AFC West: Jon Runyan

AFC West: Free-agency primer

March, 3, 2010
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Denver

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.

Oakland

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.

Free agency: AFC West

February, 15, 2010
2/15/10
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AFC Free Agency: East | West | North | South NFC: East | West | North | South

An early look at the free-agent situation in the AFC West.

Note: These projected lists reflect notable unrestricted free agents for each team. The NFL will not issue an official list of free agents until the signing period begins March 5.

[+] EnlargeChris Chambers
AP Photo/Charlie RiedelKansas City wide receiver Chris Chambers had 608 yards on 36 receptions after being acquired off waivers in November.
Denver Broncos

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.

Key figures: There isn’t much here. The team could bring back Hochstein, Holliday and Law, but they are all complementary pieces. It’s all about the restricted free-agent class in Denver. The Broncos have to figure out what they are going to do with receiver Brandon Marshall, defensive end Elvis Dumervil, quarterback Kyle Orton and tight end Tony Scheffler.

Kansas City Chiefs

Unrestricted free agents: S Mike Brown, WR Chris Chambers, WR Terrance Copper, TE Sean Ryan, C Wade Smith, LB Mike Vrabel, WR Bobby Wade,

Key figures: Chambers will be Kansas City's priority. He gave the Chiefs’ offense a big spark after he was claimed off waivers in November. The team’s brass really likes what Brown and Vrabel bring to the team and both could be back in Kansas City at the right price. Wade also could be brought back.

Oakland Raiders

Unrestricted free agents: Hiram Eugene, G Cornell Green, K Sebastian Janikowski, DE Richard Seymour, T Langston Walker, LB Sam Williams

Key figures: It’s all about Seymour and Janikowski. The Raiders are trying to get long-term deals with both players done. If new deals aren’t struck, watch for Oakland to put the franchise and transition tags on them. Oakland will do anything it can not to lose either player.

San Diego Chargers

Unrestricted free agents: DT Alfonso Boone, TE Brandon Manumaleuna, C Dennis Norman, WR Kassim Osgood. T Jon Runyan, DT Ian Scott, TE Kris Wilson

Key figures: The team would like to bring back Osgood, one of the best special-teams players in the NFL. But Osgood wants a chance to be a receiver and the opportunity might not be in San Diego. The Chargers will spend most of their energy on their restricted class. The priorities are receiver Vincent Jackson, tackle Marcus McNeill, linebacker Shawne Merriman, running back Darren Sproles and receiver Malcom Floyd.

Midday AFC West notes

December, 29, 2009
12/29/09
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Brian Dawkins has made quite an impact in his first season in Denver both on and off the field.

Known as one of the most inspirational players in the NFL, the former longtime Eagle was named the Broncos’ Ed Block Courage award winner by his Denver teammates. The award is given to players for exemplifying a commitment to sportsmanship and courage.
  • Oakland punter Shane Lechler’s excellent season is coming to an end and he is close to Sammy Baugh's punting average record. Baugh averaged 51.4 yards a punt in 1940. Lechler is averaging 51.1 yards a boot. It is Lechler’s best average in his career.
  • Oakland coach Tom Cable said he thinks the 5-10 Raiders would have made the playoffs if the team received average quarterback play throughout the season. That is a big shot at JaMarcus Russell. Yes, Russell was horrible, but the Raiders have had many more problems this season than just shoddy quarterback play. Also, this is an indictment of Oakland’s leadership. If he feels this way, why didn’t the Raiders make the move to bench Russell much earlier in the season?
  • The Chargers’ defense may be getting healthier as San Diego approaches a key game at Dallas on Sunday. Defensive end Luis Castillo practiced fully after missing two weeks because of a calf injury.
  • Linebacker Shawne Merriman practiced on a limited basis Wednesday. He didn’t play against Cleveland on Sunday and missed the past two weeks of practice.
  • Center Nick Hardwick had a setback in his return from an ankle injury that he suffered in Week 1. He did not practice Wednesday and he likely won’t play at Dallas.
  • There is a chance newly signed tackle Jon Runyan will play against the Cowboys. He signed three weeks ago.
  • Oakland guard Robert Gallery could miss extended time with a lower back issue. Gallery missed several weeks earlier this season with a leg injury.
  • The AFC West has a presence in the ESPN.com MVP watch again this week.

You pick it responses

December, 4, 2009
12/04/09
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We had a runaway winner in this week’s “you pick it” feature.

Readers believe the story of the week is the playoff push made by San Diego and Denver. San Diego is 8-3 and on pace for the No. 2 seed in the AFC field. Denver is 7-4 and is on pace for the No. 5 seed and a wild-card spot.

The other candidates were San Diego signing veteran tackle Jon Runyan and Denver coach Josh McDaniels and San Diego linebacker Shaun Phillips explaining their pregame verbal spat on Nov. 22.

