AFC West Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs, Raiders


  • Broncos HC Vic Fangio said QB Joe Flacco still hasn’t been medically cleared: “We think he will be and then we’ll see where he’s at vs where we’re at.” (Nicki Jhabvala)
  • Fangio added that he doesn’t necessarily need a veteran to be their backup quarterback.
  • Regarding Drew Lock and the quarterback position, Elway said: “Feels a little better coming here without having to worry about that position and knowing which direction you’re going to go. Again, I feel great about Drew but he’s got a ways to go.” (Nicki Jhabvala)
  • Elway later added of Lock: “He went into a situation that wasn’t really a great situation and handled it very well. We think he can do it for a long time. Drew is our plan. … He gave us all the feeling that he may be the guy who can compete here for a long time.” (Mike Klis)
  • Fangio mentioned that RT Ja’Wuan James will not have surgery this offseason on his knee. (Mike Klis)
  • Per Fangio, OLB Bradley Chubb (torn ACL) won’t participate in any offseason football activities and won’t take part in football activity until training camp. (James Palmer)
  • As for CB Bryce Callahan (foot), Fangio said he has a good chance to participate in OTAs if all goes well. (Mike Klis)
  • Fangio tells Troy Renck that they will look to upgrade at inside linebacker and there’s a chance they would play with more six defensive backs in 2020. Renck says cornerback will be a priority in draft and free agency for Denver. 
  • Elway was asked about the impending free agency of Derek Wolfe, Shelby Harris and Chris Harris and said they will go through the process after the combine, but: “Ultimately it’s up to the players and what they want to do.” (Nicki Jhabvala)
  • According to Elway, they haven’t decided on LT Garett Bolles’ fifth-year option yet. (Nicki Jhabvala)
  • The Broncos interviewed Colorado WR Laviska Shenault Jr., Arizona State WR Brandon Aiyuk, and Alabama OT Jedrick Wills on Monday. (Mike Klis)
  • UCF WR Gabriel Davis will have a formal interview with the Broncos at the Combine. (Ryan O’Halloran)
  • LSU WR Justin Jefferson met informally with the Broncos at the Combine. (Nicki Jhabvala)
  • Clemson WR Tee Higgins met informally with the Broncos at the Combine. (Jhabvala)
  • Alabama WR Henry Ruggs III said he met with the Broncos at the Combine. (Jhabvala)
  • The Broncos and analytics director Mitch Tanney have mutually agreed to part ways. The team is expected to promote from within, potentially promoting Tanney’s top assistant, Scott Flaska. (Klis)


  • Per the Athletic’s Daniel Popper, Chargers GM Tom Telesco says the team hasn’t asked OT Russell Okung to restructure his contract. 
  • Telesco acknowledged that TE Hunter Henry is a franchise tag candidate for them, but said their goal remains to sign him to an extension. (Jeff Miller)
  • Telesco was asked about the possibility of signing QB Tom Brady in free agency and said they are looking at everything from a wide-angle lens and not eliminating anything. (Doug Kyed)
  • Telesco doesn’t anticipate the team signing a QB coach, instead having senior assistant Rip Scherer work with the position. (Popper)
  • Utah State QB Jordan Love said he talked with the Chargers at the Combine. (Popper)
  • Telesco mentioned that they’re willing to tweak their offense to fit a new quarterback. “Anthony (Lynn)’s pretty flexible.” (Doug Kyed)


  • Chiefs HC Andy Reid said when asked if he’s talked to WR Sammy Watkins since he said he’s considering taking a year off: “I have. Sammy’s in a good place. I’m not sure exactly what he meant by that but he’s in a good place.” (Terez A. Paylor)
  • Chiefs GM Brett Veach said of impending free agent DL Chris Jones: “Sometimes these things take some time to work through. The franchise tag is something that we have the ability to use. We’d certainly like to see if we can work something out with him. The tandem is Chris Jones and Frank Clark is something any team would want and we’re going to work hard to get that done.’’ (Adam Teicher)
  • Veach also said they want Watkins back and will have meetings with his reps this week to hopefully bridge a gap and see if they can work something out. (James Palmer)
  • Veach mentioned that they’re high on Rashad Fenton going into his second year and view him as a key contributor. (Matt Verderame)
  • According to Veach, S Juan Thornhill is progressing well from his torn ACL and the belief is that he’ll be ready for the regular season, and possibly training camp. (Matt Verderame)
  • Veach says DE Alex Okafor, who is coming off a torn pec, is ahead of Thornhill’s timeline.
  • The Chiefs had an informal meeting with Georgia WR Lawrence Cager at the Combine. (Herbie Teope)
  • Washington WR Aaron Fuller met with the Chiefs at the Senior Bowl. (Sam McDowell)
  • Oregon WR Juwan Johnson met with the Chiefs at the Combine. (McDowell)


  • Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the Raiders will continue to evaluate all options at linebacker, including possibly re-signing Vontaze Burfict.
  • Burfict played four games last season for the Raiders before receiving a season-ending suspension for repeated violations of the player safety rules. Burfict was reinstated in January and is eligible to play in the 2020 season.
  • Bonsignore also says the Raiders plan to look to the draft and free agency to overhaul their starting linebackers group.
  • Raiders GM Mike Mayock said of QB Derek Carr: “Derek played at a high level last season. I’m very happy with Derek. But as I’ve said before, we will evaluate every position on our roster and if there’s a chance to upgrade, we will look into that.” (Adam Schefter)
  • When asked about the needs for the Raiders, Mayock specifically mentioned wide receiver and the entire defense. (Joel A. Erickson)
  • Regarding the defense, Mayock said: “Defensively, we’re not very good at all. So I kind of go into the defensive side of it with who a mindset of who makes us better at every position. We have so many needs over there, it’s just who’s a dynamic football player that makes us better.” (Jerry McDonald)

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