AFC West: Ronald Curry

Evening AFC West news and notes

October, 12, 2009
10/12/09
10:10
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson


Oakland coach Tom Cable does not think the fact that he is being investigated for breaking the jaw of assistant coach Randy Hanson is distracting the team.

Shortly after the story broke, I asked Oakland leader Nnamdi Asomugha about it and he said it was not a distraction to the team. He said no one was talking about it. The Raiders aren’t winning because they are a mess on the field, not because of Cable’s off-field issue.
  • A potential ownership group from Los Angeles has its eye on seven NFL teams, including the Raiders and Chargers. Don’t fret, Chargers’ and Raiders’ fans, a lot would have to happen for this to become a reality.
  • Former Denver running back Ryan Torain is working out in Green Bay on Tuesday. Former Oakland receiver Ronald Curry worked out in Baltimore on Monday.
  • The Chargers returned from their bye Monday, realizing the urgency of their game next Monday night against Denver.
  • Kansas City coach Todd Haley praised linebacker Demorrio Williams for his play against Dallas. Williams has overtaken Derrick Johnson because of his performance.
  • Denver coach Josh McDaniels gave his team Monday off after it beat New England on Sunday. It was the first time McDaniels gave his 5-0 team a Monday off this season. Yes, beating the Patriots was special for the former New England offensive coordinator.

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

The Oakland Tribune looks at Oakland's tight ends. It is a decent bunch led by Zach Miler. I think the third-year tight end is one of the best young players at his position in the NFL. He is Oakland's most reliable receiver and could make a push to be a Pro Bowl player this year.

Former Oakland receiver Ronald Curry was traded from Detroit to St. Louis. He signed with the Lions this offseason after a so-so career in Oakland.

Former San Diego backup center Jeremy Newberry has retired because of knee issues. He had signed with Atlanta this offseason after the Chargers declined to bring him back.

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Ronald Curry was not in the Oakland's plans and he figured that out.

Curry, 29, signed with the Detroit Lions on Thursday as a free agent after Oakland did not pursue try to keep him. He caught a combined 117 balls in 2006 and 2007 for Oakland, where he played his first seven NFL seasons. Curry had just 19 catches last season and he was buried deep on the bench. Curry fell out of favor in Oakland despite the Raiders' desperate need for receiver help in 2008.

Curry is the second AFC West receiver Detroit has added this week. The Lions claimed Will Franklin off waivers from the Chiefs on Tuesday. Franklin was a fourth-round pick last season but he didn't fit the new Kansas City scheme. He was the 105th player taken in 2008 and the highest pick to be cut to date.

Around the AFC West

April, 15, 2009
4/15/09
2:35
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Denver

Denver owner Pat Bowlen believes the Jay Cutler trade was a win-win situation.

My take: What else is Bowlen supposed to say? He has to take the high road concerning Cutler because there is still a belief that his new coach, Josh McDaniels, is at fault for allowing the situation with the quarterback to deteriorate. Bowlen also continued to support McDaniels. Again, what else would you expect? Bowlen's legacy hinges in part on his decision to fire Mike Shanahan and hire McDaniels. He needs McDaniels to succeed.

Kansas City

The Chiefs have a tough early schedule.

My take: It is a tough early slate but the schedule gets easier late in the season for the new-look Chiefs. If the Chiefs can hang tough in the first three months of the season, they could be fine down the stretch.

Oakland

Free-agent receiver Ronald Curry is visiting Detroit.

My take: Curry fell out of favor in Oakland and the Raiders had little interest in re-signing him. Curry was a decent contributor for Oakland at one time. But last season, when Oakland needed him to step up, he couldn't make an impact. His departure is not a big loss.

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

The deconstruction of Oakland Raiders' disastrous 2008 offseason is underway (again).

When the Raiders shocked the league at midseason by cutting starting cornerback DeAngelo Hall (who signed a $70-million plus deal after being acquired in a deal with Atlanta), there were reports that the purge of newly signed players would continue after the season.

It started Friday when safety Gibril Wilson and defensive end Kalimba Edwards were released. Wilson signed a $30-million plus deal last year and Edwards was signed to a more modest deal. Veteran receiver Ronald Curry was also cut Friday.

In addition to Hall, Wilson and Edwards, more 2008 signees could be washed away. The Raiders shelled out $25 million in salaries and bonuses last year. Now, after a great failure, the Raiders are making headlines by whacking players who were brought in.

