AFC West Notes: Chargers, Chiefs, Raiders

     

Chargers

The Chargers thought so highly of LB Kenneth Murray as the future heart of their defense that they traded back into the first round to make sure they could land him. Part of that will undoubtedly include calling the plays for the defense at some point, but with no rookie minicamps, the Chargers haven’t seen for sure if that’s something Murray will be able to do right away as a rookie. He says, however, it won’t be a problem coming in as a three-year starter at Oklahoma. 

“For sure,” Murray said to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media. “It’s just something that I don’t have a problem with. I’m extremely comfortable doing that. It’s what I’m preparing for right now which is why I spent so much time in it right now. Just get it down pat so that way if that’s given to me, appointed to me this season, I’m able to go out there prepared and everybody can count on me to be able to get everybody lined up.”

  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler says the Chargers make sense as a landing spot for former Eagles LT Jason Peters as they still don’t have a reliable projected starting left tackle.

Chiefs

At one point this offseason, Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins was speculated as a potential casualty for cap-strapped Kansas City. Watkins had a $21 million cap hit which was huge for a player who had fallen down the pecking order in the passing game. While he eventually came around on taking a pay cut, in an interview back in March he vented some frustrations with his situation. 

“I’m praying and hope they do right by me if I go back,” Watkins said via Bleacher Report’s Tyler Dunne. “If they don’t, it’s going to be World War III. Seriously. Because I feel like I’ve been doing everything in my power to stay positive, to continue to uplift everybody on the team. To put myself last, to literally always put myself last.”

Raiders

Raiders DB Coach Jim O’Neill spoke about the team selecting Ohio State CB Damon Arnette in the first round of the draft, despite many saying that the pick was a reach.

“I love Arnette,” O’Neil said, via Vic Tafur of The Athletic. “He’s the ultimate football player. He is an unbelievable competitor, and that comes across the first time that you talk to him. He is an old-school Raiders cornerback, and there are not a lot of guys like him that exist anymore. And he’s not even close to his ceiling.”

“His playing speed is ridiculous,” O’Neil added. “He has competitive speed. I don’t care how fast the guy is opposite him, he is going to cover him.”

Raiders HC Jon Gruden said he’s not sure that Arnette wasn’t the best corner in the draft.

“I liked Arnette as much as (Jeff) Okudah,” Gruden told SiriusXM. “If you look at the production, Arnette’s got more production. He played last year hurt with a broken right wrist. I think he is the best tackler in this draft. I think he is an old-school bump-and-run Raiders cornerback that’s physical and nasty.”

Arnette said he connected with Gruden right away and felt that the Raiders were approaching him differently than other teams were.

“It was just how Coach Gruden talked to me, I could tell he meant what he was saying,” Arnette said. “It was just a different feel from how other teams were talking to me. I could tell that he was a dog like I was. He was a hyped guy and he loved football, I could tell that right away.”

  • Raiders RB Devontae Booker‘s one-year deal includes a $50,000 signing bonus and counts for $887,500 against the salary cap under the veteran salary benefit. (Field Yates)
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