Contract battles remain in AFC West

The Denver Broncos gave star linebacker Elvis Dumervil a huge, $61.5 million extension last week. The deal will keep Dumervil, who led the NFL with 17 sacks last season, in Denver for the next six seasons. Still, there are some other high-profile players in the AFC West who still have uncertain contract situations.

The following is a look at some of the players who have pending contract issues:

Champ Bailey, cornerback, Denver: Bailey is entering the final season of a seven-year contract with the Broncos. Bailey, 32, said he will play out the season without any issues and he hopes to stay in Denver. Bailey said in June he knew Dumervil was the top priority in Denver and he was fine with it. Now that Dumervil’s situation has been addressed, expect Bailey and the Broncos to start thinking about the future.

Vincent Jackson, receiver, San Diego: Jackson is a restricted free agent who has not signed his tender. He is expected to hold out unless San Diego gives him an extension. That is not going to happen soon. So, expect a long holdout by Jackson.

Marcus McNeill, left tackle, San Diego: McNeill is in the same situation as Jackson. The Chargers are reluctant to give out new deals because of the uncertainty of the CBA. But there are indications that the team wants to retain McNeill.

Shawne Merriman, linebacker, San Diego: Merriman is also a restricted free agent who has not signed his tender. But he is expected to be at camp because he has to show he is completely recovered from a 2008 knee surgery. Merriman will be paid by some team in 2010, the question is whether San Diego will be the team to sign Merriman or not. We won’t know that answer until after the season when Merriman shows he is still an elite player.

Richard Seymour, defensive lineman, Oakland: Seymour was franchised and he will make more than $12 million this year. Oakland will try to keep him next year. Expect Oakland to get a new deal for Seymour finalized after the season. The Raiders are known for paying top dollar to keep their best players off the open market. Considering that the Raiders gave up their top pick to New England to get Seymour, there is little chance they will let him walk.