AFC Notes: Broncos, Chiefs, Raiders, Aaron Rodgers


Broncos new HC Sean Payton said he’s excited to work with Russell Wilson and feels they have “pressure on us” to turn things around in Denver. 

“Russell is a hard worker and has played at a high level and won a lot of games in this league,” Payton said, via Jeff Duncan of “The pressure is on us to put a good run game together and reduce the degree of difficulty on his position. I’m excited about him.”

Payton thinks the Broncos have a great fanbase, tradition, and ownership ground.

“Great fanbase. Great tradition. The ownership group is fantastic, and I love the way they competed last year. It’s a great football city like we had in New Orleans,” said Payton, via Jeff Duncan. 


  • Chiefs HC Andy Reid said Patrick Mahomes (ankle) has progressively improved since the AFC Championship game: “He was a little stiff right after the game but he’s doing well now.” (Adam Teicher)
  • Reid is optimistic WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) will be able to practice next week: “He’s in the good place. The main thing is letting that thing calm down. We’ll just see where it goes.” (Nate Taylor)
  • Reid said it’s difficult to see WR Mecole Hardman (pelvis) being available for the Super Bowl: “I think it will be tough for him. I doubt he will make the Super Bowl.” (Matt Derrick)


  • When taking a look at the Raiders’ quarterback options following Tom Brady‘s retirement, Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal writes that Packers QB Aaron Rodgers makes “a lot of sense” for Las Vegas given he enters a “ready-made offense” to reunite with WR Davante Adams.
  • However, Rodgers is owed $59.5 million in 2023 which would prevent the team from spending on other positions. 
  • With pending 49ers free-agent QB Jimmy Garoppolo, Bonsignore points out he’ll be one of the best options available and his potential price tag will reflect that.
  • Bonsignore thinks the Raiders may be better off going with a “younger, less expensive option” at quarterback instead of Garoppolo. 
  • Bonsignore could see Las Vegas going forward with Jarrett Stidham and a rookie prospect being the most viable option.
  • Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline writes that Adams has been lobbying for the team to trade for Rodgers and reunite the two in Las Vegas. 

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