AFC West: Lofa Tatupa

Here are some highlights of our AFC West chat, held earlier Thursday:


John from Neb.: Any chance you think Denver could be showcasing Brady Quinn for possible trade bait?

Bill Williamson: It's possible, but I don't think that is the Broncos' motivation. But if someone offered a nice deal for him, I could see Denver pulling the trigger. But I don't expect it

Kansas City

Jeff F. from Harrisburg, Pa.: (Jon) Baldwin or (Justin) Houston has a bigger impact as a rookie?

BW: Well, I don't put too much stock in preseason, but so far, Houston has been more impressive. I think they will both get a chance to contribute this year. But Houston has a head start on making a faster impact.


Keith from New Jersey: If the Raiders were to bring in Lofa Tatupu, would he only be brought in to provide depth at linebacker? or would he be competing for the starting OLB spot?

BW: He'd compete for the weakside job with (Quentin) Groves. But Tatupa is a natural middle linebacker who has injury concerns. He's no sure thing. That's why he hasn't been signed.


Dejun from NC: Does this look about right in the division this year? Chargers 10-6 or 11-5, Chiefs 9-,7Raiders 8-8, Denver 5-11

BW: Yeah, in that range. I could actually see SD winning more games. If the Chargers stay healthy, watch out.

Raiders lose LB option

August, 24, 2011
You can scratch Kirk Morrison off the list of possible Oakland Raiders.

The former Raider linebacker is headed to the Buffalo Bills. Oakland traded Morrison, who played middle linebacker for the Raiders, to Jacksonville. ESPN’s John Clayton reported Tuesday that the Raiders could look at Morrison or Lofa Tatupu in light of a likely season-ending knee injury suffered by weakside linebacker Travis Goethel. The Raiders were already considering adding a veteran at the spot.

Oakland has previously visited with Tatupa. Although, he is a natural middle linebacker and he has had injury issues. At some point, I expect Oakland to bring in a veteran at the spot, though.

Meanwhile, Oakland tight end Brandon Myers hurt his ankle in practice Wednesday. It’s too early to tell how serious it is. Starter Kevin Boss is week-to-week with a knee injury.

Raiders likely to pursue vet LB

August, 23, 2011
The Raiders will almost certainly go get a veteran linebacker now that young linebacker Travis Goethel could be out for the year with a knee injury. Goethel was playing well and he was pushing Quentin Groves at weakside linebacker.

ESPN's John Clayton reports Oakland could potentially bring back linebacker Kirk Morrison (who was traded to Jacksonville last year) or bring in Lofa Tatupu. Both Morrison and Tatupa are best suited at middle linebacker, but they are heady veterans who could help in an emergency. The Raiders looked at Tatupu early in camp.

This is another tough break for a team that has been battered by injuries in camp.

In other AFC West news Tuesday night:
  • The San Diego Union Tribune, which reported linebacker Stephen Cooper will go on the injured reserve, reports he will try to practice with a torn biceps. Still, the paper reports he could end up on the injured reserve. There’s no questioning this guy’s toughness.
  • Oakland quarterback Jason Campbell said he will support new Oakland quarterback Terrelle Pryor because he enjoyed the guidance of a veteran as a young player.

Chiefs have most cap room in NFL

August, 16, 2011
PM ET has updated salary-cap numbers for each team in 2011. The numbers are interesting because the free-agent signing period is mostly over, though teams are still making the occasional addition. Don’t expect these teams to spend their cap money just because. The average amount of cap room for teams is currently around $11 million.

Let’s look at each AFC West team’s cap situation, in order of cap room:

Kansas City

Cap room: $32,984,542

What it means: The Chiefs have the most cap room in the NFL. They have done a great job. They signed several key players and locked up linebacker Tamba Hali. Kansas City can now look to lock up players such as Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr if it wishes.


Cap room: $24,302,469

What it means: The Broncos likely won’t spend much of its surplus. But it has flexibility to add a defensive tackle if need be.


Cap room: $5,311,249

What it means: The Raiders have enough room to add a veteran like linebacker Lofa Tatupu or cornerback Kelvin Hayden if they wish.

San Diego

Cap room: $2,864,800

What it means: The Chargers can’t do much, but they weren’t planning to do much, anyway. If they need someone, they can get him.
Here are some highlights from our AFC West chat, which was held earlier Thursday:


Scott from Northglenn, CO.: Seen reports that McGahee is way ahead of Moreno. Could he be the starter, and Moreno the 3rd down back?

BW: They brought him as a complementary guy, but if McGahee gets it done more that Moreno, I can see roles switching. The word is McGahee has looked good.

Kansas City

DeShawn from N.C.: Do you think the Chiefs have a shot at winning the division?

BW: Why not? They did last year before we knew they were any good. Now we know they are good and they got better. Sure, they have a chance.


Donnie from Daytona Beach: Hey Bill, I was wondering if the Raiders were after any vet WR and if there is any update about Lofa or Hayden? Or if they are after someone else.

BW: It was reported last week that Oakland was considering both Tatupa and Hayden. They are both coming off injuries and teams seem to be weary of signing them at this point.

ESPN’s John Clayton tweets that the Raiders are still talking to Tatupa, although no deal is imminent. I’d guess the Raiders want to see their linebackers play against Arizona on Thursday night before they decide to pursue a veteran at the spot.

San Diego

Chris from Santa Barbara: In baseball, the big preseason move was A. Gonzales and the best under the radar move was Russell Martin. In Football this year I say Haynesworth is the big move and Bob Sanders will be the under-rated move. What do you think of that comparison?

BW: I love baseball, so kudos for the comparison. I think Asomugha was the A. Gonzalez move. But I like the Sanders call. The Chargers are fired up about this guy. He didn't look rusty to me. If he stays healthy, he's a boon addition.

AFC West notes

August, 6, 2011
The Kansas City Star is reporting that the Chiefs are committed to spending $119 million this season.

The Broncos are expected to study available offensive linemen in the coming weeks.

Former Denver star tight end Shannon Sharpe wants to see clarity in Denver’s quarterback saga. is connecting the Raiders to linebacker Lofa Tatupu and cornerback Kelvin Hayden. Tatupu visited the Raiders on Monday.

Ron Edwards tore his biceps and may be out for the year. He just left Kansas City for Carolina.

Pro Football Weekly wonders if two new additions in Kansas City mean less work for second-year player Dexter McCluster. I can see the reasoning, but if McCluster earns the playing time, he’ll hit the field.