I agree that the action on the field is the story of the week. This division has taken a lot of heat the past two years. With two teams on pace to make the playoffs, it shows progress is being made. Below are some of your responses. Thanks to everyone who participated:

Steve Sibiski from Oceanside, Calif.: The push for the playoffs by SD and Denver is definitely the story of the week. And might be the story of the year (unless one of these two wins the SB. Everyone had the AFC west pegged as a one team division. But with the Broncos coming out and winning their first 6 games it has brought back some respect to this division that has been looked down at for the last few years. Nothing would be better then sending two teams to the playoffs this year.

Wally from Tecate, Calif.: Most definitely the playoff push. Seeing as how the AFC West was considered to be the worst division in the NFL, with the Chargers automatically advancing to the playoffs and everyone else tanking, it has to be considered the topic of the week, maybe even top 5 of the year. The Chargers are fighting for a 1st round bye and the Broncos are only 1 game behind with no team looking like it will fold. With both teams looking like they will finish the season either 11-5 or 12-4, and both probably finishing the season with a 5-1 record against teams in the AFC West, the division is pretty much up for grabs and the most exciting division right now.

Steve from San Diego: I like your "Playoff Push" storyline.I think it illustrates the improvement made throughout the division. Stronger competition should provide a stronger champion. Maybe I'm a dreamer, but I would love to see the Lombardi Trophy hoisted by a team representing the AFC West.

Gary D. from San Diego: Bil, until Runyon plays a down, his signing is at best a curiosity at this point. Fantastic potential that could be a key to priming the Chargers for a Championship run, but right now, just a big ?.The McDaniel thing is just way overplayed, a tabloid sensation over nothing. It's not his fault he was caught swearing on live tv. He just won the wrong-place lottery.Forced to pick one of the 3, it's the horse-race between SD and Denver. SD clearly has the upper-hand, but Denver's win over the Giants proves they aren't out of it just yet. It's going to be one amazing December.

You pick it: AFC West storylines

December, 2, 2009
12/02/09
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The candidates are:

Runyan signs with the Chargers: San Diego signed free agent right tackle Jon Runyan after Jeromey Clary went down for the season with an ankle injury. Runyan will likely be ready to play in another week. He will retire after the season to pursue a political career.

The playoff push: Both division-leading San Diego (8-3) and second-place Denver (7-4) enter December on pace to make the playoffs.

McDaniel-Phillips spat: Denver coach Josh McDaniels and San Diego linebacker Shaun Phillips further discussed their pregame verbal spat on Nov. 22.

Pick your story of the week and hit my mailbag with your thoughts. I will post some of your responses later in the week.

Evening AFC West news and notes

November, 30, 2009
11/30/09
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San Diego coach Norv Turner said new tackle Jon Runyan could be active this week at Cleveland. It is more likely, though, that Runyan has a chance to start at Dallas on Dec. 13.
  • A woman has been charged with stalking the family of former Chargers and current Chiefs receiver Chris Chambers.
  • Oakland running back Justin Fargas and defensive end Greg Ellis are questionable to play at Pittsburgh on Sunday.
  • The late Derrick Thomas will be honored in Kansas City at halftime against Denver on Sunday.

Pregame notes from San Diego

November, 29, 2009
11/29/09
3:20
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SAN DIEGO -- San Diego linebacker Shawne Merriman is active and he is expected to start against Kansas City. He didn’t practice all week with a foot injury.

Kansas City linebacker Mike Vrabel is inactive with a knee injury. He will be replaced by Andy Studebaker, who had two interceptions and a half sack in the Chiefs’ upset over Pittsburgh last week.

San Diego defensive lineman Luis Castillo is not active. He suffered a calf injury at Denver. Alfonso Boone will start in his place.

Brandon Siler will start ahead of Kevin Burnett at linebacker.

San Diego center Nick Hardwick is inactive for the 10th straight game with an ankle injury. He practiced in a limited basis last week.

New San Diego right tackle Jon Runyan is inactive. He probably won’t be ready to play until two weeks from now at Dallas.

Afternoon AFC West news and notes

November, 26, 2009
11/26/09
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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.

Evening AFC West news and notes

November, 25, 2009
11/25/09
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Denver quarterback Kyle Orton (ankle) and safety Brian Dawkins (neck) are both probable to play Thursday against the visiting Giants. Both players practiced fully Wednesday.

Denver right tackle Ryan Harris is going to miss his fourth game with a toe injury. He could return next week at Kansas City. Denver has missed Harris while he has been out. The Giants will be missing two key players Thursday.

Oakland defensive end Richard Seymour is probable to play at Dallas on Thursday. He left Sunday’s win over Cincinnati in the first quarter with a lower back injury.

Kansas City linebacker Mike Vrabel was limited in practice due to a knee injury. He missed Sunday’s win over Pittsburgh. His replacement, Andy Studebaker, had two interceptions and a half sack that were all key in the upset. The Chiefs put defensive back Maurice Leggett on the injured reserve, ending his season.

