AFC West: Travis Henry

I’ve already been asked by several readers if the Oakland Raiders should consider pursuing cornerback Aaron Berry. He was released by the Detroit Lions on Monday after two arrests this offseason.

In my opinion, Oakland shouldn’t consider Berry. Yes, the Raiders are thin at cornerback, but so what. There will be other opportunities to get help at the position later in the summer.

Berry is clearly a troubled person these days. Taking a troubled player simply to fill a need on the field would not speak well of the new regime in Oakland. The Raiders need to show restraint and patience as they build their roster. Snapping up a player like Berry, in my opinion, would send the wrong message, and I’d be surprised if new Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie would disagree with me in this case.

In other AFC West news:

The Denver Post is reporting the Broncos are offering left tackle Ryan Clady a big contract, still both sides are apart on a new deal. If Clady doesn’t get an extension, the Broncos will likely franchise him next winter.

Several members of the Broncos visited with victims of the Colorado movie theater shooting. Good for them to help in such a terrible time for the Denver community.

Former Denver running back Travis Henry is reportedly attempting a comeback. Should the Broncos or any other team in the AFC West consider signing Henry? No. No way.

Henry is 33 and is coming off a federal jail stint on drug charges. His long history of issues and his advanced age for a running back make him an unattractive option. I think Henry will find getting NFL work to be a challenging proposal.

Posted by ESPN.com staff

Denver

  • Former Broncos running back Travis Henry was sentenced to three years in a Florida prison and another five years' probation.
  • Quarterback Jay Cutler's tenure in Denver was defined by bad decisions, writes KC Joyner in The New York Times.

Kansas City

San Diego

  • The San Diego Union-Tribune has a multimedia look at the Chargers as they prepare for training camp.

Posted by ESPN.com staff

Denver Broncos

Kansas City Chiefs

Oakland Raiders
San Diego Chargers
  • Chargers linebackers coach John Pagano will host a skills clinic July 13-15 at Jerabek Elementary School.

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

As part of our all-decade week, our Football Outsiders put together a list of the overrated and underrated players of the decade. Here is a look at some of the listed players who played in the AFC West:

Over:

3. Chris Chambers, San Diego
My take:
Chambers has been hurt a lot for San Diego. I don't know if he belongs this high on the list.

9. Dante Hall, Kansas City
My take:
Sure, hall has his shortcomings, but he was a brilliant returner while with the Chiefs. This is a little harsh.

10. DeAngelo Hall, Oakland
My take:
I think he should be much higher on the list. He was exposed in his short Oakland stint.

24. Travis Henry, Denver
My take:
I really don't think the troubled Henry was overrated. I just thought he was a waste of talent.

25. All Denver punters
My take:
Can't argue. What would Shane Lechler be like in the Mile High City?

Under

2. Matt Lepsis, Denver
My take:
I covered Lepsis for four seasons. He was very underrated. He was a terrific player in his prime.

12. Al Wilson, Denver
My take:
At first, I was surprised to see Wilson's name on the underrated list. I thought he was a recognized player. But the fact that Denver's defense has been a disaster since his 2006 career-ending neck injury is a point well taken.

25. Trent Green, Kansas City
My take:
Green was hurt often, but he was, indeed, an effective player when healthy.

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Dallas has cut defensive end Greg Ellis, making him available to several teams showing interest, including Kansas City, Denver and New England.  If Ellis ends up in New England, it could end the Patriots' interest in Oakland pass rusher Derrick Burgess.

Rodney Harrison, who played in San Diego from 1994-2002, is expected to retire from New England and join the broadcast booth.

The legal woes of former Denver running back Travis Henry continue.

The Raiders' meeting with the new union head was postponed.

Former Denver safety Marquand Manuel signed a one-year deal with Detroit on Tuesday.

Center LeCharles Bentley, whose career has been derailed by injuries, could potentially play this season. It wouldn't be a total shock if Kansas City looked at Bentley if he decided to play at some point this summer.

AFC West news and notes

May, 19, 2009
5/19/09
9:20
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

ESPN's John Clayton discounts Oakland as a potential landing spot for Michael Vick if he returns to the NFL. I'm with John. I don't see it. Just because Al Davis has a history of signing troubled or renegade players, it doesn't mean he'll scoop up Vick. Plus, Davis has his hands full with JaMarcus Russell and Jeff Garcia.

