AFC Notes: Chargers, Chiefs, Raiders


  • Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio says his sources with the team have told him new Chargers HC Brandon Staley was always the top target for the team and they were surprised by the reporting that Bills OC Brian Daboll was their guy. 
  • Per Gilbert Manzano of the Los Angeles Daily News, Staley said he felt privileged to have been selected as the team’s next head coach: “While this is certainly a dream come true, it’s also a dream that’s just beginning. There’s a reason this was probably the most sought after job out there — from ownership, to the fans, to the city, to the men in that locker room — it’s the total package.”
  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer mentions Colts DB coach Jonathan Gannon is a strong candidate to land on Staley’s staff as a defensive coordinator. He’s interviewed with the Bears for the same position. 
  • Staley could also consider Rams RB coach Thomas Brown as an offensive coordinator, per the Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue
  • Rams S John Johnson and CB Troy Hill could also be elements of his system with the Rams that Staley tries to bring over to the Chargers in free agency. 
  • Paul Gutierrez hears that Raiders TEs coach Frank Smith is leaving Las Vegas to join Brandon Staley’s staff with the Chargers. 


  • According to a report from CBS Sports Radio’s Carrington Harrison, a source told him Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes didn’t have any concussion symptoms: “Patrick passed all of his tests last night. He didn’t actually hit his head, there was a nerve in his neck that got tweaked that made him out of it. He’s getting testing done on his neck/nerve today but did clear all tests last night.” 
  • Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer said there’s some confidence from the Chiefs that Mahomes will be okay as his symptoms were closer to being choked out than having a concussion. (Brandon Kiley)
  • Chiefs HC Andy Reid confirmed that Mahomes is in the concussion protocol, which means he’ll need to be cleared by an independent neurologist to play in the AFC title game this week: “We’ll follow that and see how he does the next couple of days.” (Herbie Teope)
  • Chiefs S Daniel Sorensen won’t be suspended for spearing Browns WR Rashard Higgins Sunday but the play will be reviewed for a fine. (Tom Pelissero)
  • Reid said Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill and WR coach Greg Lewis are good after being caught shoving on the sideline: “They were messing around. I know how it came off, but if you look at a minute later, they’re laughing over there. If you talk to both of them, they’ll tell you they were just messing around.” (Jeff Darlington)


  • The Athletic’s Vic Tafur writes the Raiders have a legitimate quandary with RT Trent Brown, who has only played in 14 of 32 possible games since signing a massive deal in free agency.
  • Brown’s weight shot up to 400 pounds from his listed 380 and the team has questions about how much he loves football, but he also battled a COVID-19 diagnosis. While Las Vegas could save $14 million by cutting him, that’s also a relative bargain if Brown plays up to his potential. 
  • Conversely, Tafur doesn’t think the Raiders will agonize much over cutting DB Lamarcus Joyner or WR Tyrell Williams to save $20 million. Marcus Mariota is another potential cut, as his $10 million salary in 2021 is massive for a backup quarterback. 
  • Tafur writes new DC Gus Bradley‘s evaluation of DE Carl Nassib will be crucial. Las Vegas owes him $5.75 million no matter what but could save $3.5 million by releasing him after he struggled in 2020. 
  • He adds if they want to keep WR Nelson Agholor, there’s a good chance they’ll have to open the checkbook wide, as he’ll likely test the open market to see what he can get. 
  • Paul Gutierrez hears that Raiders TEs coach Frank Smith is leaving Las Vegas to join Brandon Staley’s staff with the Chargers. 

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