Left tackle Kwame Harris, receiver Javon Walker (although he would be a cap hit if released) and defensive tackle Tommy Kelly (who signed a $50-million plus contract to stay in Oakland last year) all could conceivably be cut.

Oakland fans shouldn't let the team off the hook here. They should be furious.

Yes, the Raiders made good by re-signing in-house standouts Nnamdi Asomugha and Shane Lechler to long-term deals this week, the colossal mistakes made last year will continue to hurt the team. Those moves were made to end a five-year downturn. Not only did the signed players do little to help the team in 2008, but the Raiders finished 5-11 to become the first team in NFL history to lose at least 11 games in six straight seasons.

Now, the long recovery begins.

Raiders begin purge

February, 20, 2009
2/20/09
6:50
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

The bill for Shane Lechler and Nnamdi Asomugha started to arrive in Oakland on Friday as the team cut three players.

Out are receiver Ronald Curry, defensive end Kalimba Edwards and safety Gibril Wilson. Wilson's release was the most surprising.

Wilson was signed to a lucrative deal by the Raiders last year as part of a wild spending spree and was productive last season. He had 129 tackles, which was the ninth most in the league.

Edwards was fairly productive in his first season in Oakland after signing as a free agent from Detroit. He had five sacks. Curry's release was not a surprise. He didn't make an impact on a receiving crew that was desperate for production.

This may be the just the beginning of the purge in Oakland. The Raiders were not in great salary cap shape before this week's blockbuster deals given to Lechler and Asomugha. Lechler signed a four-year deal that will pay him $16 million and make him the highest paid punter in the history of the NFL. Asomugha signed a three-year, $45 million-plus deal that makes him one of the richest players in the league.

These were two important signings for Oakland but the deals were costly for the team. Other players such as left tackle Kwame Harris and receiver Javon Walker could be next. However, cutting Walker would be a big cap hit for Oakland.

Wilson and Edwards could attract interest on the open market now that they are free agents. Wilson will likely attract more immediate interest. It wouldn't be a shock if Denver or San Diego shows interest in him.

It's a banner week for Oakland

February, 19, 2009
2/19/09
4:15
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Nnamdi Asomugha is still in Oakland and it is by his choice.

 
  G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images
  Nnamdi Asomugha signed a three-year contract with Oakland.

Instead of being stuck in Oakland by getting the franchise tag placed on him for the second straight year, Asomugha has agreed to a record contract with the Raiders.

He signed a deal Thursday for three years worth more than $45 million. If Oakland keeps him for the third season, the entire deal will be guaranteed.

No longer is Asomugha, perhaps the best cornerback in the NFL today, going to be looked at as a great player stuck in a bad situation. He is in Oakland for the next three years because it is his choice. That's big for the Raiders, a team that is in the midst of a great offseason, even if it does nothing else.

Oakland's best player just told the football world he wants to be a Raider. With so much negativity swirling around the team the past few years, this move begins the process that, yes, it is OK to be a Raider. Players around the league will take notice.

Couple Asomugha's long-term deal with the long-term deal Oakland gave Pro Bowl punter Shane Lechler on Wednesday, and the Raiders are having a banner week. The moves, which owner Al Davis deemed as difficult earlier this month, are huge for a team coming off a 5-11 season. 

Both Asomugha -- who rarely gets tested by opposing quarterbacks -- and Lechler were in Oakland for the six seasons in which the Raiders won an NFL-low 24 games. So they don't make the Raiders better. But the moves help change the culture of a franchise that is in dire need of an image makeover.

This is a major change from last year when Oakland wildly spent on several free agents. Oakland spent $255 million in salary and bonuses last year. Most of the moves were disastrous. This year, Oakland, which locked in right cornerback Chris Johnson last week, is keeping its own players. It is a smart move. 

Now the Raiders may have difficulty doing other major business this offseason, even though they likely will cut players such as Ronald Curry, Kwame Harris and Javon Walker. Still, they probably could figure out a way to get a couple of some other teams' free agents. But Oakland might be more focused on the draft.  The Raiders, who need a receiver and a left tackle, have the No. 7 pick.

But for now, the team needs to glow in the aftermath of getting Lechler and Asomugha signed. This is a major step for a team that needs to make quality, major steps.

