AFC West Notes: Broncos, Chiefs, Raiders

     

Broncos

Broncos WR Courtland Sutton took a mammoth step forward in his second season. The 6-4 wideout finished 2019 with 72 grabs for 1,112 yards and six touchdowns despite playing with a revolving door of quarterbacks in 2019. Sutton earned an invitation to the Pro Bowl as an alternate, and with steady QB play former Cowboys Hall of Fame WR Michael Irvin says Sutton has what it takes to be a regular at the game. 

“The next step for him is to continue to learn not how to get open, but also understand when to be open,” Irvin said via Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post. “That means he understands the progression on every play and let’s say he’s the back-side slant, he’ll learn, ‘I don’t have to beat my man quickly because I know (the QB) is reading front-side first so I can beat him late and still make those plays.’…When Courtland gets all of that down, he’s going to take off and he’ll make a living at the Pro Bowl every year because he has that physical skillset.” 

  • Per O’Halloran, Broncos GM John Elway said at the end of the season they planned to pick up LB Von Miller‘s option this offseason. 

Chiefs

Chiefs DC Steve Spagnuolo helped oversee one of the best defensive efforts of all time the last time he was in the Super Bowl, as the Giants held the previously unbeaten Patriots in check for their only loss of the season. He turned that performance into a head coaching gig with the Rams for a few seasons, and says he would be open to another head coaching opportunity if another team comes calling. 

“Oh, certainly,” Spagnuolo told Zach Gelb of CBS Sports Radio. “Listen, that desire and passion never changes. But I will say this . . . I’m a blessed man to have the job I have. If it’s not in God’s plans, I’m OK with that. But I’ve always kept preparing myself that way. It would be great if it happened, and if not, again, I’m very fortunate to be where I am.”

  • Ben Volin of the Boston Globe writes the Chiefs could wait to extend QB Patrick Mahomes given they still have a few more years of lower-cost control on his rookie contract, which would allow them to keep other veterans. 

Raiders

  • NBC Sports’ Scott Bair says it will be critical for Raiders GM Mike Mayock and HC Jon Gruden to continue drafting well to keep up with and hopefully catch the Chiefs in the AFC West. 
  • Bair lists Raiders S Johnathan Abram, who played just one game as a rookie before going on IR with a shoulder injury, along with Las Vegas’ two first-round and three third-round picks as key variables for the team. 
  • The Raiders also need better play from major 2019 free-agent acquisitions WR Tyrell Williams and S Lamarcus Joyner

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