AFC West: Andrew Brandt

Video: Brandt on Chiefs shooting

December, 1, 2012
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ESPN business analyst Andrew Brandt discusses the shooting at the Chiefs' facility.

Broncos bound for No. 2 seed?

November, 20, 2012
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ESPN.com’s playoff predictor,Insider an Insider piece, believes there is no chance the Denver Broncos will be watching the playoffs from the outside. It gives Denver a 100 percent chance to make the playoffs and predicts the Broncos will be the No. 2 seed and receive a bye in the first round of the playoffs.

If Denver can get the first-round bye, it would have to be considered a serious Super Bowl contender. The key game is Week 15 at Baltimore. If the Broncos want to secure a bye, they may need to win that game.

In other AFC West news:

In an Insider piece, the Football Outsiders Insider look at Philip Rivers’ issues and whether the Chargers should replace him. My take: Give him some help on the line and at the skill positions.

ESPN’s Andrew Brandt looks at the ramifications the new marijuana law in Colorado has on NFL players.

In a radio interview, backup Denver running back Lance Ball said there is no reason to panic because of the knee injury to starter Willis McGahee. He is expected to be out six to eight weeks.
ESPN NFL financial guru Andrew Brandt offers an intriguing look at how NFL restricted free agency is dying.

The basis of restricted free agency is a team can sign a player to an offer sheet and his existing team has a week to match the offer. If the team does not match the contract, it is awarded a draft pick from a corresponding round that the existing team assigns the player via a contract tender.

The deadline for teams to give restricted free agents an offer sheet is Friday. Thus far, there have been no offer sheets executed this offseason.

The Chiefs actually visited with Cincinnati restricted free agent linebacker/special teamer Dan Skuta several weeks ago, but thus far nothing has developed. He wasn’t given a draft-round tender so if the Chiefs were to give him an offer sheet and the Bengals didn’t match, the Chiefs would not have to send the Bengals any draft compensation.

There has been a lot of speculation (and we have discussed the possibility) that Denver could make a play at Pittsburgh receiver Mike Wallace, a restricted free agent prize. The Broncos still have some cap room and the speedy Wallace would be a terrific value at No. 25. He’d also be a dandy of a welcome gift for Peyton Manning.

A Denver pursuit of Wallace still makes sense. But as Brandt’s column points out, restricted free agency simply doesn’t appear to be a focal point of teams.

Schefter: Seabass could be out

October, 21, 2011
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This has to be worrisome for the Oakland Raiders.

ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting Oakland is bringing in kickers Friday because it fears kicker Sebastian Janikowski could miss a few weeks with a hamstring injury.

With the Raiders entering their bye week, Janikowski could possibly be in danger of just missing the Chiefs’ game on Sunday. But that wouldn’t be ideal.

Janikowski is the most dangerous kicker in the league. He helped beat Houston with three field goals of 50-plus yards, which tied an NFL record. In Week 1, he tied the NFL record with a 63-yard field goal.

When drives stall, the Raiders still have a chance with Janikowski. They’d miss that if they have to bring in a street kicker for this game. It may be another reason to start Carson Palmer instead of Kyle Boller. The Raiders will need to get closer to the end zone as much as possible without Janikowski.

In other AFC West nuggets:

In an Insider piece, KC Joyner doesn’t like what he sees from the Chargers for the short and long term.

Meanwhile, SportsCenter showed a graphic Friday that shows since 2007, the beginning of the Norv Turner era, the Chargers have a .652 winning percentage in the regular season, which is the fifth best in the NFL. However, of the teams with the seven best winning percentages in that time span, San Diego is the only team not to advance to the Super Bowl. Joyner’s piece suggests that won’t change anytime soon.

Andrew Brandt has a strong outline of the very real risk of the Palmer trade for the Raiders. Here is a video debate on how Palmer will impact Oakland.

Early AFC West notes

September, 27, 2011
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Andrew Brandt looks at the complicated appeal case of Oakland rookie Terrelle Pryor. The NFL is expected to soon rule on whether to reduce his five-game suspension. He is starting his fourth week of the suspension.

The Raiders’ offensive line is quickly coming together.

Kansas City kicker Ryan Succop is trying to figure out his struggles.

