AFC West Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs

     

Broncos

On paper, the Broncos didn’t have a big need at running back going into this offseason. Former undrafted free agent RB Phillip Lindsay has back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons and a Pro Bowl selection under his belt. But Broncos GM John Elway saw a chance to upgrade from good to great by adding RB Melvin Gordon and pounced. 

“Obviously we had two good backs in Royce Freeman and Lindsay,” Elway said via Aric DiLalla of the team’s website. “We know that [Lindsay] is a guy that’s had a great year for us. I know there’s people going, ‘Why do you need another horse?’ Well, when you have an opportunity for Melvin Gordon to come in here, we felt like it was an addition to the team. He’s a guy that obviously has had a lot of success in this league. He’s scored a lot of touchdowns and has caught the football a ton. So we feel like with him — with Melvin, as well as Phillip — that we’ve got a great one-two punch, and we’ll only get better in the backfield.”

While this move didn’t draw as much fanfare as signing Gordon, acquiring Titans DT Jurrell Casey for just a seventh-round pick was a massive gain for Denver. Tennessee was looking to shed salary and the Broncos were able to take advantage by acquiring a Pro Bowl defensive lineman for peanuts. The Broncos pulled a similar move by sending a fourth-round pick to the Jaguars for CB A.J. Bouye

“We’re excited about [how it] unfolded,” Elway said. “You never know. We still have to go win football games. But it was a good start for us this offseason with A.J. Bouye, trading for him at the corner position and then Jurrell Casey, trading for him at the defensive tackle position that we needed and steal a very, very good football player, a five-time Pro Bowler.”

  • The Athletic’s Nicki Jhabvala points out this could be Broncos LB Von Miller‘s final season in Denver. The 32-year-old has a team option on his deal after next season and the Broncos could save $18 million by declining it. 
  • Broncos P Sam Martin‘s three-year, $7.05 million deal includes a $1.45 million signing bonus with $550,000 of his $1.05 million base salary in 2020 guaranteed. He will have annual salaries of $2.3 million and $2.25 million over the final two years. (Aaron Wilson)

Chargers

After playing the first nine seasons of his career in Green Bay, OT Bryan Bulaga got a pretty clear message the Packers weren’t planning on bringing him back for more in 2020 despite a strong season at right tackle. Bulaga ended up landing with the Chargers on a three-year, $30 million deal, who made him a priority to shore up their hole at the position. 

“We knew pretty early that we would not be heading back to Green Bay,” Bulaga said in an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio via Pro Football Talk. “That was made known pretty early, I think before the opening bell of the tampering process we kind of knew that. So we had an open mind and we were willing to kind of hear where the market was going and what teams were going to call and the Chargers were a team that was very interested from early on.”

For Bulaga, the presence of Chargers OL coach James Campen was the deciding factor in choosing Los Angeles. Campen was Bulaga’s position coach in Green Bay for the majority of his time there and the veteran loved the idea of a reunion. 

“Obviously for me a very familiar face is the offensive line coach in coach Campen,” Bulaga said. “He was my offensive line coach in Green Bay for nine years. So going to a place that is unfamiliar to me but having a familiar face there was a big sell for me. We played them last year. They beat us pretty handily in L.A. and got to experience the type of players that they had and kind of what they’re doing over there. It’s exciting and they’re moving into the new stadium and so it seemed like a good fit for myself and my family.”

Chiefs

  • Chiefs OT Mike Remmers one-year, $1.187 million deal includes a $137,500 signing bonus, $1.05 million base salary with $750,000 guaranteed and qualifies for the veteran salary benefit. (Aaron Wilson)
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