AFC Notes: Saquon Barkley, Patrick Mahomes, Chargers, Chiefs, Raiders


Giants RB Saquon Barkley was asked about the possibility of joining the Chargers in free agency this March. He still has to make it out of New York, which could use the tag on him again this offseason, but if that happens it seems Los Angeles might be on his list. 

“I’ve got nothing but respect for Coach Harbaugh,” Barkley said in an interview with Kay Adams. “I’m a big fan of Justin Herbert. I think he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. But, hey, if the opportunity was able to present itself, I definitely wouldn’t be against it.”

  • NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo reports the Bengals recently promoted Jordan Kovacs to secondary/safeties coach after blocking a request from the Chargers for an interview.
  • Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports the Raiders are expected to hire Chargers director of player personnel JoJo Wooden as a high-ranking executive. Wooden has obvious ties to Tom Telesco, who is now the GM for the Raiders.
  • Rapoport adds the Chargers have hired Chad Alexander as assistant GM and Corey Krawiec as director of player personnel strategy.
  • The Chargers are hiring Sanjay Lal as wide receivers coach. (Jeremy Fowler)
  • Tom Pelissero reports that the Chargers are retaining ST coordinator Ryan Ficken.
  • Matt Zenitz reports that the team is also expected to hire Notre Dame coach Chris O’Leary as their safeties coach.


When asked about his most frustrating moment this season, Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes said their 20-17 loss to the Bills because it was an important game regardless of the offensive offside call against Kadarius Toney

“I mean, I think obviously the Buffalo game. And I don’t even think it was because of the one play. It’s just… we had been playing such close games. And that was a game I knew was gonna be important, which it obviously was,” Mahomes said, via Jeff Darlington. 

Mahomes added that he felt like things weren’t “paying off” at that point of the season, but is glad to see them turn things around. 

“And I feel like our guys were playing their tail off. And we made a play at the end of the game and there was a flag. It was the right flag. But at that time, in that moment, I was like, ‘Man, we’ve battled through this adversity. And we made the play.’ And another thing happened that I felt like was out of our control — even though it really was in our control. But that moment was frustrating to me just because I felt like it wasn’t paying off. It wasn’t — it wasn’t happening. But the guys continued to work. And it’s paid off in the end. And we’re one game away from winning that Super Bowl. And that’s the ultimate goal.”


Raiders new assistant HC Marvin Lewis reflected on not having an official assistant head coach during his time with the Bengals but pointed out how owner Mike Brown often took a similar approach. His goal is to be that kind of resource for Raiders HC Antonio Pierce.

“I did have one. He just owned the team,” Lewis said, via Geoff Hobson of the team’s site. “It will be that kind of role. Yeah, I’m Mike, but I’m not the owner. We talked every day and that’s what AP and I are doing.”

Lewis said he had a lot of support in becoming assistant head coach from Las Vegas’ search committee, which included owner Mark Davis, team president Sandra Morgan, former Raiders DT Richard Seymour, and former TE Ken Henrock. 

“Antonio is a very smart, hard-driving, hard-working guy … I committed to help him in this,” Lewis says. “Everybody who spoke with me wanted to make sure that if he got the job full-time, I was still going to be able to be a part of it. It was important to (owner) Mark Davis, (team president) Sandra (Morgan), the alumni involved, Richard Seymour and Ken Herock, on the search committee. It was hard for me to waver at that point. I really enjoyed the players, the atmosphere, the coaching staff. For me, it was a lot of fun. It was great to be around adults again.”

  • Ian Rapoport reports that former NFL QB Tom Brady is set to become a Raiders limited partner, with the NFL Annual Meeting as the time for it to be approved by other owners.

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