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Stay tuned Thursday for movement on the Nnamdi Asomugha situation in Oakland. There were some strong indications Wednesday night and early Thursday that a long-term deal between the shutdown cornerback and the Raiders could be done at any time.

This would be huge news for the Raiders.

  • The Denver Post is reporting linebacker Boss Bailey may not be salary-cap causality. With five defensive starters already jettisoned and with more than $25 million in cap room freed up, Denver certainly doesn't need to create any more cap space.
  • New Kansas City coach Todd Haley said he hasn't named exact positions for several new assistant coaches because he hasn't figured it all out yet.
  • The Oakland Tribune is reporting that receiver Ronald Curry has been informed he will be cut.
  • The Chargers are hoping to secure LaDainian Tomlinson, Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates this offseason. Keeping his own has long been a mantra of San Diego general manager A.J. Smith.
  • The Ravens' decision to put the franchise tag on linebacker Terrell Suggs could affect both Denver's and Kansas City's plans. Both teams have plenty of cap room and both teams could have used a pass-rusher like Suggs.
  • The Chargers may be quietly bummed that the Raiders re-signed punter Shane Lechler. Many in San Diego believe their punter, Mike Scifres, is the best punter in the AFC but he keeps getting bypassed in favor of Lechler for the Pro Bowl. Some in the San Diego organization may have been hoping Lechler would go to an NFC team which would open a spot on the Pro Bowl roster for Scifres. My take on that one: Both Lechler and Scifres are the real deal.
  • Former Oakland wide receiver Tim Brown will coach the receivers in an alumni game featuring Notre Dame players in Tokyo this July.

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

If the Oakland Raiders are going to turn around their fortunes, Wednesday night's move to re-sign Shane Lechler may be the start of it.

 
  Kirby Lee/US Presswire
  Shane Lechler has a new four-year contract with the Raiders.

Team executive and spokesman John Herrera confirmed the deal and said Lechler's deal is the best given to a punter in the history of the NFL. Lechler has agreed to a four-year contract that is expected to pay him $4 million a year, which is a monster deal for a punter. It re-affirms the value Raiders owner Al Davis puts on specialists. The Raiders have long had some of the best kickers in the NFL and Lechler's return guarantees more special teams success in Oakland.

It was widely considered that the Raiders were about to lose the perennial Pro Bowl punter to free agency. Lechler and Oakland superstar cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha are free agents. It was widely speculated that Oakland would put the franchise tag on Asomugha, thus allowing Lechler to test the waters. Teams like New England and Denver were expected to make a move on Lechler, who is one of the better punters in the NFL the last 20 years.

There are indications that the Raiders are also trying to lock in Asomugha for a long-term deal. The two sides are working on keeping the cornerback in Oakland, and if a deal isn't finalized, he'll likely be franchised by Thursday's deadline.

If the Raiders can keep both Lechler and Asomugha, it would be a landmark moment for the Raiders, who have won a league-low 24 games in the past six seasons. Both of these are key players, and if Oakland is going to get better, it will be much easier with Lechler and Asomugha in the fold.

Earlier this month, Davis acknowledged that it would be difficult to keep both players, but it wouldn't be impossible.

If Oakland does keep both players, it could limit further movement this offseason, especially after the entire wild spending spree last year. The team will likely release several players, including receiver Ronald Curry and left tackle Kwame Harris. Receiver Javon Walker is also a candidate to be cut.

Keeping its best players is smart business for Oakland compared to last year's disaster in which several big-name players were brought and produced very little. If the Raiders keep Lechler and Asomugha, they are certain to get good value for their money.

Lechler's decision to stay is also good for morale in Oakland. With a player like Lechler deciding to sign on for four more years, it gives the team hope. There was speculation that Lechler, who was reportedly punched by teammate Terdell Sands on a flight home after a win in Denver in November, grew tired of the losing environment in Oakland and was looking to leave.

But he must see something positive there because he would have gotten big money anywhere he went. This was a huge first step for the Raiders as they try to end six seasons of failure.

Oakland salary cap glance

February, 16, 2009
2/16/09
11:30
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Oakland Raiders

Most recent salary cap availability: $7.27 million.

