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Sunday, July 5, 2009
AFC West mailbag

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Weekend mail call:

J-Ben from Wichita, KS wants to know if the Raiders could be in play for free agent wide receiver Marvin Harrison.

Bill Williamson: Harrison's foray into free agency has been interesting. You hear his name connected to teams once in a while, but he certainly hasn't been a hot name since. The latest team to surface is Minnesota. That makes sense, especially if Brett Favre signs with the Vikings. Harrison would be a perfect complementary receiver in Minnesota. Still, I maintain he'd be a nice fit in Oakland as well. The Raiders have young receivers who are fast but who are unproven. Harrison would be a nice No. 3 receiver and he'd be a great outlet for young Oakland quarterback JaMarcus Russell. Still, Harrison is used to being on a winning team and he likely wouldn't want to be part of a rebuilding project. So, if Minnesota really is an option, he might be more inclined to go there than Oakland if the Raiders came calling.


Zac Lopez from Pasadena, CA wants to know if there is an update on San Diego seventh-round pick Demetrius Byrd. The receiver was in an auto accident shortly before the draft.

BW: Byrd is being vey protected in his rehabilitation from injuries sustained in an April car accident. Many people around him are being quiet and they want him to get better outside of the spotlight of the media. That is understandable. I do know that Byrd is up and walking and working hard to get better. But there is no timeline. A full recovery expected. If I had to make a guess, I think Byrd will start training camp and the regular season on the physically unable to perform list. He could end up being out all year. Still, the Chargers are excited about Byrd's potential. Before his accident, which was six days before the draft, he was expected to be a third-round pick. The Chargers took him in the seventh round. Byrd wasn't taken as a novelty or as a favor. The Chargers like him and think he will be able to help down the road.


Taylor from Fort Myers, Florida wants to if Elvis Dumervil has a chance to shine in the Broncos' new defense.

BW: The Broncos have been working Dumervil as a linebacker in their new 3-4 scheme, headed by former San Francisco head coach Mike Nolan. Dumervil has been a small defensive end for Denver. He has 26 career sacks despite being brought along slowly as a rookie and despite having injuries last season. I think he can be effective in the 3-4 defense as a pass rusher. I'm not so sure Dumervil will be able to cover as a linebacker or play the run, but I'm sure the defense will be aligned will Dumervil will just have to pass rush. So, he'll likely still be a situational player, just from the linebacker position.