AFC West: Vernon Carey

AFC West team needs

March, 9, 2012
3/09/12
12:00
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Michael BushKelley L Cox/US PresswireRaiders running back Michael Bush could be a good fit for the rival Broncos.
Offseason movement starts Tuesday, when the free-agent signing period begins. Let’s take a look at the top needs of each team in the AFC West in free agency and in the draft:

Denver Broncos

1. Defensive line: The Broncos could use a stout defensive tackle even if Brodrick Bunkley returns. They need a tone setter. Denver hasn’t taken a defensive tackle in the first round since 1997 when it selected Trevor Pryce. Perhaps this is the time that streak ends.

Possible fits: The Dolphins' Paul Soliai, Memphis’ Dontari Poe, Mississippi State's Fletcher Cox, Michigan State's Jerel Worthy.

2. Secondary: Denver is too old at cornerback and too young at safety, especially with Brian Dawkins likely not returning. I think the Broncos will look to add to their secondary.

Possible fits: The Redskins' LaRon Landry, Boise State’s George Iloka, Alabama's Dre Kirkpatrick.

3. Running back: The Broncos want to add a running back to pair with Willis McGahee and will address this need either in free agency or early in the draft.

Possible fits: The Raiders' Michael Bush, the Chargers' Mike Tolbert, University of Miami's Lamar Miller, Virginia Tech's David Wilson, Boise State's Doug Martin.

Scouts Inc. take: "I also think that they need a lot of secondary help overall. I also think they really need a QB, but that is probably a discussion for a different day."
-- Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc.

Kansas City Chiefs

1. Offensive line: The Chiefs need a tackle. If they go for a left tackle, they can move Branden Albert to right tackle or they can get one. They might also be interested in a guard.

Possible fits: The Saints’ Carl Nicks, the Dolphins' Vernon Carey, the Eagles' King Dunlap, Stanford's Jonathan Martin, Iowa's Riley Reiff.

2. Nose tackle: The Chiefs have the makings of a strong defense, but they are missing a nasty nose tackle. They need to find one this offseason.

Possible fits: The Dolphins' Kendall Langford, the Ravens' Cory Redding, Soliai, Cox or Poe

3. Inside linebacker: The Chiefs could use one more standout linebacker to flourish in Romeo Crennel’s 3-4 defense.

Possible fits: Boston College's Luke Kuechly, Alabama's Dont'a Hightower

Scouts Inc. take: "Right tackle is far and away their biggest need. I would say nose tackle is second."
-- Matt Williamson

Oakland Raiders

1. Cornerback: The Raiders currently don’t have any starting-quality cornerbacks on the roster.

Possible fits: The Saints' Tracy Porter, the 49ers' Carlos Rogers, the Cardinals' Richard Marshall, the Jaguars' William Middleton, Vanderbilt's Casey Hayward.

2. Linebacker: I get the sense that the new Oakland regime would like to find at least one new starter. I think they can get a cornerstone linebacker who can set the tone for the defense.

Possible fits: The Vikings' Erin Henderson, the Seahawks' Leroy Hill, the Bengals' Manny Lawson, West Virginia's Bruce Irvin.

3. Offensive line: The Raiders' offensive line is a work in progress and they may be looking for at least one new
starter.

Possible fits: Texans' center Chris Myers, Texans' guard Mike Brisiel, Miami of Ohio's Brandon Brooks.

Scouts Inc. take: "Cornerback is far and away their biggest need. I would put right tackle and interior offensive line second."
-- Matt Williamson.

San Diego Chargers

1. Linebacker: The Chargers desperately need a game-changing linebacker. It will be a top priority in the first round of the draft and in free agency.

Possible fits: The Texans' Mario Williams, Alabama’s Courtney Upshaw, USC's Nick Perry, Illinois' Whitney Mercilus.

2. Defensive line: The Chargers like youngsters Corey Liuget, Vaughn Martin and Cam Thomas, but could use a stud veteran in the middle.

Possible fits: The Seahawks' Red Bryant, Redding, Soliai, Washington’s Alameda Ta'amu.

3. Offensive line: The Chargers may have to make wholesale changes on the line because of Kris Dielman's retirement, and because center Nick Hardwick and left tackle Jared Gaither will be free agents.

Possible fits: Nicks, Carey, Stanford’s Martin, Stanford's David DeCastro, Wisconsin's Peter Konz.

Scouts Inc. take: "To me, the Chargers need a lot. Offensive line is a massive need. Some receivers would be nice if Vincent Jackson leaves. On defense, I think they could use a little something at every level, but their biggest two spots would be at outside linebacker and strong safety."
-- Matt Williamson.

AFC West news and notes

February, 20, 2009
2/20/09
8:49
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Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

The Rocky Mountain News is reporting that Denver will move former first-round pick Jarvis Moss from defensive end to linebacker. The move had been anticipated with Denver switching to a 3-4 defense. Moss, entering his third season, is a good natural pass-rusher and this move gives him a chance to salvage his career.

  • Brian Xanders' old boss didn't give him a ringing endorsement as he begins his tenure as Denver's general manager.
  • The Oakland Tribune reports that the Raiders saved $6.2 million by cutting three players Friday.
  • The Kansas City Star reports Ball State quarterback Nate Davis met with the Chiefs at the combine. He could be a possibility in the second round. Still, Davis is a similar player to Tyler Thigpen so it would be a curious choice.
  • So much for the Chargers going after Miami tackle Vernon Carey. He re-signed with the Dolphins on Friday.

AFC West news and notes

February, 19, 2009
2/19/09
8:49
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Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

The word in Denver for the past couple of years was that Denver standout cornerback Champ Bailey was closely watching all the big-dollar contracts handed out to cornerbacks around the league.

Bailey signed a seven-year, $63 million deal with Denver after a trade from Washington in 2004. He has two more years remaining on his contract and it wouldn't be a shock if Bailey asks to redo his deal soon.

Bailey may especially be interested in a new deal after seeing Oakland cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha sign a three-year, $45 million deal, one of the richest deals NFL history.

Bailey will be 31 in June and he is coming off a season in which he suffered serious groin and elbow injuries. But he is still a prime cornerback. It won't be a surprise if he asks Denver to reconsider his deal soon.

  • With Julius Peppers getting the franchise tag in Carolina, the only big-name defender available is Tennessee defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. Conceivably, both Denver and Kansas City could make a run at Haynesworth. Both teams have needs on the defensive line and the necessary cap room. Still, it would be surprise if either the Broncos or the Chiefs made a run at Haynesworth.
  • The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Chargers and running back LaDainian Tomlinson will start discussing a new restructured contract on Sunday.
  • The Rocky Mountain News looks at all the dead money in Denver's vault after coaching and front-office changes.
  • Curtis Modkins, fired recently be Kansas City, has been hired as the running backs coach in Arizona. Ironically, he replaces Maurice Carthon who is now the assistant head coach in Kansas City.
  • Here's one name Chargers fans may want to keep tabs on during free agency: Miami tackle Vernon Carey.

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