AFC West Notes: Broncos, Chiefs, Raiders



  • Regarding the Broncos’ plans this offseason, Troy Renck of ABC Denver writes that S Justin Simmons “is not going anywhere” and could be franchise tagged at $11.5 million for 2020. 
  • As for Broncos CB Chris Harris, Renck is unsure if Denver would commit to him financially given CB Kareem Jackson makes $11 million annually, Simmons potentially costing $11.5 million, while DE Shelby Harris could command between $13-15 million per season.
  • Renck also notes that the Broncos similarly moved on from veteran CB Aqib Talib in 2017 to create playing time for Bradley Roby.
  • Renck writes that Harris could have priced himself out of a contract with the Broncos 
  • Renck expects the Broncos to make “two significant additions” and could sign a premier offensive and defensive linemen. 
  • Possible targets for the Broncos could include Redskins G Brandon Scherff, Colts LT Anthony Castonzo, and Chiefs DT Chris Jones
  • Renck also calls cornerback and inside linebacker as two more positions of need for the Broncos and mentions Browns ILB Joe Schobert and Rams ILB Cory Littleton as players to keep an eye on. 
  • Regarding the 2020 NFL Draft, Renck expects that Broncos to select two receivers in the first four rounds of the draft and could take on with the No. 15 overall pick.
  • Possible receivers the Broncos could consider at No. 15 include Alabama’s Henry Ruggs III, Clemson’s Tee Higgins, and Colorado’s Laviska Shenault Jr.


Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins may have just played an integral role in Kansas City’s Super Bowl victory, but he faces an uncertain future. Watkins’ salary and limited regular-season impact make him a candidate to be cut, and before the Super Bowl he floated the idea of potentially retiring at just 26. Watkins now says he’s “too young to retire” and has goals that he hopes to “accomplish those next year, either with the Kansas City Chiefs or another team.” He adds he does plan to take some time off, as “mentally, physically, soulfully, spiritually, I need some downtime.” 

“I don’t control the contract, a trade or if they’re going to give me a bigger contract,” Watkins said in an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “That’s not my worry. I’m not really focused on the money aspect of it. I’m really focused on my health, mental health and really checking in on and making sure I’m OK with my life, my family, my wife, my kids. Once I figure that out, I think I’ll be fine.”

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer says he can’t see a reason why Watkins would agree to a pay cut seeing as he’s scheduled to make $14 million and could likely make that much from another team if Kansas City releases him. 


Particularly after the situation with Antonio Brown blew up, the Raiders were insistent in their belief that free-agent addition WR Tyrell Williams could be a No. 1 receiver. Though he started the season hot, Williams finished with just 42 catches for 651 yards and six touchdowns in 14 games. Though it only knocked him out for two games, Williams dealt with painful plantar fasciitis in both of his feet. If he can get and stay healthy, Raiders HC Jon Gruden said the newly-minted Las Vegas Raiders are still high on Williams. 

“We still think he’s an excellent player,” Gruden said via the Athletic’s Vic Tafur. “We go back and I watch him in training camp and Week 1 when he was healthy against Denver, and he’s a talented guy. But it’s hard to play when your feet are on fire and his feet were hurting bad. We need to get him healthy. … We think he’s an excellent football player, he’s just got to get right.”

  • According to CBS Sports analyst and former agent Joel Corry, Raiders C Rodney Hudson had his $12.65 million 2020 base salary and $3.5 million of his $9.55 million 2021 base salary become fully guaranteed Wednesday.
  • Raiders TE Darren Waller‘s $7.28 million 2020 base salary also became fully guaranteed. (Corry)
  • Raiders RB Jalen Richard signed a two-year extension Wednesday to go with the team to Las Vegas: “I’m very excited to be back. They were the only team that gave me a shot and allowed me to make plays. It’s been a great four years, and my love continues to grow for the organization & for RaiderNation. Can’t wait to get to Vegas.” (Tafur)

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