View Full Version : Early AFC West free-agency review

Bronco Rob
03-13-2010, 04:23 AM
Early AFC West free-agency review

By Bill Williamson


Big news: Brandon Marshall. The Broncos set the stage for Marshallís departure by putting the first-round tender on him. It didnít take long for Marshall to attract interest. Seattle set up a visit to bring in Marshall on the first day of free agency. The Marshall situation could drag on, especially if other teams show interest. But the fact that Marshall was in another teamís building over the weekend is big news.

Surprise: The new-look defensive line. Last year, in his first as Denverís coach, Josh McDaniels remade the Broncosí defensive line. He is doing it again in his second year. The Broncos have signed defensive linemen Justin Bannan, Jarvis Green and Jamal Williams. All three of these players are expected to play major roles.

Best decision: Giving Elvis Dumervil the high tender. Dumervil, 26, represents the future for Denver. He led the NFL with 17 sacks last season. Had Denver not put the high tender of a first- and third-round pick on Dumervil, he would be popular in free agency. With the high tender, Dumervil probably is staying put.

Worst decision: Not being flexible on Marshallís compensation. It has been reported that the Broncos will keep Marshall if they donít get a first-round pick in return for him. Perhaps this is posturing. But unless other teams start pursuing him, I donít see Seattle giving up a first-round pick. Yet, the Seahawks could offer other creative compensation. Ultimately, the Broncos want to part ways with Marshall, but this high price tag could prevent that from happening.

Whatís needed: Continue to get bigger. The Broncos added size to the defensive front. Now, they have to do so on the offensive line. Denver is moving away from the zone-blocking scheme to a more traditional power-blocking attack. The Broncos need a left guard and a center.

kansas city

Big news: Thomas Jones signing. Next to the trade for quarterback Matt Cassel last year, this is the biggest move of the Scot Pioli era to date. The addition of Jones shows Kansas City is willing to spend and it wants to get better. The veteran running back will help this offense.

Surprise: How aggressive the chefs planned to be. Last year, the Chiefs were criticized for not being active. This year has been a different story. They were planning to pursue San Diegoís Darren Sproles had he hit the open market, and they tried to trade for receiver Anquan Boldin. Before signing Jones, Kansas City also was considering fellow running backs Justin Fargas and Willie Parker. It is clear the Chiefs are determined to get better.

Best decision: Re-signing Chris Chambers. Adding Jones and keeping Chambers will help kansas cityís offense evolve in the first year under new offensive coordinator Charlie Weis. Chambers was Casselís favorite target when he was claimed off waivers by San Diego in November. A full season of playing with Chambers should help Cassel.

Worst decision: Not trading for Boldin. A receiving crew of Chambers, Boldin and Dwayne Bowe would have been formidable. The Chiefs have two second-round picks next month. It might have been worth it to trade one to get Boldin and really open up the offense.

Whatís needed: Keep spending. The chefs are on the right track. But they need more talent throughout the team. They need to add more pieces, perhaps on the offensive line and in the defensive back eight.


Big news: No big spending. For the second year in a row, the Raiders are watching free agency as bystanders. Two years ago, the Raiders spent wildly. It didnít work, and most of their 2008 free-agency class has been cut. The Raiders are sitting on the sideline in this uncapped year. You would think Al Davis would make a splash or two, but he has been very quiet.

Surprise: The release of Greg Ellis. The defensive end was cut after one season with the team. Ellis had seven sacks last year, but he dealt with injuries. Still, he may have a year or two left. Yet, the Raiders decided to go with youth at the position. Perhaps that is a good sign of things to come. Of course, they gave another 30-year-old defensive end, Richard Seymour, the franchise tag after giving up a 2011 first-round pick for him. You never know the thought process in Oakland.

Best decision: The release of Javon Walker. This move was a long time coming. Walker was one of the worst free-agent decisions in NFL history. Oakland gave him a six-year, $55 million deal with $16 million in guaranteed money in 2008. He had 15 catches in two seasons in Oakland. He never helped.

Worst decision: Giving Stanford Routt the high tender. The backup cornerback was given the high tender of a first- and third-round pick. Routt is not a starter and is a marginal backup. Even if Oakland put the first-round tender on Routt, he wouldnít have attracted interested. The move simply cost the Raiders money and served no purpose.

