Let’s look back at some of the stories that occurred in the AFC West during the past two weeks while I was on vacation:
Defensive end Elvis Dumervil was arrested in Miami on gun charges.
My take: Dumervil’s attorney has said he doesn’t expect charges to be pursued in the case. Still, the NFL will likely investigate, and Dumervil could face a potential short suspension.
New Denver quarterback Peyton Manning bought a home for nearly $5 million in the Denver area.
My take: This news is significant because it shows Manning is planning to be in Denver for awhile. At 36, Manning signed a five-year deal with the Broncos. If he thought he wouldn’t be able to fulfill much of the contract, there is little chance Manning would have made such a commitment to the area.
Receiver Dwayne Bowe did not sign an extension before the deadline for franchised players. He has yet to sign his tender and report to the team.
My take: Bowe was not expected to sign an extension. Now, he must go prove he is worth a new deal with a big 2012 season.
Defensive back Donald Washington reportedly was arrested for drunk driving.
My take: There has been a rash of drunk driving arrests by NFL players this offseason. I’m sure commissioner Roger Goodell is ready to throw the book at alleged perpetrators such as Washington, a reserve in Kansas City.
Franchised safety Tyvon Branch signed a four-year contract extension.
My take: Securing a talented player like Branch for the future is a smart move. He is a key component of the Oakland defense. Plus, the signing opened up a reported $3.8 million in salary cap room. The Raiders will be able to sign some players to help for depth reasons this summer, perhaps starting with running back Cedric Benson, who has been linked to the Raiders for weeks.
My take: I think both Franklin and Battle will fill nice depth roles for the Chargers. Both players can help. Franklin is a solid 3-4 defensive tackle who will be part of a strong rotation. Battle gives the Chargers more depth at backup running back and he can play special teams. As for Castillo, it is clear the Chargers don’t think he can play anymore. He was cut twice this offseason.