AFC West Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Raiders


Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders was traded to the 49ers minutes before he was supposed to practice for Denver on Tuesday. On his way out of the facility to head to his new home in San Francisco, Sanders stopped for a moment to reminisce. 

“It’s hard anytime you break up or leave a place,” Sanders said via Michael Spencer of CBS Denver. “It’s tough. We definitely had a great run in Denver, had a lot of great times but all good things come to an end. Looking forward to getting out to San Fran and showcasing my talent.”

  • According to Denver7’s Troy Renck, because Sanders is older than 30 and has 10 years of accrued NFL service, the highest compensatory pick Denver would have been awarded if Sanders left in free agency would be a fifth-round pick. 
  • Denver is also receiving lots of trade interest in Broncos CB Chris Harris and DE Derek Wolfe, per CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora.
  • Harris says he has not talked to GM John Elway about his status and doesn’t plan to: “No, I just play football, man, I just play football, take on the top receiver every week, that’s my job.” (Jeff Legwold)
  • Regarding the decision to trade Sanders, Elway said: “I think eventually with what happened after the Tennessee game and where we were and the value we were getting for him, decided it was the best thing for our team to trade him.” (Nicki Jhabvala)
  • According to Elway, “there were more than two teams” interested in Sanders. (Ryan O’Halloran)
  • Elway explained that both sides felt it was best to move on: “Emmanuel had issues and we had issues, so that’s why it was good time to go in different directions.” (Nicki Jhabvala)
  • Elway on if Sanders communicated wish for trade: “Yes, he did. When you look at it, Emmanuel had issues and we had issues. That’s why it was a good time for us to go a different direction for Emmanuel to go a different direction and for us to go a different direction.” (Mike Klis)
  • Elway said they’re looking for DaeSean Hamilton and Tim Patrick to step up after the bye. “It’s Courtland’s room now. He has to step up, too.” (Troy Renck)
  • As for CB Chris Harris, Elway says they have not received interest in him recently from other teams, despite reports. (James Palmer)


The hits have been unrelenting for the Chargers this year, both in the injury department and the results of games. Los Angeles dropped its third straight game Sunday to fall to 2-5 on the season. While there’s help coming when some players return to health, there’s a legitimate question of if it will be too late to save the Chargers’ season. 

“I don’t think it’ll tear us apart,” Chargers QB Philip Rivers said via Jeff Miller of the Los Angeles Times. “I mean, there’s a difference between tearing us apart and still just not ever getting it figured out. I don’t think it’ll tear us apart. It’s not something we can just talk ourselves into. We just got to keep working and keep believing that it’ll happen. And, I think we’ll do that. I think we’ve got the guys that’ll do that. It’s certainly going to be tough.”


  • Sam Mellinger mentions that it “sounds less and less likely the Chiefs are going to make a move” before the trade deadline. 


The Raiders elected to cut bait on former 2017 first-round CB Gareon Conley yesterday, dealing him to the Texans in exchange for a third-round pick in 2020. Conley never quite found his stride with the Raiders and the team wanted to give more playing time to a trio of young corners — second-round rookie Trayvon Mullen, third-round rookie Isaiah Johnson and undrafted rookie Keisean Nixon — who were acquired by the current front office regime. 

“I think he’s good player. I’m not going to get into it other than that,” Gruden said via the East Bay Times’ Jerry McDonald. “I think he’s a good young player. We drafted two young corners to play also and they’re back ready to go here quickly. We want to give them an opportunity, like we are a lot of young players at other positions.”

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