AFC Notes: Chargers, Raiders, Titans



The Raiders put a lot more of their free agency dollars on the offensive side of the ball than on defense, despite a defense that was near the bottom of the league. Raiders GM Dave Ziegler said they recognized fixing that unit will be a multi-year project, so they focused on chipping away at it bit by bit. He specifically highlighted the signings of S Marcus Epps and LB Robert Spillane, both of whom will likely start for Las Vegas, as fitting into their vision. 

“We felt that they fit the mold of that in terms of the research that we had done leading up to adding those players,” Ziegler said via the Athletic’s Tashan Reed. “They’re two very intelligent football players, high traits, high passion for football. We need to build that type of core of our team. Having those types of players that are smart, tough, dependable, love football and, again, are good football players, too…We want to build a team that has an edge and that has a chip on their shoulder and that individually they have that hunger in the fabric of their DNA.”

Ziegler added they were particularly impressed with the way Epps and Spillane started at the bottom and fought their way into big roles for quality teams. 

“And I think when you look at some of the guys that we added, though maybe not like big, sexy names, if you will, but look at Marcus Epps’ journey,” Ziegler said. “Marcus Epps was drafted in the sixth round by the Vikings. He was waived by the Vikings. He went to the Eagles — a good football team — and climbed up to where he ended up (playing) 99 percent of their snaps last year. Robert Spillane is a guy that had to build his way up through the Pittsburgh organization, which is another good organization. That wasn’t unintended in terms of bringing guys in that have been from successful organizations, too. There was some of that involved. It wasn’t like a direct focus; you know what I mean? But there was some intentionality to that.”


During a podcast, Daniel Jeremiah said he was hearing from “people around the league” that the Titans are a team to “keep an eye on” for a potential trade-up in the draft to select a quarterback.

“Can I give you the team that I’ve been told to keep an eye on that’s exploring this and looking into this? Again, this is just people around the league who said do not sleep on numero 11, the Tennessee Titans,” Jeremiah said“The two teams to keep an eye on with the trade ups were the Raiders and the Titans.”

Jim Wyatt of Titans Online followed up by asking ESPN’s Todd McShay, who wasn’t able to confirm any buzz surrounding the rumors.

“I haven’t heard anything on it, to be honest with you,” McShay replied. “It’s more speculation, seeing (Mike) Vrabel at three of the top pro days … and seeing the staff they sent and knowing that (Ryan) Tannehill and the cap number he has, one of the highest cap numbers of the quarterbacks.”

“If they bring in Anthony Richardson or Will Levis, whether they’re trading up or staying at 11, what they can do for the rest of their roster if in 2024, that quarterback shows that he can be a solid starter for you and has upside and can continue to develop,” McShay added. “Now you have four years with him as the starter at no money … it frees up so much money to get better everywhere else. And I think that’s going to be a trend that we see more and more. And that’s why you keep hearing about teams like Tennessee and like Seattle, like Las Vegas … teams that have veterans they are paying too much for, looking to bring in a young quarterback and develop them on the back end for a year or two, and if you hit on even an average starter for a few years, you get so much better everywhere else that you still have a chance to make a deep playoff run like San Francisco has done.”

  • Aaron Wilson reports Titans DL Jeffery Simmons‘ four-year, $94 million deal includes $66 million total guaranteed with a $24 million signing bonus.
  • Wisconsin OL Tyler Beach had a private workout for a number of teams, including the Titans. (Justin Melo)
  • Texas DT Keondre Coburn had a private dinner meeting with the Titans. (Justin Melo)

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