AFC West: Jon Alston

LaDainian Tomlinson’s visit with the Jets is extending to Saturday. Tomlinson could potentially choose between playing for the Vikings (who he visited Thursday) and the Jets over the weekend.

I have confirmed that the Chiefs will visit with free-agent guard Ryan Lilja on Monday. He is from Kansas City and he started his career with the Chiefs. Lilja was cut by the Colts on Monday.

Here’s a report that says former Oakland running back Justin Fargas will not sign with the Eagles.

The more I think about it, the more I think Oakland could be interested in bringing back defensive tackle Grady Jackson. He was cut by Detroit last week. Oakland has a hole in the middle after cutting Gerard Warren this week.

Tampa Bay signed former Oakland linebacker Jon Alston.

Arizona signed free-agent center Rex Hadnot. Denver had interest in him. The Broncos are still looking for a starting center. has a fun way to keep up with the NFL draft.
The Broncos reportedly are working out Cincinnati Bearcats quarterback Tony Pike and receiver Mardy Gilyard as they prepare for the draft.

The Eagles are going to host former Oakland running back Justin Fargas for a visit.

The Jets are visiting with Oakland linebacker Jon Alston.

The Broncos re-signed defensive lineman Le Kevin Smith. He was a restricted free agent, who was not tendered. The team also cut defensive lineman J’Vonne Parker.

Here’s a plea for the Dolphins to pursue Denver receiver Brandon Marshall.

AFC West: Free-agency primer

March, 3, 2010

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.


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.
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:


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


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

Afternoon AFC West news and notes

November, 26, 2009
Here are some AFC West Thanksgiving Day notes to chew on before the main course is served in the form of Oakland and Denver games later Thursday:

The Raiders promoted rookie linebacker Slade Norris from the practice squad. The linebacker was a fourth-round pick. He replaces linebacker Jon Alston, who was put on the injured reserve.

The Chiefs are still looking for help at running back in the post -- Larry Johnson era. They looked at former Cincinnati starter Chris Perry on Wednesday.

Denver receiver Brandon Marshall is taking on a new role in his personal life.

San Diego linebacker Shawne Merriman thinks tackle Jon Runyan is a dirty player. But now that Runyan is a Charger, Merriman is fine with it.

Posted by's Bill Williamson

Guard Brian Waters didn't exactly sound completely committed Friday to being a member of the Chiefs. But the key is that Waters did show up for the team's mandatory minicamp. It, at least, shows that he is open to working out his problem with the Chiefs. But I have a feeling this story is not over.

The Oakland Tribune looks at intriguing defender Jon Alston.

The Broncos are allowing fans to select their choice for the all-time Denver Broncos team through an online voting. It begins Saturday and runs through Sept. 4.

A look at the Raiders' free agents

January, 18, 2009

Posted by's Bill Williamson

Oakland Raiders

Key unrestricted free agents: Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and punter Shane Lechler. The Raiders can only put the franchise tag on one of these two All-Pro players. Asomugha is the premier player available because of the position he plays but Lechler would be cheaper to keep. The odds are one of these two players will be gone. Guard Cooper Carlisle, one of the team's better offensive linemen, will also be coveted on the open market.

Key restricted free agents: Linebacker Jon Alston.

Dream free agent match: T.J. Houshmandzadeh. The Cincinnati receiver is one of the most productive receivers in the league. Receiver is one of Oakland's greatest needs. If the Raiders could sign a player like this, it would energize the entire offseason and give quarterback JaMarcus Russell a weapon he desperately needs.

Posted by's Bill Williamson

It looks like Oakland defensive end Derrick Burgess will miss his third straight game, Sunday at Baltimore.

Burgess missed all three days of practice this week with a triceps injury and he is listed as doubtful on the injury report. He isn't expected to play at all and will be replaced by veteran Kalimba Edwards and rookie Trevor Scott. Edwards leads the AFC West with four sacks and Scott had two sacks last week in Oakland's overtime win over the Jets.

Backup linebacker Jon Alston is also likely not to play at Baltimore because of a foot injury. He didn't practice all week.

Rookie running back Darren McFadden was limited in practice because of a nagging turf toe and he is listed as questionable. Still, at this point, he is expected to play. Defensive tackle Gerard Warren is listed as questionable with an ankle injury but he is expected to play.

Posted by's Bill Williamson


Raider pass rusher Derrick Burgess didn't practice Wednesday due to a triceps injury. He has missed the past two games. It is unclear if Burgess will be able to play at Baltimore on Sunday.

While the Raiders miss Burgess' burst, rookie Trevor Scott has taken advantage of the playing time. He had two sacks in Oakland's win over the Jets on Sunday.

Also for Oakland, defensive tackle Gerard Warren didn't practice due to an ankle injury, and linebacker Jon Alston sat out practice with an injured foot.

Trick plays light up fourth quarter

October, 19, 2008

Posted by's Bill Williamson

It is getting tricky in the fourth quarter in Oakland

The Jets just tied the game at 10-10 with some trick plays.

On third-and-2, the Jets used the "Wildcat" formation with receiver Brad Smith taking a direct snap and running for the first down.

On the next play, Jets quarterback Brett Favre handed the ball off to running back Thomas Jones who then gave the ball to Smith who zipped into the red zone. Smith was assisted by a nice block by Favre on Oakland defensive end Kalimba Edwards.

Jones scored a few plays later to tie the game.

The Raiders took a 13-10 lead with 2:56 to go in the game after linebacker Jon Alston ran 21 yards after taking a snap on a fake punt by Oakland. It setup an Oakland field goal.