AFC West: Andre Hardy

So much for the Andre Hardy experiment in Oakland, as the Raiders waived the rookie on Monday.

Hardy was intriguing because he was a college basketball player who the Raiders signed as a tight end. With the likes of Antonio Gates and Jimmy Graham striking it big after taking similar paths, it’s worth watching every time a player tries to emulate their moves.

However, Hardy didn’t make it a day past rookie minicamp in Oakland. The best-case scenario for Hardy was for him to be a practice squad player in 2012, giving him a chance to develop. However, it is clear the Oakland staff concluded Hardy is too far away from even taking him to training camp.

The Raiders also cut quarterback Rhett Bomar on Monday. He wasn’t going to be anything more than a camp arm, anyway.

Reviewing what I missed

April, 16, 2012
I took last week off. It was not an overly busy week, but some things did occur, so let’s review the game film of some of the events of the week:


The Broncos signed defensive tackle Justin Bannan.

My take: Bannan, who also was a Bronco in 2010, is a solid player who will help in the rotation. Denver still needs a young defensive tackle, but this is a good addition.

The Broncos cut cornerback Andre Goodman.

My take: This has been coming since the Broncos signed Tracy Porter to replace Goodman. This is not a shock at all. I wonder if Oakland coach and former Denver defensive coordinator Dennis Allen will look at Goodman. He will turn 34 this year and he is in decline, but Goodman has strong experience, which could interest Oakland.

Receiver Demaryius Thomas made some critical comments about former quarterback Tim Tebow and expressed happiness with the Peyton Manning signing.

My take: Is anyone surprised by this? Thomas is a receiver. Playing with an erratic passer had to get frustrating for all Denver receivers. A Manning-Tebow swap is a receiver’s dream.

Kansas City

Tight end Leonard Pope signed with Pittsburgh.

My take: He wasn’t in the Chiefs' plans. Pope is a favorite of former Kansas City coach Todd Haley, who will now coach Pope for a third NFL organization. They were in Arizona together before Kansas City.


The Raiders signed college basketball player Andre Hardy in hopes of making him a tight end.

My take: Why not? Former college hoopsters turned tight ends have hit it big. So it’s a low-risk endeavor. Don’t expect much from Hardy soon, though. He is probably a practice-squad prospect. This signing does not affect Oakland’s need for another tight end in 2012.

San Diego

The Chargers re-signed fullback Jacob Hester.

My take: He will back up Le'Ron McClain and will play special teams. Hester is a solid role player.

The Chargers signed former Oakland starting offensive lineman Mario Henderson.

My take: This is a depth move. Having a former starter as a backup is never a bad thing.

AFC West links: Thomas prefers Manning

April, 13, 2012
Denver Broncos

The Tim Tebow-Demaryius Thomas connection from last season's playoff win against Pittsburgh might be one of the team's most memorable touchdowns in history, but Thomas wasn't overly nostalgic when Tebow was shipped out to make room for Peyton Manning. Thomas said Thursday that he prefers playing with a prototypical passing quarterback such as Manning. "It's a business decision," Thomas said, via "I ain't going to say I was sad, because the only thing they remember is that pass. You gotta go back and look at the rest of the games."

Guard Chris Kuper hopes to return to the field by June from the gruesome ankle injury he suffered in the regular-season finale, reports Mike Klis of the Denver Post.

Kansas City Chiefs’s Clark Judge breaks down where the Chiefs stand by position group heading toward the draft.

Memphis defensive tackle and combine darling Dontari Poe visited with the Chiefs recently.

Oakland Raiders

The Raiders on Thursday signed Andre Hardy, a former basketball player at Cal State Fullerton and Oral Roberts, to play tight end. Hardy never played college football.

GM Reggie McKenzie would take a pass on the Raiders appearing on HBO's "Hard Knocks," reports's Paul Guttierez. "I like Raider business to stay Raider business, that's all," McKenzie said Wednesday.

San Diego Chargers

GM A.J. Smith has a history of making draft-day trades. Smith has traded at least once in six of nine drafts since becoming general manager in 2003, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune's Michael Gehlken. “We’re wide open,” Smith said Thursday. “We have been always since I’ve been here, and we’ve done everything. We’ve gone up in the attack. We’ve bailed out in the past, and we’ve stayed where we are. It depends on circumstance.”

The team's website takes a look at Alabama cornerback DeQuan Menzie, who says he's open to switching to safety in the pros.