How can they get more cap room: The Raiders will get more room by cutting several players. Among the players who may be cut include receivers Ronald Curry and Javon Walker (who won't save them much because his big deal was signed last year), tackle Kwame Harris and defensive back Michael Huff. Other veterans could be cut. Oakland won't be in terrific cap shape but it will be able to do some things. But the team spent so much cash last season it is doubtful the Raiders will be huge spenders. Plus, they are likely going to put the franchise tag on star cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha will cost the team more than $11 million. Expect Asomugha to eventually sign his franchise tender and wait until next year before signing a long-term deal. The team will also have to try to keep Pro Bowl punter Shane Lechler. If he is kept, that will eat into free agent space as well.

Biggest free agency needs: Wide receiver, offensive line, defensive line.

Dream date: T.J. Houshmandzadeh, receiver, Cincinnati Bengals.

/

Hot Button: AFC West

February, 14, 2009
2/14/09
2:00
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

The top issues facing each team in the division:

Denver Broncos

 
  Dustin Snipes/Icon SMI
  Rey Maualuga might fit the mold of what Denver is looking for on defense.

Primary issue: It's all about moving forward in Denver as the Josh McDaniels era starts, ending Mike Shanahan's 14-season run in Denver. If the Broncos are going to be successful early in McDaniels' tenure, they will have to address their problems on defense.

If the season started now, the Broncos would have a difficult time lining up 11 quality starters. The defense has been terrible for the last two seasons and there are only a few quality starters on the roster. Further complicating matters is that the Broncos want to run a 3-4 defense under new coordinator Mike Nolan, the former San Francisco head coach. Thus, Denver has to find players in that mold.

The team has star left cornerback Champ Bailey, linebacker D.J. Williams and defensive end Elvis Dumervil, who could be moved to linebacker in the new scheme. Other than those players, the Broncos need a bunch of pieces. And players such as defensive tackle Dewayne Robertson and cornerback Dre' Bly could be on their way out as salary-cap casualties.

Solution: The Broncos have the No. 12 pick and need to secure a quality player such as a middle linebacker like USC's Rey Maualuga or a defensive tackle such as Boston College's B.J. Raji. Also, Denver needs to pick up a couple of starters through free agency. Free agents such as defensive tackle Grady Jackson, and perhaps, if Bly is cut, a young cornerback such as the Rams' Ronald Bartell could be interesting fits.

Hot Button Archive
Kuharsky: AFC South
Yasinskas: NFC South
Seifert: NFC North
Walker: AFC North
Sando: NFC West
Williamson: AFC West
Graham: AFC East
Mosley: NFC East

Secondary concern: While the majority of the work to be done in the offseason in Denver is on the defensive side, McDaniels is an offensive-minded coach and he needs to put his stamp on the team. He needs to get his key offensive players, such as quarterback Jay Cutler and receiver Brandon Marshall, acquainted with his system.

The Broncos put up a ton of yards in the final couple of seasons of Shanahan's regime, but they didn't score enough points to go along with those copious yards. McDaniels has to find a way to get the most out of his talent.

Solution: Offseason study sessions and practice in minicamps should get this offense in touch with what McDaniels -- who had raging success as the offensive coordinator in New England -- wants to get done in Denver.


Kansas City Chiefs

Primary issue: Although the Chiefs have many issues on defense that need to be addressed immediately, there are much more pressing issues with existing players on the opposite side of the ball.

 
  Evan Pinkus/Getty Images
  Tony Gonzalez's future in Kansas City remains uncertain.

Kansas City needs to figure out if it wants to convince future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez to remain with the team for a 13th season or trade him. The Chiefs also need to make a decision on running back Larry Johnson, who wants to be cut or traded. And finally, Kansas City has to figure out whether it will stick with young quarterback Tyler Thigpen or if it will try to get a franchise quarterback through the draft or through a trade.

New Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli could very well be tempted to go get New England's Matt Cassel through a trade.

Solution: The Chiefs can retain Gonzalez if they convince him that they can compete immediately and they could do that by getting defensive players. If not, he'll likely ask to be traded. If the Chiefs decide to trade Gonzalez, they will proba
bly get a fairly high draft pick for him. Johnson needs to be cut or traded, and he likely will be, so don't expect him to be back.

Thigpen could probably fill the Chiefs' need at quarterback for a year or so while they work to fill other positions. The team, however, may be tempted to trade for Cassel or draft Georgia's Matthew Stafford. Thigpen should be kept in Kansas City, and the Chiefs should address the needs on defense by drafting Wake Forest outside linebacker Aaron Curry with the third pick.