The sad tale of former Denver running back Travis Henry adds another chapter.

Rumors continue to swirl about a pairing between receiver Plaxico Burress and the Raiders. Until Burress is playing elsewhere, expect the speculation to continue. I still don't believe Burress is the right fit in Oakland. The Raiders need to develop younger, less troubled players and Burress needs to go to a team that is ready to contend now.

New Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel is taking advantage of time with his new teammates. This is an important time. When training camp arrives in a couple of months, Cassel will be raring to go with the Chiefs.

Around the AFC West

March, 12, 2009
3/12/09
1:17
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Denver

Former Denver running backs Travis Henry opens up about his personal life.

My take: Henry said he is broke and wants to reduce the child support payments he has to make for his nine children. Henry is under house arrest for a drug charge and faces a potential prison sentence. He describes his situation as a "mess." From reading this story it appears that Henry has a grasp of his situation but, yes, it may be too late. I got to know Henry while he was in Denver. He is actually a friendly guy but his penchant for making the wrong decision time and again is startling.

Oakland

Here's a fun look at some of the Raiders' greatest players.

My take: A list like this makes you wonder how it all got to this point? The Raiders were once a great franchise (they cannot be called great right now as they have set an NFL record for a six-year futility string). Still, Oakland has been great and it has been great under Al Davis. Can it be great again?

San Diego

LaDainian Tomlinson has major NFL records within his sights.

My take: Tomlinson can get there but it all depends on 2009. The rest of his career will be determined on how he plays this season. Tomlinson, who will be 30 in June, has to bounce back from a somewhat lackluster 2008 and he has to show he can stay healthy. If Tomlinson's production slips and he gets injured again, his great career could stall. Tomlinson's career has already been cemented. He is a Hall of Famer. The records would only be a sweet bonus to a spectacular career.

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

After cutting seven players, including five defensive starters in the past two days, Denver is clearly preparing for free agency where it is has more than $25 million in functional salary-cap room.

Denver will likely try to get multiple defensive starters in free agency.

The new Denver regime, coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Brian Xanders, need to learn from the past several offseasons of the Mike Shanahan era. The Broncos made several major free agent and trade mistakes in the final few years of Shanahan's tenure. If the Broncos, who were 24-24 the past three seasons, are going to turn around their fortunes quickly under McDaniels and Xanders, they need to avoid the mistakes that have been made in recent seasons in Denver.

Here is a list of some of the big-name, little-impact players the Broncos swung and missed on:

Dre' Bly

  • Cornerback
  • Acquired: Trade with Detroit, March 2007
  • Breakup: Bly was cut Tuesday with three years remaining on his contract. The release of Bly cost Denver more than $2 million in salary-cap room. Bly was never the top-flight cornerback Denver hoped he would be.

Travis Henry

  • Running back
  • Acquired: Free agent, March 2007
  • Breakup: He was cut last June after one disastrous season in which he was injured often and embroiled in drug issues with the league. He was cut after he stopped going to work. He is now dealing with a criminal drug case.

Dewayne Robertson

  • Defensive tackle
  • Acquired: Trade with New York Jets, April 2008.
  • Breakup: Robertson was cut Monday in move that saved Denver $16 million in cap room. He made very little impact during his one season in Denver,

Javon Walker

  • Wide receiver
  • Acquired: Trade with Green Bay, April 2006.
  • Breakup: He was cut after the 2007 season in which he was riddled by injury and in which he criticized the franchise. Like Denver's other big-name trade acquisitions in recent years, Walker came in with a brand new, big contract.

Gerard Warren

  • Defensive tackle
  • Acquired: Trade with Cleveland, March 2005
  • Breakup: Warren was traded to Oakland in training camp in 2007 after the team decided he didn't fit in a year after signing a six-year, $30-plus million deal. Warren had been solid in Oakland and the Broncos miss him.

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

A day after the Denver Broncos cut six players -- four of whom started on defense -- to save money, Denver cut another defensive starter.

 Bly

This time it wasn't done to save money. The Broncos cut cornerback Dre' Bly because they want to upgrade at right cornerback. Bly had three years remaining on his contract.

