AFC Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Raiders


Broncos WR Tim Patrick, who’s entering the final year of his contract, said he’s not trying to focus on potentially becoming a free agent after the 2021 season and is using this year as motivation. 

“I try not to,” Patrick said, via Jon Heath of BroncosWire. “It’s hard not to, but I try not to because that’s every kid’s dream. Every guy’s dream is getting that long-term contract. At the end of the day, I have to keep myself motivated someway. Now I’m at the point where I’m [mad] that I didn’t get a first-round tender and I’m [mad] that I didn’t get the extension.”

Patrick added that his mindset is to improve and earn a long-term deal. 

“Now, I have to go back to the drawing board and work to get that. That’s my mindset right now. I try not to think about the long-term stuff.”


Former Chargers HC and new Lions OC Anthony Lynn said they were enamored with Justin Herbert coming out of college and wanted to avoid playing him too soon. 

“I loved Justin coming out. He was our guy and [G.M.] Tom Telesco loved him, but we did a lot of work on Justin,” Lynn said, via Compas On The Beat. “I did not want to expose him too soon. I’ve seen what that has done to some top picks — especially at the quarterback position. And how sometimes, those young men never recover because they’re living in a day and age where media is just right there. I mean, social media, and things spread, and some of these kids are just not mentally strong enough to overcome a lot of the negative vibes that they get early in their careers. I think that’s pretty obvious when you look at the quarterback position.”

However, Lynn explained it quickly became necessary to start Herbert after Tyrod Taylor suffered an accidentally punctured lung prior to Week 2. 

But Justin had to go in and play. We didn’t have any choice. Tyrod got his lungs punctured. Justin found out as the ball was literally in the air — I’m grabbing Justin saying, ‘You’re the starter.’ And the way he handled that situation, I tell you what, he couldn’t have handled it any better.”

Lynn came away extremely pleased with Herbert’s performance as a rookie and feels the quarterback has a “great foundation” for his career. 

“There’s a lot of things that went on that you guys will never know about [from] behind the scenes,” Lynn said. “But that’s part of him being a young, rookie quarterback. But overall, the way he handled that situation, I could not have asked for anything better. And I just think that’s going to be a great foundation for him going forward.”


New Raiders RB Kenyan Drake was made a priority free agent signing by Las Vegas this offseason. The money obviously played a role, but Drake was sold on joining the Raiders even though they already had RB Josh Jacobs because of HC Jon Gruden‘s plans for Drake and the team’s success on offense the past few seasons. 

“I’m definitely excited to see how our roles continue to develop with honestly Josh being the main guy to go out there and do what he has to do, because I have much respect and love for him and his game and what Coach Gruden has planned for us in that specific capacity,” Drake said in an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “But I feel like I’m going to have a big role in this offense. With them being a top-ten offense last year, the sky is the limit for us. I’m ready to see us take it to the next level. 

“Adding me, a couple more weapons in Willie Snead, John Brown, I just feel that this offense is destined for great things.”

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