  2008: Best of Tony Gonzalez
  NFL.com Video
  The best moments from Tony Gonzalez in 2008.

Secondary concern: The Chiefs need several new starters on defense. They are happy with their cornerbacks, but they could use help nearly everywhere else. Kansas City's front seven has been particularly weak. Kansas City set an NFL record for the fewest sacks in a season with 10 in 2008.

A complete overhaul is needed in Kansas City. There is enough talent for this team to start competing offensively. But unless Kansas City gets legitimate defensive help, it will be a long season.

Solution: The Chiefs need to draft a player like Curry and concentrate the early rounds on defense. Also, they need to sign two or three starters in free agency. Carolina defensive end Julius Peppers would be a dream addition and Arizona linebacker Karlos Dansby would be an outstanding pickup.


Oakland Raiders

 
  Charles Small/US Presswire
  The Raiders need to get JaMarcus Russell some help.

Primary issue: The Raiders have an outstanding running game, but their passing game needs to improve greatly. Quarterback JaMarcus Russell still has a long way to go to prove he could be a capable NFL quarterback. But he also needs help.

Oakland needs to give him better blocking and better receivers. Oakland's receiving corps was embarrassing at many points last season. Coupled with poor pass protection and bad receiver play, Russell didn't have much of a chance to succeed a lot of the time in 2008.

With better protection and legitimate NFL receivers, the Raiders will be able to find out if Russell, the No. 1 overall pick in 2007, can become a legitimate NFL standout.

Solution: There are several receivers who are or will be available through free agency and the draft. Perhaps Oakland will try to trade for Arizona's Anquan Boldin or Cincinnati's Chad Johnson. The Raiders could also try to draft Michael Crabtree with the No. 7 pick. Oakland also needs to find offensive line help early in the draft.

Secondary concern: To be able to be active in the offseason, the Raiders are going to have to do some bookkeeping. There are several players who may end up being cut to clear salary-cap room.

The Raiders went on a wild spending spree last year. They won't be able to do the same thing this year, but that spending spree didn't answer a lot of issues, so the Raiders have nearly as many holes now as they did before they spent all their money. Thus, some room needs to be made.

Solution: Cutting players like defensive back Michael Huff, receivers Ronald Curry and Javon Walker, and tackle Kwame Harris could help clear cap space and begin the process of making amends for past financial blunders.


San Diego Chargers

Primary issue: This offseason is all about finding a way to keep the Chargers' stars happy financially.

 
  Scott A. Miller/US PRESSWIRE
  LaDainian Tomlinson may need to restructure his contract in order to remain in San Diego.

The Chargers are going to be working on contracts for future Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson, key backup running back and dynamic return man Darren Sproles and franchise quarterback Philip Rivers, who is the third priority because he's under contract for 2009.

If Tomlinson doesn't restructure his contract and give the Chargers a more cap-friendly deal, he will likely be cut. But both sides want to make something work, and keeping Tomlinson in San Diego is a high priority for both him and the team.

Sproles could be given the franchise tag if he doesn't sign a long-term deal in the coming days. He's too valuable for the Chargers to allow him to hit the street. He is an asset in the running, receiving and return games. The Chargers want to re-sign Rivers to get it out of the way and allow him to play the final year of his contract without any issues.

Solution: The Chargers can redo Tomlinson's contract so it cuts down his salary-cap number but allows him to make up the money in bonuses and incentives. Sproles can be franchised and both players will be happy. Although none of this will be easy, the Chargers can still find a way extend Rivers and keep everyone pleased.

Secondary concern: The Chargers don't have a ton of needs, but there are some issues on defense, where the team needs to reload.

The Chargers can use help in all three phases of the defense with inside linebacker and, perhaps, free safety being the most pressing.

Solution: The Chargers should try to go afte
r a veteran in free agency, such as Baltimore's Bart Scott. The Chargers will also likely try to address the needs on defense with the No. 16 overall pick.

Report: Raiders sign CB Johnson

February, 12, 2009
2/12/09
3:18
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that Oakland has signed cornerback Chris Johnson to a long-term contract. The newspaper reported Wednesday that a deal was close.

Johnson was set to be a free agent Feb. 27. This was a strong move by Oakland. Johnson played very well in the second half of the season after the team suddenly ended the DeAngleo Hall experiment by cutting him after eight games. Johnson is a fast player who showed nice ball skills. He is a clear No. 2 cornerback but he is solid.

