NFL Nation: Arizona Cardianls

While the Oakland Raiders continue to work on their quarterback issues, they need to also figure out the cornerback position.

Oakland has two starting spots open at the position. Take Terence Newman off the list. He has agreed to return to Cincinnati. Newman visited Oakland early in free agency and took an extended time to decide where he was going to play. He tweeted that he turned down more money from Oakland to return to the Bengals.

The Raiders are still in the mix for Tracy Porter and Mike Jenkins. Porter visited this week and Jenkins, who is getting interest from Jacksonville and Buffalo, is set to soon visit Oakland.

Meanwhile, the quarterback wait continues in Oakland. The Raiders are in trade talks with Seattle about backup Matt Flynn. It’s been reported that if Oakland can figure out a contract with Flynn, the deal will happen. Current Oakland starter Carson Palmer could also agree to take a reduced contract to stay.

If both the Flynn and Palmer talks blow up -- there’s already talk that Arizona (starter) and San Francisco (backup) could make a play for Palmer if he is cut --- the Raiders reportedly might turn to former Arizona quarterback Kevin Kolb. There is no timetable for this scenario to unfold. It could happen Saturday or extend into next week.

In other AFC West news:

CBS Sports reports the Denver Broncos are an option for veteran cornerback Antoine Winfield. He has other interest, and the veteran cornerback market is not a big priority for Denver right now.

Former Jets guard Matt Slauson signed with Chicago. He had been connected to Oakland because he played for new Oakland offensive line coach Tony Sparano last season.

Pass-rusher Dwight Freeney is being connected to Detroit. Denver has some interest, but Freeney’s price tag is currently too high. Denver might adjust its pass-rushing sights on the draft.
We have our first big AFC West news Tuesday with guard Louis Vasquez going from San Diego to Denver in NFL free agency.

This is a move that strengthens the best team in the division and hurts the Chargers.

Vasquez is considered a tough, hard-nosed player and a solid pro. He signed for four years with a deal worth nearly $6 million a year. I would think this means the end of the Chris Kuper era in Denver. Kuper has been dealing with injuries, and there had been talk that Orlando Franklin would move from right tackle to guard.

Now, I’d expect Vasquez and Franklin to combine to be one of the better run-blocking right sides of a line. Both are big road graders.

I know the Chargers want to get more athletic on the offensive line, and they didn’t have much contact with Vasquez. But the truth is, he was their best offensive lineman, and the Chargers now may have as many as four holes on the O-line. This is a position group that has to be addressed soon.

In other AFC West news:

U-T San Diego is reporting the Chargers signed Dallas tight end John Phillips, who will likely play in a backup role. He has 30 catches in three NFL seasons.

The Alex Smith trade to Kansas City from San Francisco, as expected, became official.

The Chargers claimed running back Fozzy Whittaker, who was cut by the Cardinals on Monday. He was with new San Diego offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt in Arizona. But Whittaker will have to prove he deserves a spot on San Diego's roster.

As expected, the Chargers cut defensive tackle Antonio Garay. The move saves them $5 million.

ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reports Kansas City defensive end Glenn Dorsey will visit the 49ers.
The San Diego Chargers continue to make cuts as they have jettisoned safety Atari Bigby.

This move is not a big surprise. Bigby, who had 79 tackles last season, was not considered a top starter. The Chargers probably will be able to easily find a replacement. In-house candidates Darrell Stuckey and Brandon Taylor are possibilities. One potential replacement could be former Arizona safety Adrian Wilson. He was cut Friday. Former Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt is now on San Diego’s staff.

Thursday, San Diego cut linebacker Takeo Spikes. The Chargers also will likely cut defensive tackle Antonio Garay and left tackle Jared Gaither.

As for free agency, don’t be surprised if the team shows interest in Colts’ cornerback Jerraud Powers. He was in Indianapolis with new San Diego general manager Tom Telesco. The team will let starting cornebracks Antoine Cason and Quentin Jammer test the market.

Posted by's Bill Williamson

With Denver agreeing to terms with former Indianapolis defensive tackle Darrell Reid, the team has now signed seven free agents in the first 36-plus hours of free agency.

To put the Broncos' wild spree in perspective, the other three AFC West teams haven't signed any players.

Sure, Oakland is sniffing around tackles Khalif Barnes and Marvel Smith; San Diego is thinking about bringing back cornerback Drayton Florence after a year's detour to Jacksonville and Kansas City traded for New England linebacker Mike Vrabel. But the only inking going on thus far in this division is coming out of the Rocky Mountains.

None of the names Denver has signed so far will overwhelm you but the new regime, led by coach Josh McDaniels, is trying to create competition and depth.

Here is a recap of the players Denver has agreed to deals with so far:

Houston Texans receiver David Anderson (restricted offer sheet); Arizona Cardinals running back J.J. Arrington; Philadelphia Eagles running back Correll Buckhalter: New England Patriots receiver Jabar Gaffney; Miami Dolphins safety Renaldo Hill; New England Patriots long snapper Lonie Paxton and Indianapolis' Reid.

The team is also trying to finalize deals with Philadelphia safety Brian Dawkins and Cleveland linebacker Andra Davis. Dawkins would certainly be the big catch of the group and if Denver is going to finalize the deal, it could come at any time.




Thursday, 9/18
Sunday, 9/21
Monday, 9/22