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Saturday, June 13, 2009
AFC West mailbag

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Joe from Royersford wants an update on where AFC West teams stand with signing their rookie classes.

BW: Denver got the ball rolling for the division Friday by signing seventh-round pick Blake Schlueter. Usually, most teams don't start knocking off draft picks until after the Fourth of July. However, there has been a recent flurry of signings around the league. Really, there is no urgency and most teams will likely sign their picks in the days before training camp starts in late July. I don't really expect any AFC West teams to have many problems with draft choices. The contract of No. 3 overall pick Tyson Jackson in Kansas City could be somewhat tricky after the Jets gave No. 5 overall pick Mark Sanchez $28 million guaranteed. But it shouldn't be anything to cause a major delay.


Ken from Elizabethtown, KY wants to know what's in store in Oakland for backup quarterback Andrew Walter.

BW: I think the writing is on the wall for Walter; I think he is out of there. The team has six quarterbacks on the roster now after it signed Charlie Frye, who will likely be the No. 3 quarterback. Walter has been staying away from voluntary camps this offseason. He didn't receive any repetitions in the mandatory minicamp. I expect Walter to either be traded or cut sometime this summer. I don't think Oakland could get a lot in return, perhaps just a low-round draft pick. Given a fresh start elsewhere, Walter, a former starter in Oakland, could have a chance as a backup.


Aaron from Syracuse wants to know if Tony Curtis has a chance to be in the tight end mix in Kansas City.

BW: The tight end competition is wide open as the Chiefs try to find a replacement for Tony Gonzalez. Curtis is a journeyman, but he has a history with new Kansas City coach Todd Haley. He has good hands, but he has never been a steady weapon. Keep an eye out for veteran Sean Ryan, who also has a history with Haley. Still, I think second-year player Brad Cottam, who is a better blocker than receiver, will get most of the playing time at tight end. Really, Haley's history is not to use the tight end much, so don't expect a whole lot of receiving production from whoever is the primary tight end in Kansas City.


Michael from Colorado wants to know if former Denver safety Steve Atwater will ever make the Hall of Fame.

BW: Atwater was a great Bronco. He has a hard-hitting safety who goes down as one of the team's best defensive players. He deserves consideration for the Hall of Fame, but it may take a while. There is a logjam of quality players. Atwater has to be on the list, but just don't expect a quick induction.