Now, Oakland will turn its attention to other pressing needs. Next up Oakland will likely put the franchise tag on star cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. If that happens, Pro Bowl punter Shane Lechler will be an unrestricted free agent and will likely leave the team.

The Raiders also may cut some veterans in the coming weeks. Possibilities include defensive back Michael Huff and receivers Ronald Curry and Javon Walker.

Chargers and Raiders notes

February, 10, 2009
2/10/09
3:53
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Here is a look at a few key offseason issues for Oakland and San Diego:

Oakland:

The Sacramento Bee looks at some players who may be cut.

My take: The Raiders could cut players such as Ronald Curry, Michael Huff (which would cement him as one of the great draft busts of this decade) and receiver Javon Walker. This story suggests Walker may be safe. I think that would be a mistake on Oakland's part.

The Raiders have to admit they made a mistake, take their lumps and move on. Walker, sadly, is on the back nine of his career. Serious injuries have greatly affected him three of the past four seasons, including the past two. The odds are against Walker becoming a legitimate top receiver again. Meanwhile, the Raiders need a No. 1 receiver. They need to move on.

San Diego:

The Chargers are close to starting to address their issues at running back.

My take: This San Diego Union-Tribune story brings up several interesting points. It suggests that the team and running back LaDainian Tomlinson could soon begin discussing a restructured contract. I believe that is how this tale will eventually end. Unless one side becomes unrealistic during negotiations, I believe Tomlinson will take an incentive-based contract that will keep him in San Diego.

Also, the Chargers are considering putting the franchise tag on backup running back and return star Darren Sproles. It would be pricey, but Sproles is a threat in all aspects of San Diego's offense. If he is franchised, San Diego has to do a better job of splitting carries between Tomlinson and Sproles. I'm not saying Sproles should get as many carries as Tomlinson, but this could be a nasty combination and it could add years to Tomlinson's legs. It would only make San Diego's offensive more dangerous.

Around the AFC West

February, 9, 2009
2/09/09
1:51
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Denver

Brandon Marshall didn't get to do his show.

My take: Marshall had planned an elaborate touchdown celebration had he scored in the Pro Bowl. He had four chances but was unable to finish the deal. After catching more than 200 passes in the past two seasons combined, I get the feeling Marshall will have plenty of opportunities in the future to celebrate in the Pro Bowl.

Kansas City

Tony Gonzalez continues to give Chiefs fans hope.

My take: Gonzalez is always available to talk about his feelings about the Chiefs and it is clear he is torn. He wants to win now, but he also doesn't want to leave Kansas City. If Gonzalez can be convinced that the Chiefs can contend, I think he'll stay.

Oakland

A look at the Raiders' free agents.

My take: While the big names on Oakland's free agency list are cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and punter Shane Lechler, players such as safety Michael Huff and receiver Ronald Curry could also be on their way out.

San Diego

Norv Turner has a new right-hand man.

My take: Turner's decision to bring back former assistant Rob Chudzinski was a good one. He is the team's tight ends coach and assistant head coach. He is a good offensive mind, will be a good sounding board and offer a checks and balance for Turner during games.

AFC West news and notes

December, 17, 2008
12/17/08
8:21
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Because of injuries to receivers Ronald Curry and Ashley Lelie, tailback Darren McFadden could get more action Sunday against Houston.

With all due respect to Curry and Lelie, McFadden needs to get on the field. There are just two more games to this season and the No. 4 overall pick has been horribly underused. Oakland needs to see what it has in McFadden and this is a chance for him to get some more playing time.

The Broncos made some moves Wednesday. They signed safety Herana-Daze Jones a week after he was released. They put running back Cory Boyd on the practice squad. He was cut Monday. To make room for Boyd, running back Steve Baylark was released from the practice squad.

The Broncos and the Chargers will likely be facing their opponents' top quarterback in their crucial games Sunday. Trent Edwards is set to play in Denver for Buffalo. And it appears Jeff Garcia will be healthy enough to play for Tampa Bay when it hosts San Diego on Sunday.

The Chiefs appear like they will return to Missouri for training camp in 2010. The team has been training in River Falls, Wis., for nearly two decades. It is expected that next year will be the team's final summer in River Falls.

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