Several San Diego players missed practice Wednesday. The Chargers routinely keep players who are banged up out of early-week practices. Among the players who didn’t practice Wednesday were defensive end Luis Castillo (calf), receiver Vincent Jackson (ribs), linebacker Shawne Merriman (foot) and linebacker Shaun Phillips (ankle). Center Nick Hardwick (ankle) was limited in practice, but he may try to play Sunday. He has been out since Week 1.

Jon Runyan won’t be a Charger for long. The right tackle, who signed with San Diego on Tuesday, will retire at the end of the year to pursue a political career.

The Bills’ pursuit of former Denver coach Mike Shanahan has taken the next step.

San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers is sixth on NFC West blogger Mike Sando's MVP watch.

Runyan is a Charger

November, 24, 2009
11/24/09
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As expected, the Chargers have announced the signing of right tackle Jon Runyan. He replaces starting right tackle Jeromey Clary. He was put on the injured reserve with an ankle injury he suffered at Denver on Sunday.

Runyan, who turns 36 Friday, is a former standout for Philadelphia. He has not been with a team this season. The Chargers will give Runyan some time to get ready to play. For the time being, Brandyn Dombrowski is slated to play for Clary.

Runyan is expected to give San Diego’s offensive line veteran stability as it marches toward the playoffs. As I stated in an earlier post, this is a smart move by San Diego.
Jon Runyan may be soon joining the San Diego Chargers for their playoff run.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the former longtime Philadelphia standout is on his way to visit the Chargers and he could sign with the team. Starter Jeromey Clary has an ankle injury that could sideline him the rest of the season.

Runyan appears to be a great fit for San Diego. The veteran likely wouldn’t take much time to get ready to play. Runyan visited with several teams this year, but he hasn’t found the right spot.

He would give the Chargers’ offensive line good stability. With center Nick Hardwick expected to return soon from an ankle injury that has kept him out since Week 1, the Chargers’ offensive line looks primed for the stretch run.

San Diego is 7-3 and leads the AFC West by one game after beating Denver on Sunday. The Chargers have won five straight games. Runyan has plenty of playoff experience, so the Chargers could do a lot worse than signing him with Clary out.

AFC West news and notes

September, 30, 2009
9/30/09
2:40
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Posted by ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson


The Chiefs signed linebacker David Herron and cornerback Mike Richardson on Wednesday.

Both players have a history with New England and now Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli. Herron was with the Patriots for one week in 2007 and Richardson was a sixth-round pick of New England in 2007.`

The Chiefs took a look at former Green Bay tackle Mark Tauscher. He is an interesting player. He suffered a major knee injury last December. If healthy, he could be a good fit for Kansas City, which needs tackles. The Chiefs tried out former Philadelphia tackle Jon Runyan three weeks ago.

Oakland brought back return man Justin Miller. He was cut in September, but was brought back because Oakland has several injuries.

Former Oakland running back Louis Rankin was signed to Seattle’s practice squad. Oakland cut him Saturday.

Former Denver running back Ryan Torain worked out in Miami. It was his first workout since Denver cut him after he had a knee injury in August.

In an ESPN.com MVP watch, San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers is 6th and Denver linebacker Elvis Dumervil is 10th.

Evening AFC West news and notes

September, 22, 2009
9/22/09
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Posted by ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson

Kansas City is heading into the practice week with four quarterbacks on the roster even with Matt Cassel healthy. The backups are Brodie Croyle, Tyler Thigpen and Matt Gutierrez. Carrying four quarterbacks is a rarity in the NFL. But if there is an injury elsewhere, Thigpen could be decent trade bait. So, the Chiefs may want to keep the three backups for awhile.

To make room for defensive tackle Alfonso Boone, the team released defensive end Andre Coleman, who has been bouncing back and forth from the practice squad to the 53-man roster.

The Chargers announced they have 2,500 tickets to sell by Thursday’s deadline to avoid a local television blackout for Sunday’s game against visiting Miami.

Former Denver running back Ryan Torain is healthy and ready to sign elsewhere. Several teams have expressed interest in Torain. He was cut by Denver after spraining his knee. He has had three significant injuries in the past year.

Veteran tackle Jon Runyan remains unsigned. He tried out with the Chiefs two weeks ago.

The Shawne Merriman-Chad Ochocinco Twitter spat has continued. They two went at it Twitter style during the summer. The Chargers and Bengals play Dec.20.

Late AFC West news and notes

September, 15, 2009
9/15/09
10:15
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Posted by ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson

Oakland coach Tom Cable said No. 7 overall pick Darrius Heyward-Bey was “nervous” Monday night in his NFL debut. Heyward-Bey had no catches and dropped two passes. Heyward-Bey, who battled hand issues in college, received a $23 million guaranteed contract.

The Chargers are in danger of not selling out and creating a local television blackout for Sunday’s game against Baltimore.

Here is a great tool on ESPN.com, which you can look at the past seven years of NFL power ranking history. Have fun with it.

Free agent tackle Jon Runyan is continuing to visit teams and he could end up signing with a team soon. Runyan visited the Chiefs last week.

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