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NFC West

(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

AFC West 2018 Free Agency Preview

NFC West
Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs hold the crown over the AFC West, for now. (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Football is over but the offseason is always exciting. The AFC West seems like one of the few divisions that seem to be up for grabs. The Raiders won in 2016 and fell off the map just a year later. The Chiefs won in 2017 but are completely starting over with Patrick Mahomes. The Chargers might have the best roster in the division but are led by a running back coach, Anthony Lynn. The same could be said for the Broncos who are run by a clown in Vance Joseph but otherwise have a decent roster.

With the AFC West so wide open, this offseason should determine who comes out as the favorite in the division. What can we expect from the AFC South during free agency in 2018?

Denver Broncos:

Free Agents: Donald Stephenson, Virgil Green, Todd Davis, Jamaal Charles, Jared Crick, Allen Barbre, Cody Latimer, Billy Wynn, Brock Osweiler, Bennie Fowler, Matt Paradis, Shaq Barrett

The Broncos lose a lot of depth but no one that the team needs to bring back. Denver has about $22 million to spend but really don’t have a whole lot of needs outside of the offensive line. The Broncos need to beef up that offensive line but really where else could they spend money? The defense is pretty solid but aging. Could they be gearing up for a run at Kirk Cousins?

Kansas City Chiefs:

Free Agents: Bennie Logan, Dustin Colquitt, Derrick Johnson, Anthony Sherman, Albert Wilson, Jarvis Jenkins, Phillip Gaines, De’Anthony Thomas, Kevin Pierre-Louis, Zach Fulton, Ramik Wilson

With $12 million in cap space, the Chiefs could reel in one or two free agents to fix the roster. It’s shocking that they don’t have a lot to work with considering they dumped significant money in the Alex Smith deal. Kansas City can create real cap space by releasing Tamba Hali, Dee Ford, and Allen Bailey upping their total to $36 million, however.

Marcus Peters is apparently also on his way out which could explain why they coveted Kendall Fuller. They have the money to attack his brother Kyle who is an impending free agent from the Bears.

Los Angeles Chargers:

Free Agents: Antonio Gates, Matt Slauson, Jeremiah Attaochu, Kellen Clemens, Nick Novak, Brandon Oliver, Jeff Cumberland, Tre Boston, Tyrell Williams

The Chargers actually have a really good roster. It’s also a plus that they have $32 million in cap space. The LA lightning bolts can add but does it really matter when a running back coach is running the team? Philip Rivers is at the end of the road so the time to win is now. LA could really use complimentary players for that defense besides for the two bookend pass rushers (Melvin Ingram / Joey Bosa).  Bringing back Antonio Gates on a one-year deal also makes too much sense.

Oakland Raiders:

Free Agents: Aldon Smith, Reggie Nelson, NaVorro Bowman, Denico Autry, E.J. Manuel, Justin Ellis, Keith McGill, Travis Carie, Shilique Calhoun, James Cowser, Georgio Tevecchio

Jon Gruden is the new man in charge and gets to really shape this roster just the way he wants. The good news is he already has a franchise quarterback. With $25 million in the bank, Oakland can afford to add some pieces. Preferably, those pieces should come on the defensive side of the ball. Oakland was a turnstile of sorts in 2017 as opposing offenses could do whatever they wanted a year ago. The Raiders also have to find a way to pay the only defender they have after this year, Khalil Mack.

 

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