AFC West: Desmond Bishop

NFC Eight in the Box: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

One move each AFC West team needed to make but might regret:

Denver: Letting Elvis Dumervil leave. The Dumervil fiasco was the only real bummer for Denver in the offseason. The Broncos had a tremendous free agency and appear to have added some nice pieces in the draft, but the Dumervil departure looms as a potential issue. We all know the backstory. Denver and Dumervil agreed to a restructured contract, but there was a missed deadline. He ended up in Baltimore. Dumervil was a key complement to star pass-rusher Von Miller. Denver thinks it can give Miller the necessary pass-rush help by committee, led by former Charger Shaun Phillips. But if Phillips and crew can’t replicate Dumervil’s impact, it will hurt the Broncos.

Kansas City: Not signing Desmond Bishop. The Chiefs are another team that did well in the offseason. They added a strong coach in Andy Reid and a strong general manager in John Dorsey and upgraded at quarterback with the addition of Alex Smith. But there is potential for the team to regret the Bishop miss. He chose Minnesota over Kansas City last month after being cut by the Packers. Bishop had a relationship with Dorsey from their Green Bay days, and the Chiefs could have used Bishop’s veteran presence as a 3-4 inside linebacker. The Chiefs are preparing to use fourth-round pick Nico Johnson as a starter. He looked good in the offseason, but he simply can’t match Bishop’s experience. I don’t foresee Johnson being a problem for the Chiefs, but if he is not ready, Kansas City may wish it made a bigger push for Bishop.

Oakland: Not adding a reliable pass-rusher. Oakland was challenged this offseason. It was strapped by salary-cap issues again. It had to cut several players and saw a lot of talented free agents leave. General manager Reggie McKenzie did his best to replenish the roster. Still, there are holes, starting at pass-rusher. The Raiders were badly lacking in that area last year, and no reliable help was added. Oakland hopes an improved secondary and creative schemes will generate a pass-rush burst. Again, Oakland had restrictions in free agency, but it might regret not taking a pass-rusher in the first round of the draft.

San Diego: Not adding a top left tackle. Like Oakland at pass-rusher, San Diego didn’t have a lot of options. It didn’t have a lot of cap room to play with, and the rookie pool at left tackle dried up quickly in the draft. The top three left tackle prospects went in the first four picks of the draft. So San Diego didn’t really have a lot of chances to grab a left tackle. However, it is a premium position, and sometimes you have to do what it takes to fill a problem at a premium position. San Diego finally settled on Max Starks at left tackle. He is decent but not great. He is a short-term answer. The Chargers still have no idea whom their left tackle of the future will be. If Starks fails or gets hurt, it will have a major effect on quarterback Philip Rivers. If that happens, we will all be pointing to San Diego’s inability to get a clear-cut answer at left tackle.
Desmond Bishop will not be a Kansas City Chief. That is not crippling news for the Chiefs.

The fact that Bishop chose the Minnesota Vikings (on a one-year deal) over Kansas City is basically a no harm, no foul result in Kansas City. He visited the Chiefs late last week.

Kansas City’s interest in the former Packers inside linebacker made sense. New Kansas City general manager John Dorsey was in Green Bay with Bishop. One of the few spots where the Chiefs don’t have a reliable veteran starter is at an inside linebacker spot. So, Bishop was worth considering.

But the Chiefs should be fine. The team took Alabama’s Nico Johnson in the fourth round and he had a strong offseason. He is expected to beat out veteran Akeem Jordan. Johnson is a natural leader, who is instinctive and who has a chance to quickly become a productive NFL starter.

Again, the Chiefs had to consider Bishop, but the fact that he will not come to Kansas City is not a major blow, either.

Will Eric Fisher sign next?

June, 23, 2013
The framework is set for Eric Fisher to officially become a Kansas City Chief.

The Jacksonville Jaguars signed tackle Luke Joeckel, the No. 2 overall NFL draft pick. Fisher, a tackle from Central Michigan, was the No. 1 overall pick.

With Joeckel signed, the Chiefs and Fisher have nothing to wait for in the negotiations. Joeckel signed a four-year deal worth $21.2 million with a signing bonus of $13.799 million. There is no offset language and all the money is guaranteed.

With the rookie contracts slotted, Fisher and the Chiefs should be able to easily come to an accord soon. There are only five rookies who are unsigned in the AFC West.

Meanwhile, free-agent linebacker Desmond Bishop is reportedly going to choose between the Chiefs, Vikings and Giants. Bishop visited the Chiefs on Thursday. He also visited Minnesota since being cut by the Packers on Monday.

Here is some word that third-year quarterback Ricky Stanzi may have the edge to make the Chiefs' roster over undrafted free agent Tyler Bray. I think this competition will be played out in the preseason and if Stanzi wins the job, I could see the Chiefs trying to keep Bray on the practice squad. He is an interesting prospect.
USA Today reports that free-agent linebacker Desmond Bishop will likely choose between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Minnesota Vikings after visiting the Chiefs on Thursday. He was cut by Green Bay on Monday and visited Minnesota on Wednesday.

