AFC West: Jeremy Lin

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the Raiders are more than $20 million over the salary cap with free agency starting in 13 days. The Oakland Tribune looks at some ways the Raiders could get under the cap. The Raiders will get under the cap, but the question is will they be able to do it without chopping any more players.

Cornerback Stanford Routt was cut earlier this month. If Oakland does cut some more players, the candidates could include linebackers Kamerion Wimbley and Aaron Curry, defensive linemen John Henderson and Tommy Kelly and defensive back Michael Huff.

Will the Raiders franchise either safety Tyvon Branch or running back Michael Bush by Monday’s deadline, considering their salary-cap issues? I believe Branch has a better chance of sticking in Oakland, either via the franchise tag or as an unrestricted free agent. He fills a more immediate need than Bush, who is a backup in Oakland.

Meanwhile, in an Insider piece, Todd McShay explains that several cornerbacks did well at the combine. That represents both good and bad news for the Raiders. It’s good that the cornerback class is deep since it is the Raiders’ biggest need. However, the Raiders’ top pick will not be higher than No. 97, unless they can trade up. So, the Raiders have to hope all of the better cornerbacks didn’t boost their value beyond that range.

In other AFC West news:

Denver quarterback Tim Tebow has said he often talks to New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin and that the two can relate because of the immense attention they both receive. "First Take" debates the relationship in this video.

Here are some defensive backs that caught the eye of the Broncos during the combine. thinks the Broncos may be the mystery team that wants Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III. I don’t think it’s a mystery. I think the Broncos love Griffin. But they would have a terrible time getting all the way up from No. 25 to No. 2 to get the pick from the Rams. I highly doubt Denver will find a way to draft RG3, a player it extensively followed last season.

Don’t be surprised if Tampa Bay shows interest in Denver free-agent receiver Eddie Royal. The Buccaneers are expected to look for a slot receiver and return man. Denver will likely not make a huge push to keep Royal.

AFC West notes

February, 19, 2012
Oakland free-agent T.J. Houshmandzadeh is open to returning. I think he will be a back-burner option for the Raiders although quarterback Carson Palmer is comfortable with him. At this point, Houshmandzadeh is just an aging backup. He’s the type of player teams try to upgrade from. Plus, he was signed by former coach Hue Jackson. The new Oakland regime has no ties to Houshmandzadeh.

Denver quarterback Tim Tebow -- who knows a thing or eight about being a national sensation -- discusses the sudden rise of New York Knicks’ guard Jeremy Lin in a video.

The Chiefs’ website looks if Oakland free-agent quarterbacks Jason Campbell fits with the Chiefs. He played for Kansas City quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn in Washington and performed well with Zorn as his head coach. If Campbell were signed, it would be a heated battle between him and Matt Cassel for the starting job.

Oakland continues to add to staff

February, 12, 2012
Johnny Lynn is Oakland’s new defensive backs coach. He worked with new Oakland defensive coordinator Jason Tarver in San Francisco. Lynn was recently fired by Philadelphia.

New Oakland coach Dennis Allen has hired several coaches on this staff who were fired from their last job. That doesn’t necessarily mean he is hiring bad coaches. This is a tough business and if you’re a coach, you are very likely going to be fired at some point in your career.

Fox Sports reports former interim Tulane head coach Mark Hutson will coach the Raiders’ tight ends.

In other AFC West news:

Sports Illustrated reports that Richard Seymour’s full $15 million contract for 2012 has already kicked in. Thus, he is not a candidate to be cut in Oakland.

In an Insider piece, Mel Kiper looks at how badly Denver needs to replace 38-year-old safety Brian Dawkins.

The Chargers hired Byron Storer as special teams assistant. He played under San Diego special teams coach Rich Bisaccia in Tampa Bay.

New York Knicks’ sudden star Jeremy Lin said he draws inspiration from Tim Tebow.