AFC West: Corey Mays

DENVER -- Kansas City rookie receiver/returner/running back Dexter McCluster is inactive for the third straight game because of an ankle injury.

The Chiefs are also without safeties Jon McGraw (knee) and Kendrick Lewis (hamstring). Donald Washington may be set to start with Eric Berry at safety. The Chiefs have not made that announcement yet. Linebacker Corey Mays is inactive for the first time this season.

Kansas City has signed safety Ricky Price from the practice squad. Linebacker Charlie Anderson was cut to make room for him.

For Denver, running back Laurence Maroney is inactive. Lance Ball, who can play special teams, is active. Denver traded a fourth-round draft pick for Maroney earlier this season. As expected, linebacker Robert Ayers and cornerback Andre' Goodman are inactive because of injuries.

Denver and Kansas City updates

April, 20, 2010
4/20/10
5:30
PM ET
ESPN’s John Clayton is reporting that former Denver guard Ben Hamilton has signed with the Seattle Seahawks.

Hamilton visited the Seahawks earlier this offseason. Denver had no interest in bringing back Hamilton because it is looking for bigger interior offensive linemen. Denver is moving from a zone blocking scheme to a more traditional, power-blocking scheme. Hamilton, who has been with Denver since 2001, lost his starting job last season.

In Seattle, he reunites with former Denver coaches Alex Gibbs and Jeremy Bates.

In Kansas City, restricted free agent Corey Mays signed his tender and is now under contract. Mays started 14 games last season.

AFC West: Free-agency primer

March, 3, 2010
3/03/10
5:00
PM ET
Denver

Potential unrestricted free agents: P Mitch Berger, S Vernon Fox, T Brandon Gorin, Nick Greisen, G Ben Hamilton, G Russ Hochstein, DE Vonnie Holliday, CB Ty Law, WR Brandon Lloyd

Potential restricted free agents: LB Elvis Dumervil, OL Chris Kuper, WR Brandon Marshall, QB Kyle Orton, TE Tony Scheffler, DT Le Kevin Smith

Franchise player: None.

What to expect: The Broncos’ restricted class is talented. That will be the focus. It has been reported that Marshall, Orton, Dumervil, Scheffler and Kuper will all get one-year tenders. Marshall very well could be traded. It wouldn’t be a shock if Dumervil gets some action on the restricted market. Miami could be interested.

Kansas City

Potential unrestricted free agents: OL Andy Alleman, S Mike Brown, WR Chris Chambers, WR Terrance Copper, TE Sean Ryan, C Wade Smith, LB Mike Vrabel, WR Bobby Wade

Potential restricted free agents: RB Jackie Battle, QB Brodie Croyle, LB Derrick Johnson, LB Corey Mays, OL Ikechuku Ndukwe, OL Rudy Niswanger, OL Ryan O'Callaghan, S Jarrad Page

Franchise player: None.

What to expect: The Chiefs are interested in keeping some of their unrestricted free agents. General manager Scott Pioli said at the combine the team has been in contact with several of their free agents. Chambers is the focus. The team is trying to keep him. Brown and Vrabel could also return with new deals.

Oakland

Potential unrestricted free agents: S Hiram Eugene, G Cornell Green, T Langston Walker, LB Sam Williams

Potential restricted free agents: LB Jon Alston, OL Khalif Barnes, LB Ricky Brown, LB Jon Condo, QB Charlie Frye, QB Bruce Gradkowski, LB Thomas Howard, RB Luke Lawton, OL Chris Morris, LB Kirk Morrison, CB Stanford Routt, RB Gary Russell

Franchise player: DE Richard Seymour.

What to expect: The Raiders franchised Seymour and signed kicker Sebastian Janikowski to a record deal, so they’ve already been busy. It will be interesting to see how they tender Howard and Morrison. The Raiders could use some new life at linebacker and this could be the start of it.