Whatís needed: The Raiders have to spend some. Itís admirable that Oakland has learned its lesson from its horrible spending spree of two years ago. But the Raiders need help. This isnít a playoff- quality roster. The team needs help in several areas. The Raiders donít have to spend huge, but they do need some new players.

San Diego

Big news: The team is losing numbers. The Chargers cut former stars LaDainian Tomlinson and Jamal Williams. Then they traded cornerback Antonio Cromartie and lost free agents Kassim Osgood and Brandon Manumaleuna. The Chargers have not added any players of note. San Diego prides itself on its depth and none of these players are irreplaceable, but the Chargers could miss some of them.

Surprise: The Chargers gave the high tender to running back Darren Sproles. San Diego was expected to let the change-of-pace running back/return star test the market, but Sproles was tendered at the deadline. Good thing for San Diego, because Sproles probably would have been signed within 48 hours on the open market.

Best decision: Trading Antonio Cromartie. The team grew tired of the cornerback, who struggled at times on the field and had some off-field issues. Cromartie was sent to the Jets for a 2011 third-round pick that could turn into a second-round pick, depending on playing time. It was a good value for a player San Diego couldnít wait to part ways with.

Worst decision: Not re-signing Jamal Williams. Only because it allowed Denver to sign him. Williams probably doesnít have much left. But if he does, the Chargers will regret seeing Williams play well for a rival.

Whatís needed: A running back. The Chargers are taking a calculated risk. They are not impressed with the free-agent class, so they are waiting for the draft. It is a deep draft. The Chargers clearly feel they can get a primary back then. Still, it is a tad scary waiting for an unknown rookie to be the primary back.


03-13-2010, 09:03 AM
So the worst decision is not being flexible with compensation for Marshall. Who wants to bet that the worst decision would be giving Marshall up for less than a first round pick if that had happened?

03-13-2010, 09:40 AM
So the worst decision is not being flexible with compensation for Marshall. Who wants to bet that the worst decision would be giving Marshall up for less than a first round pick if that had happened?

Yeah, that struck me as well. There is no reason to be flexible on compensation in March. I think there's a chance we'll soften if there isn't anything on the table leading into the draft, but right now it would make no sense.

And I don't mean soften in terms of overall compensation, just the hard line on the 1st rounder. I'd consider taking 2nd and 4th rounders from Seattle if they add in Deion Branch.

There's going to be some 1st round talent left on the board at #40: Brandon Spikes, Cam Thomas, Vlad Ducasse, Arrelious Benn, JD Walton, to name a few The 4th round is a perfect spot to get the developmental QB we need to take.

With Branch we'd get a guy who wouldn't be happy in Seattle behind Marshall and Housh, and will step right into the system and contribute.

03-13-2010, 03:44 PM
The Raiders


Still trying to figure out how they beat us!!

03-13-2010, 03:51 PM
Burger Bill makes no sense. He claims J. Williams will play a large role for Denver, yet his SD synopsis claims J. Williams "probably" has nothing left. Make up your mind you tub of pork fat and elf jizz.


03-14-2010, 01:18 AM
So the worst decision is not being flexible with compensation for Marshall. Who wants to bet that the worst decision would be giving Marshall up for less than a first round pick if that had happened?

If that's the best the guy could come up with then it may mean that McD and company are doing good work and making the proper decisions.

So far McD is playing it straight up with Marshall. Marshall knows that he will be playing for a one year tender or will be traded for an extra 1st in the upcoming draft.

I personally don't think McD will budge an inch from this current position Marshall.

03-14-2010, 01:48 AM
Bill is clueless. The Broncos don't want to just part ways with BM. If they could get a 1st round pick, they might. That said they may not just want any 1st round pick. I doubt they would like giving NE BM for a very low 1st round pick. It would have to be to a team in the NFC or at least not a powerhouse AFC team. They could decide to match in that case. If the Broncos can't get value in return for BM, they will keep him. It's simple. They don't just want to get rid of him as Bill says. He's not using any logic with that statement.

03-14-2010, 10:38 AM
Off to work!


Bronco Rob
03-15-2010, 04:10 AM

03-15-2010, 04:19 AM
The Raiders


Still trying to figure out how they beat us!!

Because they averaged like 48 yards per carry...