AFC Links: Raiders, Thomas, Patriots, McPhee

Following news that the Raiders and Chargers proposed a shared Los Angeles stadium, there were rumors that Raiders owner Mark Davis was using the move as leverage for a new stadium in Oakland. The owner didn’t necessarily confirm that rumor, but he did acknowledge that he’d like to keep the organization in it’s current location (via Vic Tafur of

“That’s our No. 1 priority, to stay in Oakland, always has been and will continue to be,” Davis said. “We’re really trying to stay, and now there’s a great opportunity in Los Angeles. We need to get something done.”

Davis also touched on his relationship with Alex Spanos, the Chargers owner:

“My dad helped Alex (Spanos) get in the league, and while we have been fierce rivals on the field, we have common philosophies and goals,” Davis said. “And we have the same need. We are the two California teams that need a stadium.

“Together, we may be able to get it done.”

Let’s take a look at more rumors from the AFC…

  • As each day goes by, it sounds increasingly unlikely that Julius Thomas will return to the Broncos. Similar to many free agent departures, fingers are already being pointed, and the tight end’s agent believes the organization is to blame. “The Broncos came to me, we tried to get it done, it didn’t work,” said Frank Bauer (via Mike Klis of The Denver Post). “Does Julius love Denver? Yes. Does Julius love the fans there? No question. Does he love the organization and the community? Look at what he does for kids in that town…But for some reason people are trying to tear him down. In my opinion what they’re doing by tearing him down is pushing him away.”
  • While Patriots running backs Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley are set to hit the open market, the team has plenty of depth to compensate for their potential departure. Among that group would be Tyler Gaffney, who missed last season while recovering from an ACL injury. Ben Volin of The Boston Globe believes the team stashed Gaffney for a reason, and he’ll be given every chance to make the team’s roster in 2015 (Twitter links).
  • Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower underwent shoulder surgery this past week and is expected to miss anywhere from six to seven months. Jeff Howe of The Boston Herald writes that the injury could have an impact on negotiations with veteran Jerod Mayo and his $10MM cap hit for 2015.
  • It was anticipated that Ravens linebacker Pernell McPhee would be a commodity in free agency, and’s Vaughn McClure tweets that the 26-year-old is going to be more expensive than anticipated.
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