Maurice Drayton

AFC West Notes: Mathieu, Broncos, Raiders

As expected, the Chiefs prioritized Orlando Brown Jr. as their top free agent. Kansas City tagged its left tackle, which will likely lead Tyrann Mathieu to free agency. It is not a lock Mathieu departs Missouri; the Chiefs met with his camp at the Combine. But the All-Pro safety is expected to test the market, Rapoport of tweets. Mathieu will turn 30 this offseason, but he had a transformative effect on a Chiefs defense that was one of the NFL’s worst before his 2019 signing. The nine-year veteran should do very well for himself on the market. Mathieu’s Chiefs tenure re-established his value, with it coming after the Cardinals cut bait on his extension in 2018. The Honey Badger, who came to Kansas City after playing on a one-year deal in Houston in 2018, made two All-Pro teams on his three-year, $42MM Chiefs contract. Mathieu joins Marcus Williams and Quandre Diggs as the top safeties available. The Bengals tagged Jessie Bates on Monday, keeping him off the market.

Here is the latest from the AFC West:

  • Brown will not sign his franchise tender until he decides on representation, and Mike Garafolo of tweets the four-year veteran is considering acting as his own agent. This should not be too surprising, given Brown’s quest to move away from right tackle and establish himself as a high-end left tackle. Brown will earn $16.662MM on the tag this season, unless he and the Chiefs agree to an extension by July 15. A Brown re-up would help the Chiefs on the cap front. While moves can be made, including another adjustment to Patrick Mahomes‘ team-friendly contract, the Chiefs are $5MM over the cap after Brown’s tag.
  • A BroncosAaron Rodgers trade would be quite costly, though Denver’s high volume of post-Peyton Manning quarterbacks does well to convey the team’s desperation here. A Denver deal for Rodgers would cost the team at least two first-round picks and a Pro Bowl-caliber player on a manageable contract, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports notes, adding that the Broncos should be prepared to give Rodgers a record-breaking extension like the Packers are. The Broncos should also be expected to include a second-round pick, Mike Klis of 9News writes. The Broncos have Jerry Jeudy and Bradley Chubb as potential trade chips in this scenario, while productive wideout Tim Patrick is tethered to a $10MM-per-year extension. Denver holds four Day 2 picks this year (two seconds, two thirds), the extra two coming by way of its Von Miller trade. Miller is on the radar to rejoin the team as a free agent.
  • With Justin Herbert tied to his rookie deal through at least 2022, the Chargers have an opportunity this offseason. They are a team to watch for a splashy cornerback addition, with Garafolo tweeting they could be in the mix for J.C. Jackson or Stephon Gilmore. The Patriots may actually be ready to let Jackson hit the market, and Rapoport notes (video link) Gilmore should be expected to test free agency after playing out his Patriots-constructed contract. The Panthers would still like to retain Gilmore, but it will be costly. Gilmore will turn 32 in September.
  • Ex-Josh McDaniels Patriots coworker Jerry Schuplinski is now on the Raiders‘ staff as a senior offensive assistant. A Pats staffer from 2013-18, Schuplinski was the Giants’ QBs coach the past two seasons. The Raiders have also hired ex-Jaguars DBs coach Chris Ash to the same position, added ex-Packers special teams coordinator Maurice Drayton as their assistant ST coach and hired Cameron Clemmons as their assistant O-line coach. Additionally, Las Vegas is keeping Jon Gruden‘s son, Deuce, on staff as a strength and conditioning assistant.

Latest On Packers’ Coaching Staff

More changes have been made official today on the Packers’ coaching staff. The most notable of them, as Tom Silverstein of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, is that special teams coordinator Maurice Drayton will not return (Twitter link).

That news certainly doesn’t come as a surprise to many, given the unit’s struggles throughout the season. After ranking dead last in the league in terms of special teams DVOA, the issue came to a head in Green Bay’s loss to the 49ers in the Divisional round. With a blocked field goal at the end of the first half, and a blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter, the unit’s performance played a large role in yet another 13-win season coming to a premature end.

Problems in the third phase of the game are nothing new in Green Bay. As The Athletic’s Jason Wilde tweets, the news of Drayton’s departure continues a seemingly never-ending trend of new coordinators cycling in and out. The new ST coordinator will be the fourth in the past five seasons for the team. As ESPN’s Rob Demovsky notes, Drayton is the eighth consecutive ST coach to either be fired or forced out (Twitter link).

With Nathaniel Hackett and Luke Getsy being hired by the Broncos and Bears, respectively, other changes were necessary on the offensive staff. It has already been reported that Adam Stenavich has been promoted to OC, which left a vacancy in the role of offensive line coach. To fill it, Luke Butkus, who had previously been an assistant o-line coach in Green Bay for three seasons, got promoted (Twitter link via The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman).

Schneidman adds that Ryan Mahaffey is being promoted to assistant o-line coach after one season in Green Bay. As well, Connor Lewis has been promoted to assistant QBs coach following six seasons with the team. Lastly, wide receivers coach Jason Vrabel, who has spent three years with the Packers, including two in that role, has had passing game coordinator added to his title.

