AFC West: New England
McFadden has been out for seven-plus weeks with no signs of him returning. Raiders coach Hue Jackson has maintained McFadden will be back this season, but timing is running out. You have to wonder if we have seen the end of McFadden in 2011.
In other AFC West news:
- In Denver, starting defensive backs Brian Dawkins (neck) and cornerback Andre Goodman (concussion) did not practice Wednesday. Neither player was able to finish the Chicago game. That is not a good sign considering Tom Brady and the Patriots are visiting Denver on Sunday. Also, Denver receiver Eddie Royal was limited in practice after missing the Chicago game with a concussion.
- Here’s the reaction from Brady when told Wednesday he has a 1-5 record against Denver. It is the only team Brady has a losing record against. “1-5? Man, that’s pretty bad. Hopefully we get to 2-5 this week.”
- Four players from the AFC West (one player from each team) were named to the 26-member USA Football All-Fundamentals Team. The four AFC West players are: Denver’s Eric Decker (catching with hands), Kansas City’s Tamba Hali (pass rush), Oakland’s Shane Lechler (punting mechanics) and San Diego’s Eric Weddle safety (footwork in coverage). Former Chiefs executive Carl Peterson and former Chiefs coach Herm Edwards are on the five-person board.
- Oakland quarterback Carson Palmer took a dive on ESPN.com’s quarterback watch.
- Denver linebacker Von Miller remains atop ESPN.com’s Rookie Watch.
- Former Kansas City coach Todd Haley will join ESPN’s Audibles on Thursday night as a guest analyst at 7 p.m. ET. He was fired Monday.
- New Kansas City starting quarterback Kyle Orton indicated he is healthy after injuring his finger two weeks ago. If he doesn’t suffer a setback, Orton will start Sunday against Green Bay.
- Denver quarterback Tim Tebow is third behind Brady and Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger in the fan Pro Bowl vote. The fan voting counts for a third of the voting along with player and coach’s votes. The team will be announced Dec. 27. Meanwhile, ESPN2’s First Take -- hosted by longtime Tebow supporter Skip Bayless -- will broadcast live from Jackson’s Sports Bar in Denver from 10-12 a.m. ET Friday. The public is invited to the free event.
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
Because of the onslaught of questions in light of Jay Cutler's public announcement of his trade request, we are doing a special Cutler-themed mailbag.
Jared from Rye, CO: Bill, with all the drama in Denver, I've been hearing rumblings on a Denver radio station that Tom Brady could be coming to town for Cutler and our #12 pick? Is this even conceiveable?
BW: I don't see that happening. The Patriots love Brady. That would be a shocker.
Matt from Salt Lake, UT: Hi Bill, I have a question nobody seems to have asked yet. Shanahan was let go because he had too much control in Denver. Jay Cutler was the future of the franchise and the one player Denver has had in the past 10 years that gave fans hope. If McDaniels has the power to trade him for Matt Cassel there must not have been to much power taken from the head coach position in Denver. This could mean two things. Mike Shanahan was not fired because he held too much power, or Bowlen wanted Cassel over Cutler. What's your take?
BW: My take is that McDaniels was given the same power that Shanahan had or he wouldn't have tried to get Cassel in the first place.
|The best moments from Jay Cutler in 2008.|
BW: The No. 2 pick would have to be involved and Bulger would only be a stop-gap solution in Denver.
Josh From Toronto: bill, quick question about cutlers lack of maturity. why can he not get over his ego and come back and practice harder and train harder to show the team that they need him? it makes the most sense for a player of his calibre to shut up and work his ass off to show his worth to the broncos
BW: I think it is all a trust issue. I can see where people think Cutler is being a baby in this situation but remember he didn't start this. He didn't ask for it.
JACOB from LINDSAY NE: If the Broncos decide to unload Cutler what's the return value on a young pro-bowl quaterback??
BW: I'd say a top five pick and maybe even a little more. Pro Bowl quarterbacks who are entering their fourth season don't always become available.
Dave from Utah: I know this sounds crazy, but what about firing McDaniels and Re-hiring Shanahan? This would keep Cutler happy and in Denver and Shanahan would benefit from the newly revamped defense that Denver has purchased through free agency. I know it sounds crazy, but it seems like a better idea than trading your franchise QB, or keeping an unhappy quarterback.
BW: I don't see that happening. Denver owner Pat Bowlen is standing behind McDaniels. I will tell you this: If Denver's awful for the next two years, McDaniels will be in trouble.