AFC West Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs



Broncos second-round rookie QB Drew Lock‘s hot start to his career was cooled off by a driving snowstorm in Kansas City Sunday. Lock completed just 45 percent of his passes without a touchdown and threw an interception in a 23-3 loss. Broncos GM John Elway said the team is still optimistic about Lock’s future, but a priority will be building the team around him. 

“The key thing is you never know — you can look on tape, you can see the athleticism, the ability to throw the football and his ability to get rid of it quick and avoid the rush, his feel for the rush we’ve been able to see in the last couple of week — you can see that on tape, you just never know how they’re going to handle and react to the big lights,” Elway said via Zac Stevens of DNVR Sports. “Up to this point, Drew has done a tremendous job of that. We’ve played in two tough spots on the road… and he’s played very well and handled that situation well. I think he’ll continue to get better and we’re excited about that. Again, it’s going to take some time.”

  • Per ESPN’s Jeff Legwold, Elway said the team plans to keep S Justin Simmons, which the young safety said he appreciates as he wants to stay in Denver as well: “I mean, that’s awesome, like I said I’d love to be here, this is home, the past four years this has been home … I just hope, with that being said, it works out on both ends.”
  • The Athletic’s Nicki Jhabvala writes the absolute floor for Simmons’ new deal would be teammate Kareem Jackson‘s three-year, $33 million deal that included $23 million guaranteed, and Simmons should exceed that given his age. 
  • Jhabvala adds that the futures of CB Chris Harris and DE Derek Wolfe in Denver will likely depend on if they can agree with the team on how much they’re worth going forward. 
  • Broncos DT Shelby Harris has put himself in position for a big raise with a deal worth $11-$12 million in Denver or elsewhere, per Jhabvala.
  • Broncos S Will Parks and OL Connor McGovern are both solid contributing players Jhabvala believes Denver will want to keep. 
  • Jhabvala mentions DL Mike Purcell and OL Elijah Wilkinson as strong candidates for the second-round restricted free agent tender. 
  • Jhabvala lists Broncos RB Devontae Booker and DL Adam Gotsis as likely to leave in free agency. 
  • Broncos LB Todd Davis, K Brandon McManus and G Ronald Leary are likely to have their team options picked up, according to Jhabvala. 


With only two games left in Chargers QB Philip Rivers‘ current contract, speculation about his future with the team has started to ramp up, particularly given how erratic Rivers has been this season. However, Chargers HC Anthony Lynn isn’t ready to talk about any future beyond the next two weeks. 

“My future is right now and this Sunday,” Lynn said via the Los Angeles Times. “I don’t have time to think about the future. I hope his concentration and focus is on the present as well.”

  • The Chargers worked out Cameron Judge and Nick Usher on Tuesday. (Aaron Wilson)


  • Per the Kansas City Star’s Herbie Teope, Chiefs HC Andy Reid said the team went ahead and put DE Frank Clark back in a full-time role despite coming off his stomach issues because Clark expressed frustration having his snaps reduced: “We started off slow with him, but he gets very aggravated with that. So, you’re better off just letting him get in and go.”
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