ GM Tom Telesco spoke with the media and didn’t have much to say on the team’s offseason plans, starting with looking at bringing in new offensive linemen.

“You can’t really look at one spot and say, ‘Look, if we just fix this one thing we’ll be playing for a championship,’” Telesco said, via Gilbert Manzano of DailyNews.com “It doesn’t work like that. We’re looking to try to build the best-balanced football team we can. Overall, I was talking to somebody yesterday that I think it’s a deep draft. I really do. But I don’t know if the whole offensive line is deep in the draft, but there are certain areas that are better than others, but we probably look at it differently than you would. I know the focus is on the first round, but we’re looking through all seven rounds and trying to see where the depth is at different positions. But yeah, looks pretty good.”

Telesco would not rule out the possibility of the team making some offseason cuts due to a cap situation, which is not as bad for the Chargers as it is for other teams around the league.

“You try to keep as many options open as possible, but yeah, we’re in a better situation than most, which is good to know,” Telesco said. “It gives us some flexibility, but it’s not like we have so much cap space that we can be overly aggressive in free agency.”

The Chargers may also use the franchise tag on TE Hunter Henry, who is set to become a free agent. If tagged, his projected salary for 2021 would be around $12.7 million.

“We’re just leaving all the options open right now,” Telesco said of Henry. “Obviously, this year where the cap is, it makes it more difficult than other years, but I think we gotta keep all doors open at this point. (Henry is) a big part of the football team and love how he plays the game. He fits what we do on the field, off the field and he’s a high-level player.”

Telesco also kept it brief when asked what the future of WR Mike Williams was with the franchise.

“We’re going to keep all options open,” Telesco said. “Mike has done a heck of a job for us. I think he’s a really, really high-level football player. The opportunities that he gets, he makes big plays for us, and it’s not necessarily his fault that he’s got Keenan Allen on one side and he’s got Hunter Henry at tight end and Austin Ekeler at running back. We only have one football to go around, but Mike is a very talented high-level football player in this league.”

Raiders

Raiders GM Mike Mayock made clear that the Raiders would like to bring impending free agent WR Nelson Agholor back. 

“Nelly’s one of my favorite people in the whole world,” Mayock said, via Pro Football Talk. “When I lived in Philadelphia, I did the Eagles preseason games and Nelly was an Eagle. I was familiar with his work ethic and appreciated him back then. What he brought to the Raiders last year was off the charts. He brought a work ethic, a toughness, he brought the young guys along with him, and he brought productivity and trust with our quarterback. So all of those things he brought, we don’t want to lose. We’d love to have Nelly back. That’s a guy that I can’t tell you how much appreciation I have for.”

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