AFC West: Jerricho Cotchery

AFC West notes

March, 30, 2012
3/30/12
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As expected, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports the Chargers have not talked to the retired Ricky Williams. He told a radio station this week he’d consider coming out of retirement for the chance to play for his hometown Chargers. He recently retired from the Ravens. Even if the Chargers wanted Williams, it wouldn’t be that easy. The Ravens still own his rights.

ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay explains why he thinks the Chargers will look at an offensive lineman with the No. 18 pick.

The Chiefs are continuing to look at quarterbacks when they visit with Arizona State’s Brock Osweiler. They are looking at other top-rated quarterbacks as well.

Pittsburgh receiver Jerricho Cotchery will reportedly visit the Rams. He also has visited the Chiefs.

AFC West links: Reggie McKenzie's focus

March, 26, 2012
3/26/12
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Denver Broncos

Peyton Manning remains confident we will see the Manning of old.

Because of California's tax rate, Manning saved himself a lot of money in his decision to sign with the Broncos instead of the San Francisco 49ers.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Steelers are reportedly still hoping to re-sign wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery, who paid a free-agent visit to the Chiefs.

Josh Looney of KCChiefs.com says the addition of Manning to the division will put a greater demand on Kansas City's sub-packages.

Oakland Raiders

Ridding the organization of bad contracts has been a focus of new general manager Reggie McKenzie.

Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor dismissed rumors that the team wants him to change positions.

San Diego Chargers

Kevin Acee of U-T San Diego: "Dean Spanos watched much of the same television coverage, participated in the same type of conversations and was simultaneously engrossed and repulsed just like the rest of us as [Peyton] Manning’s search for a new team played out. Spanos, though, felt it deeper than most. He saw a madness behind the madness."
The San Diego Chargers’ interest in Jackie Battle has taken the next step.

UT San Diego is reporting the Chargers are visiting with Battle on Tuesday. He would back up Ryan Mathews if signed.

The Chargers started focusing on Battle last week as a possible replacement for Mike Tolbert if he left in free agency. Tolbert signed a four-year deal with Carolina on Monday. Battle is a solid backup who likely fell out of the Chiefs’ plans when they signed Peyton Hillis last week.

In other AFC West news:

Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli was asked about the team’s pursuit of Manning. After losing out on Manning, Pioli deserves credit for giving his offense a big boost in the form of Hillis, tackle Eric Winston and tight end Kevin Boss. Matt Cassel remains the Chiefs’ quarterback and he got a lot of help.

As expected, former Oakland pass-rusher Kamerion Wimbley has agreed to terms with Tennessee. Oakland cut Wimbley in a salary-cap dump last week.

As expected, receiver Jerricho Cotchery is visiting the Chiefs on Tuesday. He would be a rotational receiver in Kansas City. He had 16 catches last season for Pittsburgh.

Rick Reilly looks at the Tim Tebow-John Elway relationship as it appears to be ending.

In a radio interview, Denver receiver Demaryius Thomas discusses the major change on the team.

In a radio interview, Broncos’ hall of famer Shannon Sharpe discusses Manning’s impact in Denver,

In a radio interview, Winston discusses the possibilities with his new team.

San Diego free-agent linebacker Everette Brown is going to visit with the Lions. There is little chance he will return to the Chargers.

UPDATE: The Raiders are reportedly one of the teams interested in Cincinnati defensive lineman Manny Lawson. I have talked to a source close to the situation and the Raiders are, indeed, one of several teams interested in Lawson. The process is expected to heat up in the next couple of days. There is no favorite team to land Lawson at this time.

He would be a rotational player in Oakland. One advantage Oakland could have is Lawson and new Oakland defensive coordinator Jason Tarver was in San Francisco together. Lawson has experience in both 4-3 and 3-4 schemes. The Raiders have not publicly said whether they will be a 4-3 or a 3-4 but new coach Dennis Allen has said the Raiders will use multiple fronts.
Predictably, the Oakland Raiders’ search for veteran cornerbacks didn’t end when they signed Ronald Bartell on Friday.

CSNBayArea.com reports Shawntae Spencer visited the Raiders on Friday. He was released by the 49ers earlier in the week. Spencer has started 72 games. He didn’t start any games last season. New Oakland defensive coordinator Jason Tarver worked with Spencer for seven seasons.

Spencer, 30, is not an upper-level player, but he does have good experience and Oakland needs that because it is essentially starting over at the position. Bartell, 30, has 66 career starts, but he missed all but one game last season with a neck injury.

Basically, expect any available cornerback to be linked to the Raiders these days, including New Orleans’ Tracy Porter, who played for new Oakland head coach Dennis Allen with the Saints.