San Diego

Potential unrestricted free agents: DT Alfonso Boone, TE Brandon Manumaleuna, C Dennis Norman, WR Kassim Osgood. T Jon Runyan, DT Ian Scott, TE Kris Wilson

Potential restricted free agents: OL Jeromey Clary, LB Tim Dobbins, WR Malcom Floyd, DT Antonio Garay, OL Eric Ghiaciuc, LB Marques Harris, WR Vincent Jackson, DT Travis Johnson, OL Marcus McNeill, LB Shawne Merriman, RB Darren Sproles, QB Charlie Whitehurst

Franchise player: None

What to expect: The Chargers have their hands full. It’s been reported they will give high tenders to Jackson, Merriman, McNeill and Floyd. Jackson and McNeill could still attract some interest on the restricted market. Sproles is not expected to be tendered, making him a free agent. The Chargers want him back. But if Sproles hits the open market, the multifaceted weapon could be scooped up quickly.

Going back to school

February, 11, 2010
2/11/10
2:05
PM ET
Seven AFC West players are among the 77 players who will participate in the NFL’s Business Management and Entrepreneurial Program this spring.

The program started five years ago to give players business-school experience during their players days to help prepare them for their post-football life. The session will be held next week.

The AFC West players going to participate in the program at the Harvard Business school are Denver’s Brandon Gorin, Spencer Larsen and LeKevin Smith and Kansas City’s Brad Cottam, Corey Mays and Kolby Smith. Kansas City receiver Bobby Wade will attend the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Thirty of the 212 NFL players who would lose their status as unrestricted free agents this offseason if the league and its union can't agree on a new labor contract play in the AFC West. They'd be restricted free agents.

Several big-name players from the division on are the list. There is some time between now and when free agency starts, but if a new deal isn’t made (and it seems unlikely at this point that there will be a new deal) it could greatly impact these players.

Here’s the list:

Denver

Elvis Dumervil LB

Chris Kuper OG

Brandon Marshall WR

Kyle Orton QB

Tony Scheffler TE

Le Kevin Smith DE

Kansas City

Brodie Croyle QB

Derrick Johnson LB

Corey Mays LB

Rudy Niswanger C

Ryan O’Callaghan T

Jarrad Page S

Oakland

Jon Alston LB

Khalif Barnes OT

Ricky Brown LB

Charlie Frye QB

Thomas Howard LB

Kirk Morrison LB

Stanford Routt CB

San Diego

Tim Dobbins LB

Malcolm Floyd WR

Antonio Garay DT

Eric Ghiaciuc C

Marques Harris LB

Vincent Jackson WR

Travis Johnson DT

Marcus McNeill OT

Shawne Merriman LB

Darren Sproles RB

Charlie Whitehurst QB

Midseason Report: Chiefs

November, 11, 2009
11/11/09
12:00
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson

Power Rankings: Preseason: 29. This week: 28.

2009 Schedule/Results

Where they stand: The Chiefs are, once again, an overall uncompetitive team. This is a team that won a total of six games in the final two years of the former regime. Under new general manager Scott Pioli and new head coach Todd Haley, there has been no tangible improvement. The Chiefs are 1-7 and have not competed in most games. The team has been lackluster on offense and overmatched on defense. There are many holes on this roster. Kansas City, which cut ties with troubled veteran running back Larry Johnson this week, looks like it is a long way from being competitive.

Kirby Lee/Image of Sport/US Presswire
Todd Haley’s Chiefs have struggled to generate any consistency this season.
Disappointments: The biggest disappointment for Kansas City is probably the lack of improvement. There was a lot of excitement when Pioli came in and there have not been any results yet. It’s early and the program seems like it is headed in the right direction. But it’s been slower than expected. This team looks to be no better than last year’s 2-14 outfit. The Chiefs have been particularly bland on offense. Haley had great success as an offensive coordinator in Arizona. But he has been unable to generate any explosiveness from a less talented group in Kansas City.

Surprises: The Chiefs have a few players shining unexpectedly. Receiver Lance Long had eight catches last Sunday at Jacksonville. He was promoted from the practice squad two weeks ago. He could be an interesting player to watch in the second half of the season. At linebacker, Corey Mays has played well and looks like he can be a potential standout. The story of the second half could be receiver Chris Chambers. He had three catches for 70 yards, including two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, against the Jaguars in his first game as a Chief. Chambers was claimed off waivers from San Diego last week. Chambers could spark an unproductive offense in the second half.

