AFC Notes: Sean Payton, Broncos, Chiefs, Raiders, Darren Waller, Hunter Renfrow


  • FOX Sports’ Colin Cowherd says he has been told former Saints HC Sean Payton is the Broncos’ top choice and preferred candidate for their head coaching vacancy, and that QB Russell Wilson is all the way on board too. 
  • Cowherd adds he thinks the deal would already be done if Payton had told the Broncos his interest was mutual: “And he may!”
  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer mentions former Stanford HC David Shaw as a dark horse candidate for the Broncos if they can’t land Payton. 
  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports that Broncos interim HC Jerry Rosburg had an end-of-season meeting with the team’s ownership in which he expressed interest in the head coaching position for next season and outlined a plan for the team.
  • Fowler adds while Rosburg isn’t the favorite, the team will likely consider him and are thankful for what he did for the team following the firing of Nathaniel Hackett.


Chiefs TE Travis Kelce set a playoff record with 14 catches in the divisional round win against the Jaguars, who had no answer for him even though he was clearly the team’s top target. It’s been that way all season, with few opponents able to slow Kelce down despite being far and away Kansas City’s best-remaining weapon. Chiefs backup QB Chad Henne offered some insight into what makes Kelce so good. 

“I mean, obviously he’s elusive and he’s shifty, but at the same time, he sees the field like a quarterback,” Henne said via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “So he sees the defense, he knows exactly who he’s working off of, at all times, and that’s what makes him so open. He just attacks the leverage, he kind of studies what he’s done in previous games, and he plays it off that, and gives himself different looks and sets up his routes that way. But like I said, he sees it like a quarterback, especially in zone coverages, he knows the holes that he’s supposed to get into. And we give him that freedom. Coach Reid always says ‘Hey, even in motions, you need to get off if they’re going to jam you. Just get where you need to be. We know you’re going to be in the right spot.’”


  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler writes that although a few teams expect Buccaneers QB Tom Brady to retire, and some others think Tampa Bay isn’t out of the running to keep him yet, the general consensus is that the Raiders are one of about three teams he’d consider playing for in 2023. 
  • Fowler also mentions other teams are keeping an eye on Raiders TE Darren Waller and WR Hunter Renfrow as HC Josh McDaniels and GM Dave Ziegler continue to seek out “culture fits.” 
  • Over The Cap’s Nick Korte released his compensatory pick projections, which historically have been incredibly accurate, even more than the official NFL release at times. He projects the Raiders to receive fifth and sixth-round picks for the loss of WR Zay Jones and CB Casey Hayward.

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