Lechler's time in Oakland could be ending

ProFootballtalk.com offers a great point why it doesn’t make much sense for Oakland to give punter Shane Lechler the franchise tag.

Lechler is 36, he has had injuries and his play slipped some last season. Still, he has value, but not at more than $5 million a year.

I could still see him coming back to Oakland, but if he gets a solid offer somewhere on the open market, one of the greatest punters of all-time could be leaving. The AFC West is a very strong punting division, so if Lechler leaves Oakland, he will likely also be leaving the division. The only way that could change is if Kansas City Pro Bowl punter Dustin Colquitt leaves as a free agent. But the Chiefs want Colquitt back.

In other AFC West news:

  • ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting USC quarterback Matt Barkley will not throw at this week’s NFL combine because his shoulder injury is still not healed. Barkley is confident he will be able to throw at his pro day next month. I don’t think the fact that Barkley can’t throw this week impacts Kansas City’s draft preparation. Barkley was more likely a potential target as a second-round pick than the No.1 overall pick prior to this news.

  • Former Denver quarterback Jake Plummer is helping Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein prepare for the draft.

  • Here is more smoke that Brad Childress will eventually join Andy Reid’s staff in Kansas City.

  • In an Insider piece, ESPN.com has a list of the top 50 free agents available.