AFC Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Raiders



An NFL executive tells Mike Sando of The Athletic that the Broncos were “in on” QBs Ryan Fitzpatrick and Andy Dalton this offseason and could consider someone like Jimmy Garoppolo down the road should the 49ers make him available. 

The only thing they didn’t do was add competition at the quarterback spot,” the executive said. “Denver was in on Fitzpatrick and Dalton. They don’t have them, and they probably won’t get one of those top guys in the draft. I think they’re looking at, OK, add somebody later in the draft or let’s get Jimmy Garoppolo if he becomes available, something like that.”


When asked about Chargers QB Justin Herbert, new HC Brandon Staley pointed out that his leadership will be a big factor in his development and how he can elevate the performance of other players. 

“The definition of leadership is do you make other people better. Do you make the people around you better? Do you elevate their performance and can you connect with a lot of different types of people? That’s another thing that I think is a defining characteristic of leadership and I think the way that Justin goes about it is so exciting because none of it’s manufactured. He’s so authentic and I think that that’s what people appreciate about him so much, and I think that now that he’s at the beginning and he’s been able to compete at this level and produce at this level, I think it’s only going to give him more confidence,” said Herbert, via Chris Hayre of the team’s official site. 

Staley said Herbert’s confidence was important to his production.

With any type of player in the NFL, confidence is so important. For him to have been able to play like that, I think you know that he belongs and at the same time all the good players know that there’s so much work to be done because there’s a lot that each guy can improve on, and that’s kind of how Justin’s wired and that’s why he’s been so much fun to work with so far.”

  • Chargers’ new CB Ryan Smith‘s one-year, $1.5 million deal includes a $1 million base salary and $250,000 available as a playing-time incentive. (Aaron Wilson)


Raiders DE Yannick Ngakoue said he was eager to sign with Las Vegas based on the organization’s history and amount of Hall of Famers. 

“I never once ever came out and said that I wanted to play for the Raiders for a long time,” Ngakoue said, via SiriusXM NFL Radio. “But you’d have to be a fool not to want to play for the Raiders — just the tradition and the history behind them, the Hall of Famers they have. I aspire to be a Hall of Famer one day when it’s all said and done and I hang up my cleats. It’s just more motivation when I walk into that building, just to see all the others that did it.”

Ngakoue mentioned that playing under Raiders’ new DC Gus Bradley provides him a coach who can “utilize my skills” based on their experience together in Jacksonville. 

“I’m going with a defensive coordinator that’s used to my style of play, that’s used me before, was my former head coach,” Ngakoue said. “And the defense definitely allows me to utilize my skills to help the team out tremendously. So it’s just a blessing.”

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