Outlook: The Chiefs actually showed some signs of life, offensively at least, at Jacksonville. They scored 15 points in the fourth quarter. It was the best the unit looked all season. The quarter output was better than the Chiefs’ point output for four of their previous six games. The Chiefs are building toward the future. If this team can build upon the late success in Jacksonville and win some games in the second half of the season, it could be a good building block for Kansas City down the road.
Posted by ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson

The agent for suspended Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson said Friday evening that the two sides are still working toward a settlement that revolves around the estimated $600,000 Johnson will lose during his two-week suspension. If there is not a settlement, agent Peter Schaffer said he hopes there will be a grievance early next week. Schaffer said he spent Friday working on the settlement.

Schaffer said the possibility of Johnson being cut from the Chiefs as part of the settlement “hasn’t come up. That’s not the goal.”

Johnson was suspended until Nov.9, the day after the Chiefs play at Jacksonville. The Chiefs have a bye this week. He was suspended after using his Twitter account to question the credentials of his coach Todd Haley and to use a gay slur last Sunday night after a 30-point Chiefs’ loss to San Diego. The next day, Johnson directed a gay slur at media members.

Kansas City linebacker Corey Mays was fined $5,000 from the NFL for unnecessary roughness against San Diego last week.

Denver safety Brian Dawkins and defensive tackle Ronald Fields both practiced fully Friday after being limited earlier in the week with hamstring injuries. They are both probable to play Sunday at Baltimore.

Chiefs: Cutdown analysis

September, 5, 2009
9/05/09
8:20
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson

Biggest surprise: The decision to cut safety Bernard Pollard. He will likely be picked up on waivers elsewhere. It was reported that Pollard was being offered in a trade Friday. Pollard did struggle in coverage and the Chiefs wanted veteran newcomer Mike Brown to start, so Pollard was expendable. Zach Thomas’ release has to be looked at as a mild surprise, because he was brought in to be a leader. But Thomas couldn’t stay healthy and the Chiefs like young linebacker Corey Mays, so Thomas was expendable.


No brainer: The Chiefs’ decision to keep four quarterbacks on the roster to start the season. That decision was forced because the team doesn’t know if starter Matt Cassel will be ready to play in the season opener Sept. 13 at Baltimore. He has a knee injury. Cassel will try to practice this week and play, but if he can’t, Brodie Croyle or Tyler Thigpen (probably Croyle) will have to play against the Ravens. The team also has Matt Gutierrez on the roster. He has a history with new Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli from their New England days and he has played well in the preseason. When Cassel is fully healthy, Kansas City will likely get rid of a quarterback (perhaps Thigpen). But they can’t do anything until Cassel’s health improves

What’s next: Expect the Chiefs to be busy. They have the third highest waiver priority in the league and I’d expect Kansa City to scour the waiver wire for help at several positions. The Chiefs will search for help on the offensive line and on at receiver in particular. I wouldn’t be surprised if they tried to obtain multiple players at both positions. Perhaps Kansas City will look at tackle Ryan O’Callaghan, who was just cut by the Patriots. He has seven starts and Pioli needs tackles and knows O’Callaghan. It’s been reported that Seattle would like to trade receiver Deion Branch. I wouldn’t be shocked if Kansas City showed interest.

Breaking down the Chiefs' game

August, 22, 2009
8/22/09
12:25
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Random thoughts from the Chiefs' 17-13 loss to the Brett Favres, er, the Minnesota Vikings:

While they would prefer to be on the "happy side" of the ledger, this is exactly the type of final score the Chiefs want to see. They want to grind out wins.

It was a good night for quarterback Matt Cassel, who is not, I repeat, not in danger of losing his starting gig. Cassel completed 9 of 14 passes for 99 yards and a touchdown.

Among the most important developments was that receiver Dwayne Bowe played with the first-teamers, after entering game on the Chiefs' second possession, and got into a decent rhythm with Cassel. Bowe had three catches for 37 yards, including a touchdown catch from Cassel.