Awash in salary cap room, Denver was easily able to absorb a $2.6 million salary-cap hit to part ways with Bly, an 11-year veteran who has lost considerable speed. Bly had more than $9 million in dead money. The Broncos now have more than $17 million in dead money, including the contract of former running back Travis Henry, which is currently the highest in the league.

Still, Denver has more than $25 million in functional salary-cap room, and it is expected to try to fill several needs on defense in free agency. Denver will need to find five or six defensive starters through free agency and the draft. Expect Denver to look for cornerbacks in free agency. One possibility may be St. Louis' Ronald Bartell.

Bly never made the impact in Denver the Broncos had hoped for when he was acquired from Detroit for running back Tatum Bell and tackle George Foster in March 2007. The deal was considered a blockbuster for Denver, which emerged from a large list of teams pursuing Bly. The Broncos thought Bly would team with star Champ Bailey to make one of the best cornerback tandems in the league.

Yet, Bly, who is now an unrestricted free agent, was just average in Denver. However, he did play fairly well in the second half of 2008 when Bailey was hurt. In the end, Bly was another in a long line of big-name flops in Denver in the final years of the Mike Shanahan era.

The new Denver regime was so anxious to get rid of Bly that it paid to do it.

Around the AFC West

October, 8, 2008
10/08/08
7:36
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Afternoon ride around the AFC West:

Denver Broncos

Boss Bailey likes it when the Broncos play a 3-4 defense.

Former Broncos' running back Travis Henry makes bail.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs haven't been sack masters. It's clear they miss Jared Allen on the defensive line.

Rookie left tackle Branden Albert is back on the practice field.

Oakland Raiders

Derrick Burgess is hurt and Lane Kiffin is still talking to JaMarcus Russell.

San Diego Chargers

Nick Hardwick and Richard Seymour will be reunited.

Meanwhile, I will be on the Blogger's Blitz tonight at 8:41 ET on ESPN News to discuss this week's happenings in the AFC West.

Evening headlines

October, 3, 2008
10/03/08
7:20
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Evening ride around the AFC West:

Denver

Denver coach Mike Shanahan addressed former running back Travis Henry's arrest on drug trafficking charges.

Kansas City

Rookie left tackle Branden Albert is expected to miss just one game with an elbow injury.

San Diego

LaDainian Tomlinson wonders if the Chargers are better off not starting fast.

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Henry
The arrest of former Bills, Broncos and Titans running back Travis Henry is not only a sad tale, but it is an unnecessary one.

Travis Henry should have been taking his one day off from being an NFL running back Tuesday and preparing to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rather than being chased by DEA agents after an alleged major drug transaction Tuesday evening.

Henry, who will be 30 later this month, should still be playing in the NFL. Instead, he sits in a federal jail cell.

What a waste. But we've seen Henry take major steps toward first wasting his NFL career.

Henry seemed to have gotten his off-field life together in the winter of 2007 when Denver gave him a $22 million-plus contract. Denver had the intentions of making Henry their next star running back. It was a great fit. He was a perfect piece for Denver's zone-blocking scheme. He knew it. Henry often said he thought he was made to be a Denver running back.

After the first month of the 2007 season, things were going as planned as Henry was leading the NFL in rushing. Things started fell apart last October for Henry, and now we can call it the beginning of the end. He tested positive for marijuana use and was subject to a one-year NFL suspension.

After an eight-week battle, Henry had the suspension overturned on a technicality. Still, the distraction hurt the team, and Henry was injured for much of the second half of the season.

He took a major pay cut to stick with Denver this year. However, he was never motivated and he was cut after he stopped showing up for work. He was then suspended for a year by the league for marijuana use.

Out of a job and banned for a year, it was assumed around the league this three-time 1,000-yard rusher's NFL career was over.

Now, three months later, his life as a free man is in jeopardy.

What a waste.

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

The news that Travis Henry has tested positive for marijuana use again and is subject to a one-year suspension means his seven-year NFL career is probably over.

A source close to Henry suggested that Henry, who'll turn 30 this year, will try to get his life in order during this pending suspension and try to play in 2009. The question for Henry is, what team will want him?

He has received no interest from teams since being cut by Denver last month and that was before this news broke. Not only is Henry closing in on 30, an ancient age for running backs, but he has endured a lot of wear-and-tear on his body.

It is very difficult to believe that any NFL team will take a flier on a troubled, worn down 30-year-old tailback next summer.

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