AFC West: Frank Summers

Here are some thoughts on the San Diego Chargers signing former Kansas City Chiefs' fullback Le'Ron McClain to three-year deal and on the team setting up a visit with Denver Broncos free agent receiver Eddie Royal:
  • The McClain addition could be a sign that the Chargers are out of the Mike Tolbert talks. He is visiting in Kansas City. Tolbert wouldn’t necessarily be replacing McClain in Kansas City and the same could be true with McClain in San Diego. UT San Diego reported this week that practice squader Frank Summers would replace free agent fullback Jacob Hester. If Hester is brought back it would be as a backup and as a special teamer.
  • McClain, who is a cousin of Oakland middle linebacker Rolando McClain, is a tough leader and a good blocker. He played in all 16 games last season as a Chief. He had 15 carries and 14 catches. The former Raven had 902 yards on 232 carries in Baltimore in 2008. But he has had a total of 89 carries in the past three seasons combined.
  • Either way, McClain is a solid, tough addition to San Diego’s offense.
  • As for Royal, I can see why San Diego is interested. It needs another receiver and the pickings are getting slim. Royal, who was reportedly close to signing with Washington to reunite with former Denver coach Mike Shanahan earlier in free agency, can help as a slot player and as a returner.
  • Royal excelled under Shanahan as a rookie and I think Norv Turner would find a way to make him useful. A rotation of Malcom Floyd, Robert Meachem, Vincent Brown and Royal would be a pretty nice group for Chargers’ quarterback Philip Rivers to work with.
The Oakland Raiders have been quiet in free agency so far Tuesday, other than seeing former starting quarterback Jason Campbell leave for Chicago.

This may be a reason: ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports when free agency opened Tuesday the Raiders had a league low $639,966 of cap space.

Now, that will improve when the release of tight end Kevin Boss kicks in. Oakland could also cut linebacker Kamerion Wimbley and defensive tackle John Henderson. So, Oakland (which already cut three other players and restructured the contracts of several players) will get some enough cap room to sign a few players and sign their small draft class.

But the question for rookie general manager Reggie McKenzie is this: Why didn’t he do all of his salary-cap shaving prior to free agency starting. Players are signing at a fast rate. I know Oakland is going to bargain shop, but there is no reason why it should give other teams a head start for any player. The Raiders’ don’t have a starting quality cornerback on the roster and top cornerbacks like Cortland Finnegan and Carlos Rogers are already off the market.

In other AFC West news:

Roster odds and ends

September, 4, 2011
The Oakland Tribune reports the Raiders have brought back linebacker Ricky Brown. He was a free agent this summer, was signed by New England and lasted just a couple of weeks there. Brown will likely resume his role as a backup. He started 13 games in five previous seasons in Oakland. Offensive lineman Seth Wand was cut to make room for Brown.

Meanwhile, the paper reported that this is Oakland’s eight-man practice squad: cornerback Sterling Moore, linebacker Jeremy Leman, fullback Manase Tonga, wide receiver Eddie McGee, offensive lineman Alex Parsons, tight end Kevin Brock, defensive end Mason Brodine and defensive tackle Jamie Cumbie.

The San Diego Chargers announced that they have signed six players to the practice squad and expects to add two more. The six who signed: linebacker Bront Bird, defensive tackle Charlie Bryant, tackle Steve Schilling, cornerback Traye Simmons, fullback Frank Summers and tight end Brad Taylor.

The Denver Post is reporting that undrafted rookie quarterback Adam Weber will be part of the Broncos’ practice squad.

The Oakland Tribune is reporting that defensive lineman Richard Seymour and receiver Chaz Schilens are practicing after missing time recently. Both are expected to play next Monday night at Denver barring setbacks.

It was reported last month that the Raiders could have interest in pass-rusher Aaron Maybin (the No. 11 overall pick in 2009) when he was cut by Buffalo. Maybin promptly signed with the Jets. He is now a former Jet. Wonder if the Raiders will look at him? I say this: why bother?

Chargers promote assistant coach

February, 17, 2011
The San Diego Chargers have promoted secondary coach Steve Wilks to assistant head coach/secondary coach.

“Steve has done an outstanding job with our secondary since he’s been here and now we’re going to be asking even more of him,” San Diego coach Norv Turner said.

Often an assistant get promoted after another team pursues the coach. Wilks is well liked by his players and the San Diego secondary was a big reason why the Chargers had the No. 1 overall ranked defense in the NFL last season.

Meanwhile, the Chargers have added depth at fullback by adding former Pittsburgh practice squad fullback Frank Summers. He could have a chance to make the roster depending on what other running backs the Chargers add this offseason.

AFC West links: Broncos talk with Bailey

February, 16, 2011
Denver Broncos

The Broncos have resumed contract negotiations with star cornerback Champ Bailey. "He's a guy we definitely want to bring back," coach John Fox said.

Senior analyst Pat Kirwan takes a look at a busy offseason for the Broncos. The story includes a video interview with John Elway.

Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post looks back at how the past several No. 2 overall picks in the draft have panned out.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Star looks at the former "star pupils" of new Chiefs quarterback coach Jim Zorn.

Oakland Raiders

Former Raiders player Jerry Porter is heading north of the border to play for former Raiders offensive coordinator Marc Trestman and the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.

The Raiders are apparently "deep into discussing defensive philosophy and options" even though the team hasn't hired a defensive coordinator yet, writes the Oakland Tribune's Jerry McDonald.

San Diego Chargers

Vincent Jackson expected to get the franchise tag this offseason and plans to play under its terms in 2011 if the new CBA includes a franchise designation.

The Chargers on Tuesday signed 5-foot-10, 240-pound running back Frank Summers to a futures contract.