It seems Bowe's trip to the third string caught his attention. Chiefs coach Todd Haley was complimentary of Bowe this week because he responded well to the demotion. Expect Bowe to continue his bounce back and have a good start to the season.

The Chiefs' run defense played well. Superstar Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson had 44 yards on 10 carries. Minnesota had 93 yards on 27 carries total.

Reserve quarterback Tyler Thigpen was banged up last week and he didn't play this week. Matt Gutierrez played extensively. It's not out of the question to think Thigpen may have to scramble for a roster spot. If that's the case, the Chiefs should consider dealing Thigpen. He has some experience and I think there may be a team or two that could show interest in the gutsy Thigpen if the Chiefs decide he's not in their plans.

The Chiefs need to hold onto the ball. They fumbled four times Friday night.

Linebacker Corey Mays looked good and he continued to push for significant playing time,

The Kansas City defense gave up another long scoring drive. That needs to improve.

The offensive line looked shaky once again. This may be a problem spot for the Chiefs, which could affect the entire offense. Don't be surprised if the team scours the waiver wire for help. But at this point, there's not a whole lot of help out there.

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

With the Kansas City Chiefs stockpiling linebackers, the natural question is this: Will they continue to do so in the draft?

Many people, including Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay, believe the Chiefs will take Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry with the No. 3 overall pick. Curry is considered by several NFL scouts as the best defensive player available and defense is Kansas City's greatest area of need.

The Chiefs have concentrated on adding linebackers this offseason as they transition to becoming a 3-4 defense. They have added veterans Zach Thomas, who agreed to terms Saturday, and Mike Vrabel and backups Monty Beisel and Corey Mays. The team also has holdovers Derrick Johnson and Demorrio Williams.

Kansas City certainly has a large group of linebackers but Vrabel and Thomas are nearing the end of their careers. They are just short-term answers, so there still could be room for Curry.

If the Chiefs don't think Curry is a good fit in the 3-4 defense (look for the thoughts from Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson on this subject Wednesday when the Chiefs go on the clock), they may decide to go elsewhere and stick with the new-look group that has been compiled this offseason. If Curry is not the pick, Kansas City could look to trade out of the No. 3 spot in an attempt to fill other needs.

Around AFC West

March, 13, 2009
3/13/09
1:20
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Denver

A call for peace in the Cutler-McDaniels saga.

My take: Denver defensive end (and maybe new linebacker) Elvis Dumervil believes the Broncos and Jay Cutler needs to settle their differences as the team moves forward. Dumervil is absolutely correct, of course. If the Broncos are going to succeed in the first year of the Josh McDaniels era, they will need Jay Cutler to be on board and ready to go. If this situation doesn't get resolved and fast, Denver will be in trouble.

Kansas City

Scott Pioli defends his defensive additions strategy.

My take: The Chiefs have done very little in free agency as they have added lesser-known players, the latest being former New England and former Cincinnati linebacker Corey Mays. The Chiefs have gaping holes on defense and about $35 million in salary cap room, yet free agency is in the second wave and the team has done very little. Pioli maintains that this is the beginning phase of the process. He is right and he has made some good decisions early on, especially the acquisition of Matt Cassel and Mike Vrabel. But his team does need some more help. He needs to sign some more defensive players because plenty is needed in Kansas City.

Aaron Curry is visiting Detroit soon.

My take: This is not what the Chiefs want to see. Kansas City has the No. 3 overall pick and the Wake Forest linebacker is a perfect fit for the defense-hungry Chiefs who are working in an offense-heavy top of the draft. If Curry does go to the Lions with the No. 1 pick, Kansas City have to decide to take a receiver such as Michael Crabtree or an offensive lineman, another defensive player or trade the pick. The Curry situation is very worth watching.

Meanwhile, a reader wondered if the Chargers could be interested in right tackle Kevin Shaffer, who was cut by Cleveland. It makes perfect sense. Shaffer played for San Diego assistants Mike Sullivan and Jeff Chudzinski in Cleveland, the Chargers could use a right tackle and he'd be fairly inexpensive. Yes, it is something worth monitoring.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

AFC WEST SCOREBOARD