AFC West Blog
The Denver Post says the Broncos "want to give [Montee] Ball the first chance at becoming their No. 1 running back in 2014." It's very unlikely that free-agent Knowshon Moreno will return to the Broncos in 2014, making Ball the most likely lead ball carrier for the Broncos.
Le'Ron McClain is a very good lead blocker. But lead blockers who play just 154 snaps and carry the ball 11 times aren't worth multiple millions of dollars. That's the judgment the Chargers made Tuesday as they released the seven-year vet.
McClain was heading into the final season on his three-year deal. While he never handled the rock often in San Diego, he was on the field for only 12 percent of the Chargers' snaps this season, and cutting him saves the Chargers about $2.5 million in cap space.
Latavius Murray's rookie season ended in August as he was put on injured reserve due to an ankle injury. But the Raiders definitely want to see what they can get out of the 24-year-old, 230-pound back with 4.40 speed.
"I think Latavius is one of those guys that we're anxious to see be healthy and get out there and play," Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said recently, via ESPN.com. "He's a big back that's got excellent speed and excellent size. He runs tough ... we'll find out a lot more about Latavius Murray as we go through the offseason program and into training camp."
The Raiders selected Murray in the sixth round of last year's draft.
Broncos' QB Peyton Manning passed his contractually obligated, end of the season neck exam on Monday according to team executive Vice President John Elway. Manning had already passed his team physical right after the Super Bowl, but added into his 96 million dollar free agent contract was language that could have voided the deal had he failed the neck exam at season's end.
Jamaal Charles had a marvelous season. He gained more than 2,000 yards from scrimmage, averaged five yards per carry and scored a league-high 19 touchdowns. He led the Chiefs in rushing yards, receiving yards and receptions. He finished second in the MVP voting and led many of you to fantasy championships.
What's possibly even more amazing is how Charles' body was able to handle everything the Chiefs demanded. Charles touched the ball 329 times and remained relatively healthy for the entire season despite weighing about 200 pounds. Actually, Charles has remained unbroken in the last two seasons as he took on 649 combined touches. That much work on a small frame usually spells disaster in the NFL, and head coach Andy Reid recognizes that. According to ESPN.com's Adam Teicher on Thursday, Reid indicated that he intends to use Charles a little less and backup runing back Knile Davis a little more in 2014.
"Knile was a rookie and he was learning every week and getting better every week," Reid said. "As the season went on we were able to give him the ball a little bit more. Coming into this season, we'll be able to mix it up a little bit better than what we did early in the season last year."