Coaching Notes: Pack, Rathman, McCardell

The Packers are making a change on special teams. They are firing ST coordinator Shawn Mennenga, according to Tom Pelissero of (on Twitter). A longtime college coach, Mennenga had previously served as Browns assistant ST coach before joining Matt LaFleur‘s staff in 2019. The Packers are expected to promote assistant ST coach Maurice Drayton to replace Mennenga, Pelissero tweets. At least one other team was interested in Drayton for such a role, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Drayton was in contention for this job two years ago.

Here is the latest out of Green Bay and from around the league:

  • Mike Pettine may not be locked in as Packers defensive coordinator next season. The veteran DC opted not to sign an extension last year, and Rob Demovsky of notes his contract is up. The Packers invested heavily in their pass rush and used three first-round picks on defenders from 2018-19 but dropped from 15th in defensive DVOA in 2019 to 17th this past season. Pettine is a holdover from Mike McCarthy‘s staff, having arrived in 2018.
  • Colts running backs coach Tom Rathman announced his retirement Thursday. The Colts hired Rathman in 2017, after his eight-year tenure as 49ers running backs coach ended. Rathman attempted to retire in 2019 and ’20, but the Colts successfully lobbied him to stay on, per The Athletic’s Stephen Holder (on Twitter). A decorated fullback who won two Super Bowls with the 49ers, Rathman coached running backs from 1997-2020. Sixteen of those years came in San Francisco.
  • Staying with the Colts, they are hiring former Jaguars QBs coach Scott Milanovich to replace Marcus Brady in that position, Joel Erickson of the Indianapolis Star tweets. Milanovich was Jacksonville’s QBs coach from 2017-19. Otherwise, he has spent his career in the CFL, having coached the Toronto Argonauts and, in 2020, the Edmonton Eskimos. The Colts promoted Brady to OC last week.
  • Longtime NFL wideout Keenan McCardell will resurface in Minnesota. The Vikings are hiring McCardell as receivers coach, per Gene Frenette of the Florida Times-Union (on Twitter). A longtime Jaguars pass catcher who broke into the coaching ranks in 2010, McCardell served as Jacksonville’s receivers coach from 2017-20 under Doug Marrone.
  • Ex-Colts DC Ted Monachino will be the Falcons‘ outside linebackers coach under Arthur Smith next season. Monachino, Indy’s DC from 2016-17, spent the past two years with the Bears. The Falcons also hired Jon Hoke to coach defensive backs. The older brother of Maryland HC Brady Hoke, Jon was the Terrapins’ defensive coordinator from 2019-20 but has coached NFL DBs for several seasons.

Coaching Rumors: Patriots, Falcons, Raiders

Both Patriots coordinators — Josh McDaniels (offense) and Matt Patricia (defense) — are expected to accept head coaching jobs this offseason, but they may not be the only top assistants to leave New England in the coming weeks. Special teams coordinator Joe Judge is also working on an expiring contract, according to Adam Schefter of, who adds Judge could follow either McDaniels or Patricia to Indianapolis or Detroit, respectively. The Patriots have finished as a top-eight special teams unit in DVOA in each of Judge’s seven seasons at the helm.

Here’s more from the coaching carousel:

  • If former Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard doesn’t land another DC job, it “wouldn’t be a surprise” to see him land with the Falcons, as Vaughn McClure of opines. The connection makes sense, as Richard preceded Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn as Seattle’s defensive play-caller, and also played alongside current Falcons DC Marquand Manuel. Richard likely wouldn’t become defensive coordinator in Atlanta, so he could hypothetically wait to see if he garners interest around the league before taking a lesser position with the Falcons.
  • Ohio State co-offensive coordinator Ryan Day is reportedly new Titans head coach Mike Vrabel‘s top choice to become Tennessee’s next OC, but Vrabel also has interest in Lions quarterbacks coach Brian Callahan, tweets Paul Kuharsky of Callahan has drawn coordinator interest around the league before, and could also be on the Jets’ radar as they seek to fill their OC vacancy. However, Detroit and new head coach Matt Patricia want to keep Callahan in place with the Lions.
  • The Raiders interviewed former Texas A&M (and current Arizona) head coach Kevin Sumlin, but it’s unclear which role Jon Gruden had in mind for the longtime NCAA coach. While Alex Marvez of the Sporting News recently reported Oakland met with Sumlin regarding its wide receivers coach job, Adam Schefter of indicates (via Twitter) Sumlin interviewed for offensive coordinator. The Raiders ultimately hired Edgar Bennett and Greg Olson for those respective gigs.
  • Before accepting a new position with the Giants, special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey interviewed with the Browns, according to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. Cleveland ultimately selected former Cardinals ST coach Amos Jones over McGaughey, who’s also coordinated special teams units for the Jets and 49ers.
  • Scott McCurley — who coached inside linebackers for the Packers in 2017 but was fired at season’s end — is now back with Green Bay, but could possibly be working under a new title, per Rob Demovsky of Additionally, the Packers have reassigned special teams assistant Jason Simmons to a defensive position, while former Colts staffer Maurice Drayton will replace Simmons’ ST duties.