AFC West Free Agency Thoughts Week 1

NFL Betting: AFC West Free Agency Thoughts Week 1

Written by on March 25, 2020

You might not have known it, but the AFC West has produced at least one team that has won a minimum of a dozen games in seven of the last eight seasons, including last season when the Super Bowl-winning Kansas City Chiefs went 12-4. Having said that, the AFC West also produced a trio of teams last season that fall failed to record winning records. Following a flurry of roster-altering transactions that saw a bunch of change in the AFC West, let’s find out how each AFC West resident did in free agency and what could lie in store for them in 2020.

AFC West Free Agency Thoughts Week 1

Kansas City Chiefs

Additions/players brought back:

  • DI Chris Jones (franchise tag)
  • RB Damien Williams (option picked up)

Losses:

  • CB Kendall Fuller
  • EDGE Emmanuel Ogbah

The defending Super Bowl champions didn’t make many moves in free agency, but the ones they did, they nailed. Kansas City Chiefs slapped the franchise tag on Pro Bowl defensive lineman Chris Jones and picked up the option on talented running back Damien Williams, while parting ways with cornerback Kendall Fuller and edge rusher Emmanuel Ogbah. The Chiefs will have to pay quarterback Patrick Mahomes in the near future and really, they have a roster that is fairly rock-solid just as it was when they stepped off the field as Super Bowl 54 champs.

  • Grade: B
  • Odds to Win the AFC West: -350
  • Odds to Win AFC: +275
  • Odds to Win Super Bowl: +500

Los Angeles Chargers

Additions/players brought back:

  • T Bryan Bulaga (signed for three years, $30 million)
  • G Trai Turner (via trade)
  • TE Hunter Henry (franchise tag)
  • RB Austin Ekeler (re-signed for four years, $24.5 million, $15 million guaranteed)
  • CB Chris Harris Jr. (signed for two years, $20 million, $7.5 million guaranteed)
  • DI Linval Joseph (signed for two years, $17 million)

Losses:

  • T Russell Okung (via trade)
  • QB Philip Rivers
  • RB Melvin Gordon III
  • S Adrian Phillips
  • LB Thomas Davis

Los Angeles Chargers parted ways with longtime franchise quarterback Philip Rivers, but I like head coach Anthony Lynn’s plan to go with veteran Tyrod Taylor, at least, for the immediate future. The Bolts also added veteran guard Bryan Bulaga and franchised tagged talented tight end Hunter Henry. LA also re-signed play-making running back Austin Ekeler and made a great pair of additions on the defensive side of the ball by signing veteran cornerback Chris Harris jr. and defensive tackle Joseph Linval. Overall, the Bolts had a fantastic free agent signing period.

  • Grade: A
  • Odds to Win the AFC West: +800
  • Odds to Win AFC: +1800
  • Odds to Win Super Bowl: +4000

Las Vegas Raiders

Additions/players brought back:

  • LB Cory Littleton (signed for three years, $36 million)
  • LB Nick Kwiatkoski (signed for three years, $21 million, $13.5 million guaranteed)
  • CB Eli Apple (signed)
  • QB Marcus Mariota (signed)
  • TE Jason Witten (signed for one year, $4.75 million)
  • S Jeff Heath (signed for two years, $8 million)
  • EDGE Carl Nassib (signed for three years, $25 million, $17 million guaranteed)
  • WR Nelson Agholor (signed for one year)

Losses:

  • S Karl Joseph
  • CB Daryl Worley
  • S Curtis Riley

Las Vegas Raiders made a pair of great addictions on the defensive side of the ball by signing veteran linebackers Nick Kwiatkoski and Cory Littleton. Both players excel against the run and pass equally well and will help improve Oakland’s overly generous defense from a year ago. Oakland also made two more solid moves on defense by signing veteran edge rusher Carl Nassib and safety Jeff Heath, while taking a flier on cornerback Eli Apple. On the offensive side of the ball, Oakland brought in former No. 2 overall draft pick (2015) Marcus Mariota to either motivate or supplant starter Derek Carr. The Raiders also brought in future Hall of Fame tight end Jason Witten who should provide some quality depth even if he doesn’t start. Last, but not least, Oakland took a flier of failed former Philadelphia Eagles wideout  Nelson Agholor. Overall, the Raiders get a very good grade!

  • Grade: B+
  • Odds to Win the AFC West: +800
  • Odds to Win AFC: +3000
  • Odds to Win Super Bowl: +4000

Denver Broncos

Additions/players brought back:

  • S Justin Simmons (franchise tag)
  • DI Jurrell Casey (via trade)
  • CB A.J. Bouye (via trade)
  • G Graham Glasgow (signed for four years, $44 million, $25 million guaranteed)
  • RB Melvin Gordon (signed for two years, $16 million, $13.5 million guaranteed)
  • TE Nick Vannett (signed for two years)

Losses:

  • CB Chris Harris Jr.
  • DI Shelby Harris
  • C Connor McGovern
  • DI Derek Wolfe
  • FB Andy Janovich (via trade)

The Denver Broncos may or may not need a quarterback depending on how Drew Lock looks early on in 2020, but Denver did add former Pro Bowl running back Melvin Gordon and veteran guard Graham Glasgow while slapping the franchise tag on gifted safety Justin Simmons. The bad news is that the broncos also lost veteran cornerback Chris Harris Jr. and veteran center Connor McGovern. Denver traded a fourth-round draft pick for veteran cornerback A.J. Bouye who will be looking to prove himself after a down 2019 and they traded a seventh-round pick for underrated defensive tackle Jurrell Casey. Overall, it looks like the Broncos had a mediocre free agent signing period.

  • Grade: C
  • Odds to Win the AFC West: +800
  • Odds to Win AFC: +2500
  • Odds to Win Super Bowl: +6600