Perhaps the Chiefs will have an edge because Bishop knows new Kansas City general manager John Dorsey. He came from Green Bay earlier in the year. Bishop, who is coming off a major hamstring injury, would be a 3-4 starting inside linebacker if he joins the Chiefs. The Chiefs don’t have a ton of cap room, so they might have to do some juggling.

In other AFC West Notes: has revealed its top 300 fantasy players for the 2013 season. The highest ranked player from the AFC West is Kansas City running back Jamaal Charles. He is ranked sixth. No other player from the division is ranked in the top 20.

Fair? Unfair? Hash it out below, fantasy diehards.
It appears the Kansas City Chiefs are not going to make a push for fullback Vonta Leach unless the team can come up with some cap room.

The Chiefs only have about $3.5 million in salary-cap room and they must sign No. 1 overall pick Eric Fisher. They are also going to visit with linebacker Desmond Bishop on Thursday.

Never say never on Leach ending up in Kansas City, but some things have to happen. Leach appears to be a luxury the Chiefs currently can’t afford.

In other AFC West news:

The USA Today reports there is more trouble for David Chao, who recently quit as the Chargers’ team physician.

New Denver receiver Wes Welker visited Boston after leaving the Patriots this offseason.
At this point of the offseason, salary-cap totals don’t mean nearly as much as they did three months ago. But I know there is always interest in cap numbers -- so, thanks to the invaluable John Clayton, I have gotten ahold of the latest figure for each AFC West team:


Cap room: $10.6 million

What does it mean? The Broncos can pretty much do what they want. They can easily sign their top draft pick, defensive lineman Sylvester Williams, and add a piece or two as the summer goes on. They could also perhaps give an extension to someone such as Ryan Clady, Demaryius Thomas, Von Miller or Eric Decker.


Cap room: $3.5 million

What does it mean? The Chiefs have had a great offseason, but there is little cap room left. The Chiefs have to sign No. 1 overall pick Eric Fisher. They are also reportedly hosting linebacker Desmond Bishop this week. The Chiefs may need to restructure a deal or two to get a little more room.


Cap room: $7.6 million

What does it mean? The Raiders have yet to sign their first-round draft pick, cornerback D.J. Hayden; their second-round pick, offensive lineman Menelik Watson; or their fourth-round pick, quarterback Tyler Wilson. They can execute those signings and still have some emergency money.


Cap room: $3.1 million

What does it mean? The Chargers have their entire draft class signed, so they have some decent just-in-case money available.
Monday on the blog, we asked whether Green Bay connections within the division could drum up interest in linebacker Desmond Bishop.

Tuesday, we received a quick answer. The NFL Network is reporting Bishop, who was cut by the Packers on Monday, will visit the Kansas City Chiefs on Wednesday and Thursday. He is visiting Minnesota on Tuesday.

Bishop was in Green Bay with new Kansas City general manager John Dorsey. Clearly, Dorsey thinks Bishop can help his team, which has been busy reloading all offseason. Many NFL observers think the Chiefs have had one of the very best offseasons in the NFL. Adding Bishop would only make it stronger.

He is the best linebacker available. He is coming off a major hamstring injury, but he is expected to be ready for the season.

Bishop, a 3-4 inside linebacker, is a strong fit for the Chiefs. One of the few question marks on Kansas City's defense is at inside linebacker.

The Chiefs think they have their answer in fourth-round pick Nico Johnson. He looked good this offseason. But you can’t blame the Chiefs if they would rather have an established player such as Bishop start instead of a fourth-round pick. If Bishop is signed, it doesn't affect Johnson’s long-term potential.

If Bishop goes elsewhere, Johnson will simply slide in and start.

Investigating a situation like this is what good front offices do. In a short time, Dorsey has shown he is running a strong front office.
There are a few Green Bay connections in the AFC West with Reggie McKenzie becoming the general manager in Oakland last year and John Dorsey taking over in Kansas City earlier this year.

Both men came from Green Bay. Naturally, when a Green Bay player becomes available, both Oakland and Kansas City are initially connected. It is no different in the case of middle linebacker Desmond Bishop. He was cut by the Packers on Monday and will be a free agent. Even though he is coming off a major hamstring injury, Bishop, 29, goes to the head of the class of available free agents.

He was an inside linebacker in Green Bay’s 3-4 defense. However, scouts believe he can play middle linebacker in a traditional 4-3 defense. It has already been reported that Minnesota, which runs a 4-3, is interested in Bishop.

I’ve been asked often if McKenzie or Dorsey would be interested in Bishop.

The first place we should look is Kansas City because they run a 3-4. It all comes down to if the team is comfortable with fourth-round pick Nico Johnson starting. I think they are. But if Dorsey has a good feel for Bishop, perhaps there could be some interest. Dorsey has done a strong job of flipping over stones this offseason. So, I wouldn’t be shocked if he at least thought about adding Bishop.

Linebacker is one of the deepest areas on Oakland’s roster. The team has raved about free-agent addition Nick Roach who will play at middle linebacker. With limited resources and more pressing needs, I’m not sure Bishop would be an easy fit in Oakland. He is from the Bay Area and I’m sure he’d be interested in returning, though.

As for the other two teams in the AFC West, San Diego is set at starters and Denver, which runs a 4-3, is excited about Nate Irving in the middle and it has depth there.