The AFC West has been a competitive division over the past couple of seasons. The emergence of Patrick Mahomes has given the Chiefs a recent edge, but the dominant play of Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning once had the Chargers and Broncos as the class of the division. The cellar-dwelling Raiders made headlines hiring Jon Gruden as the coach and moving the franchise to Las Vegas but the results on the field are still leaving little to be desired.
As free agency began, the Raiders emerged as one of the favorites to potentially sign Tom Brady but that fell through quickly. The Chiefs are the defending champs so keeping the core together was their main priority. As for the Chargers and Broncos, they swapped stars as players chose to leave in free agency but stay in the division. Check out the AFC West Free Agency tracker below!
Kansas City Chiefs – One of the few moves the Chiefs made this offseason was signing Jordan Ta’amu. Who is that you might ask? Granted, if all goes well, Jordan will never see the field for the Chiefs unless they are up by 50, but he is being signed out of the XFL which is huge news. He was a top-rated talent in the XFL and if he proves to be a solid backup in the NFL, we might see more players moving from the XFL to the NFL. Patrick Mahomes is a dynamite QB but Andy Reid needed a safety valve and Ta’amu makes sense for the defending champs.
Los Angeles Chargers – Chris Harris Jr. is a sneaky good signing for the LA Chargers. The former Bronco is an elite cornerback and will most likely shadow the team’s top wideouts. This will help a lot as the Chargers will be seeing Tyreek Hill and Cortland Sutton twice a year. Harris was recently selected to the NFL All-Decade team for the 2010s, so the Chargers knew what they were getting when they went after him. With Harris, Derwin James, and Joey Bosa, the Chargers have a formidable core on the defensive side of the ball.
Las Vegas Raiders – Marcus Mariota is about the only noteworthy move that was made for a team and a fanbase in need of a big signing this offseason. With all the talk about maybe landing Tom Brady, fans must be pretty disappointed that this has been the biggest move the team has made. Mariota has proven that he is not a franchise quarterback and will be a backup to the already shaky starter Derek Carr. Other additions include Cory Littleton, an inside linebacker from the LA Rams and Nelson Agholor, a streaky wide receiver during his time with the Eagles.
Denver Broncos – Potentially the biggest signing in the AFC West was the Denver Broncos getting Melvin Gordon. He is an elite level running back who was unable to come to terms with his former team, the Chargers. I personally don’t like the signing since the Broncos have a young running back in Phillip Lindsay that has proven himself worthy of the starting role time and time again. However, the Chargers had one of the most productive backfields last season with Gordon and Austin Ekeler so the Broncos could be trying to recreate that success. It seems as though they could have addressed other issues but it is an interesting dynamic with Gordon staying in the division