The Broncos may get pass-rusher Elvis Dumervil (shoulder) and left cornerback Champ Bailey (hamstring) back for Sunday’s game at Green Bay. They both have missed the past two games. Their return would give Denver a big boost even though the Broncos have been playing better on defense even without Dumervil and Bailey in the early season.

The quarterback-hungry Colts are working out former Chiefs quarterback Brodie Croyle. He has never won an NFL start. The Colts host the Chiefs on Oct. 9. Wouldn’t it be something if Croyle actually quarterbacked the Colts in that game? That could have major draft-pick implications.

ESPNW has a nice profile on Oakland executive Amy Trask. She is the only woman in the NFL in her role.

AFC West notes

August, 24, 2011
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Denver star left cornerback Champ Bailey will be adding nickel-cornerback duties to his repertoire this season in some situations. It is a sign of Denver’s new aggressive approach under new coach John Fox. The Broncos will do what it takes to improve the NFL’s worst defense.

Andrew Brandt takes a look at Terrelle Pryor’s suspension. Pryor is facing a five-game suspension to start his Oakland career. The Raiders took him in the third round of the supplemental draft on Monday.

Here is a video of Colleen Dominguez reporting from Raiders camp in preparation of Pryor’s signing.

San Diego rookie receiver Vincent Brown is healthy and playing catch up in practice.

The Raiders are working on stopping the run, which has been a lingering problem.

The Chiefs are hurrying to evaluate their roster.

Former Chiefs quarterback Brodie Croyle is officially an Arizona Cardinal.

More reported details have emerged from the Thomas Jones-Jon Baldwin fight last week. Reportedly, the veteran punched the rookie first because he objected to some rookie hazing.

San Diego coaching news

January, 21, 2011
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The San Diego Chargers have filled another key spot on their coaching staff.

San Diego announced it has hired Jason Michael to coach the team’s tight ends. The 32-year-old Michael gets a plum job. He is now in charge of coaching superstar tight end Antonio Gates. Michael was last San Francisco’s quarterback coach. He was on the staff of San Diego coach Norv Turner in Oakland in 2005.

Michael replaces Rob Chudzinski, who is now Carolina’s offensive coordinator. Chudzinski joined the staff of Ron Rivera, who was San Diego’s defensive coordinator.

Meanwhile, it doesn’t appear that Dave Wannstedt will join Turner’s staff. He is expected to go to Buffalo. Turner and Wannstedt are close friends and were on Dallas’ staff in the early 1990s. There was talk Wannstedt could join San Diego’s staff.

In other mid-day AFC West notes, here’s a look how Denver quarterback Kyle Orton could fit in Arizona. There will be takers for Orton and I think this is a real possibility.

Former Green Bay salary cap man Andrew Brandt is joining my bandwagon and he believes there’s a strong chance Nnamdi Asomugha will end up back in Oakland. Welcome aboard, Andrew. I may be wrong and things can change, but I just don’t see Asomugha leaving Oakland.

In a rarity, Broncos general manager Brian Xanders answered fans' questions in the Denver Post. It is another sign of the team’s attempt to reconnect with its fan base.

Chargers' offense is beat up

October, 20, 2010
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San Diego Chargers star tight end Antonio Gates didn’t practice Wednesday because of a toe injury he suffered in a loss at St. Louis on Sunday. He could miss Sunday’s game against New England.

Receiver Legedu Naanee didn’t practice Wednesday because of a hamstring injury that kept him of the Rams’ game. Naanee will be needed because No. 1 receiver Malcom Floyd will likely not play against the Patriots with a hamstring injury. Running back Ryan Mathews was kept out of Wednesday’s practice because of a nagging ankle injury.

Mathews is expected to play, but if Gates, Floyd and Naanee are out, San Diego will be hard pressed to score points against the Patriots.
  • It appears Kansas City defensive end Tyson Jackson is making strides to getting back on the field. He practiced fully Wednesday. He has been out since Week 1 with a knee injury. Receiver Chris Chambers (finger) and right tackle Ryan O’Callaghan (groin) also practiced fully for the Chiefs.
  • The Broncos signed tight end John Nalbone and defensive lineman Mitch Unrein to the practice squad.

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