AFC Notes: Houston, Chiefs, Ravens

Former Cardinals defensive tackle Dan Williams knows a thing or two about watching a team go from the bottom to the top. Now with the Raiders, the veteran is confident that we will see something similar in Oakland, Scott Bair of writes.

I don’t know how the Raiders were before I got there, but just the fact that the coaches we have now – these guys have a great plan,” said Williams, who signed a four-year, $15MM contract this offseason to help anchor the run defense. “They pretty much laid out the foundation, and now it’s pretty much on the players to buy in. We’ve been doing a great job so far at buying in to what they want us to do.”

Will the new blood in Oakland, including new head coach Jack Del Rio, be enough to turn things around in 2015? Only time will tell. Here’s more from the AFC..

  • Joel Corry of looked at Justin Houston‘s situation with the Chiefs and attempted to hammer out a fair contract solution for both sides. Ultimately, Corry suggests a deal worth $81.25MM with $48MM guaranteed and $28.375MM fully guaranteed at the time of signing. The deal is a happy medium of the average of five highest-paid non-quarterbacks, average of five-highest paid defensive players and average of three highest-paid pass rushers while holding true to KC’s contract preferences and conventions. The deal would also provide the Chiefs with $8MM+ of some badly needed salary cap relief. At present, KC has just $550K in salary room.
  • The Ravens have been trending younger and younger in recent years and Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun wonders if that trend will continue in 2015. it’s hard to tell where things will be at for Baltimore since we’re so far away from the 53-man cutdown, but it’s possible that the streak will come to an end this year. At this time last year, the Ravens had nine players who were on the wrong side of 30. This year, they have ten, including key pillars such as Joe Flacco, Dennis Pitta, Terrell Suggs, and Steve Smith.
  • Matt Calkins of U-T San Diego fears that everything is falling apart for the Chargers. So far this offseason, the Bolts have watched Philip Rivers turn down a contract extension, Eric Weddle declare that this is last season in San Diego, and now veteran Antonio Gates has been hit with a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing policy. As all of this goes on, the possibility of relocation lurks over the franchise and its loyal fans.
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