AFC West mailbag

Mid-week mail call:

Tony from Denver wants to know if I think the Broncos’ leadership knows what it is doing in light of curious personnel decisions.

Bill Williamson: Well, Tony, there are reasons to question Denver’s recent decisions. Jarvis Green and Brandon Stokley were released after they were given bonuses. Second-year cornerback Alphonso Smith was traded to Detroit for little in return a year after Denver gave up its No. 1 pick in 2010 (No. 14) to draft him in the second round. Last month, Denver cut tackle Tyler Polumbus only to see the Lions claim him and then quickly trade him to Seattle for a pick. These decisions alone won’t make Denver a losing team, but they are signs that the front office may have to police itself better.

Eric from Fresno wants to know if I think second-year safety Mike Mitchell is safe in Oakland.

BW: Well, he’s on the team and that’s all we can go by. We’ve all heard the talk that the Oakland coaching staff didn’t want to keep Mitchell on the 53-man roster but owner Al Davis did because he was a second-round pick last year. I think all we can do is see how much Mitchell plays and if he makes any improvements. If he doesn’t, he will eventually fade away. Maybe Mitchell will turn into an impact player, but most NFL teams had him rated as an undrafted free agent. So, it’s fair to wonder.

Nico from Alexandria, Va., wants to know if Denver coach Josh McDaniels is fired before the 2012, what happens to Tim Tebow’s future as the starter in Denver.

BW: That’s, a very interesting question, Nico. Here’s the setup: Kyle Orton is set to by the starter through 2011 with Tebow likely taking over in 2012. That will be McDaniels’ fourth season in Denver. If the Broncos flounder in the next two seasons, McDaniels may be in big trouble. However, because he has a good working relationship with Tebow, Denver ownership would be patient with McDaniels even if the team did struggle because it wanted to see how Tebow would perform. But if McDaniels were to be fired before Tebow takes over, I think the next coach would be asked to give Tebow a chance. Too much is invested in Tebow to go away from him before he is given an opportunity to lead the team.