In other AFC West news:
  • NFL Network is reporting right tackle Eric Winston is still in Kansas City, which may be an indication the Chiefs have a good chance of signing him.
  • Pittsburgh free-agent receiver Jerricho Cotchery is reportedly going to visit the Chiefs Monday. He would be a rotational player. Cotchery, who will turn 30 in June, had 16 catches in 2011.
  • The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette shot down an San Diego Union-Tribune report that the Steelers were interested in Chargers’ running back Mike Tolbert. For what it’s worth, I’ve also heard the Steelers, who are cap-strapped, like Tolbert. He is making a visit with an undisclosed team Saturday.
  • The Titans worked out Peyton Manning on Saturday. Denver worked him out Friday. The Broncos, 49ers and Titans are expected to be the finalists to sign Manning, who is expected to make his decision in the coming days.
Weekend mail call:

Bronson from Raleigh, NC wants to know if former North Carolina State teammates Philip Rivers and Jerricho Cotchery could play together in San Diego in 2012.

Bill Williamson: I know why you ask. Rivers and Cotchery go all the way back to being basketball opponents in Alabama. They had a great working relationship at NC State and they remain close friends. But the truth is, Cotchery was available last year and the Chargers didn’t bite. He is not a top-level player, so I think the Chargers will look at several other options first.



Rico from Fresno wants to know if I think the Raiders could sign Tennessee cornerback Cortland Finnegan now that they cut Stanford Routt.

BW: Well, I think Finnegan was a dream target of Oakland’s before it cut Routt. The question is if Oakland can afford Finnegan. The Raiders don’t have any proven starters on their roster and they have a small draft class. Cornerback help will be needed in free agency. Finnegan may be tough to get. New Orleans’ Tracy Porter may be more affordable, plus he played for new Oakland head coach Dennis Allen in New Orleans.



Derron from Campbell River wants to know if I think Denver could sign Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch in free agency.

BW: Lynch would certainly be someone who would be attractive to Oakland. Yet, I think Lynch will either re-sign with Seattle or be franchised. I just don’t see him getting to the open market. The Broncos will either sign a free agent running back or take one early in the draft, but obtaining Lynch may not be an option.

Afternoon AFC West notes

August, 11, 2011
8/11/11
4:57
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ESPN’s Ed Werder caught up with Tim Tebow in Dallas preparing for Thursday night’s preseason opener against the Cowboys.

Tebow told Werder he plans to show the coaches that it is in games where he shines. Tebow has not looked great in training camp this summer.

"Practice and meetings count, but there's extra credit when you get into game situations because that's how you're judged,” Tebow said. “Either you can score touchdowns or you can't; either you make good decisions for your team or you don't.”

An Insider piece Insider ponders if Tebow or Ricky Stanzi could be the next Kevin Kolb.

Jerricho Cotchery signed with the Steelers, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. He was the favorite target of San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers at North Carolina State. The Chargers ended up not showing major interest, because they liked their group of receivers after keeping starter Malcom Floyd.

Pass rusher Matt Roth signed with Jacksonville. He was connected to Denver.

In a radio interview, Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli discusses the team’s approach to free agency.

Mike and Mike break down the Broncos.

Denver’s stadium may get a name change.
If they lose receiver Malcom Floyd, as expected, the San Diego Chargers likely will add another receiver at some point.

Keep this name in mind: Jerricho Cotchery. He is expected to be released by the New York Jets as soon as Thursday.

I’m sure Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is paying attention. Cotchery and Rivers were a lethal combination at North Carolina State, and they remain friends. Their relationship goes all the way back to high school in Alabama when they battled against each other in basketball.

“He was my guy,” Rivers once said of Cotchery about their college days. “It got to the point where, we were within the scheme, but it was just me-to-you, backyard stuff.”

Added Cotchery about Rivers: “He's a cool dude. We had a great chemistry. When you're on the same page, it's hard to stop. Philip and I developed that. There were times when we weren't even talking, just looking at the coverage or looking at the cornerback; he'd give a look and I'd know where to run.”

It’s just seems perfect, doesn’t it?

Cotchery, 29, has seen his production dip some. He had 41 catches last season. Still, I’m sure he’d feel energized in San Diego. He wouldn’t be the first or even the second receiving option. The pressure would be off him.

I’m not saying Cotchery is definitely going to land in San Diego. But if you add the team’s need there, his availability and his deep roots with the star quarterback, it would be foolish not to think it is a real possibility.

Favre intercepted at goal line

October, 19, 2008
10/19/08
5:17
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Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

OAKLAND - Brett Favre just threw an in interception at the Oakland goal line with the game tied at 3-3.

The Jets were inside the Raiders' 10-yard line when Favre was trying to hit receiver Jerrricho Cotchery but was intercepted by Oakland safety Gibril Wilson.

Oakland could not take advantage of the Favre miscue however. Oakland kicker Sebastian Janikowski missed a 40-yard field goal.

Meanwhile, New York tight end Bubba Franks was taken to the locker room with a hip injury. He is questionable to return.

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