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AFC West mailbag

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Weekend mail call.

Michael from Kansas wants to know whether I think the Chefs can finish with a winning record.

Bill Williamson: I'd be pretty surprised if the Chiefs had a winning record or even an 8-8 record this season. Now, in 2010, with the right moves, I can see Kansas City making a big leap. But it may be too much to expect a huge jump by Kansas City in 2009. The Chiefs have won a total of six games the past two years combined. If the Chiefs win six games this season in the first year of the Scott Pioli and Todd Haley regime, it would be good progress. I know fans can't get excited about the prospect of a 6-10 season, but it won't be an overnight change for this team. There are many holes on defense and on the offensive line. It will take time. Still, I think there are some solid pieces in place and the Chiefs are on the right track.


Ryan from Hagerstown, Md. wants to know if the Chargers are close to signing quarterback Philip Rivers to a contract and extension and whether the Chargers are close to signing any draft picks.

BW: It's been pretty quiet on the Rivers front. But I wouldn't be surprised if Rivers is given a new contract by the time the season starts. San Diego general manager A.J. Smith is aggressive when it comes to keeping his own players and he likes doing contract extensions in the summer. An extension for the team's franchise quarterback could be on the horizon. Don't be surprised if tight end Antonio Gates gets a new deal sometime this summer as well. As for the draft picks, there is no rush. The Chargers have signed one draft pick, cornerback Brandon Hughes, and they will slowly knock out the rest in the coming weeks.


Michael from Fremont, Ca. wants to know if Javon Walker is in Oakland's plans this season.

BW: It's all up to Walker's health. He had another knee surgery this offseason, which he didn't tell the team about. Walker has been overwhelmed by injuries in three of the past four seasons. If he can stay healthy, Walker may be able to help Oakland's young receiving corps. But I get the feeling Oakland is not counting on him. That's the wise move. Walker has been too physically unreliable to count on. If he can play, it will be a bonus. If not, it could be the end of his once-productive career.