Free Agency – AFC West
The beginning stages of the off season are here, the draft buzz has started after a superb week in Mobile at the Senior Bowl, the Free Agency hype just got lit with the Redskins striking first to acquire Alex Smith as their new franchise QB going forward, meaning the scramble for Kirk Cousins’ signature has begun and we also have Sunday and SuperBowl LII to look forward to.
For the next Free Agency preview, I look at the AFC West, where 3 of the teams have a franchise QB in situ and one will most likely pursue Cousins or take their chances on one of this year’s rookie crop.
Kansas City Chiefs
Current Cap Space Available: $2,184,217
Notable Free Agents: Bennie Logan DT, Albert Wilson WR
After moving Smith onto the Redskins, the Chiefs have addressed many issues they had going into the offseason.
From the trade alone, they have improved their cap situation, though more work is to be done, found a cornerback to play opposite Marcus Peters in the acquisition of Kendall Fuller and decided now is the time to unleash Mahomes after picking him in the 1st round of last year’s NFL draft as their QB of the future.
I can’t imagine they will be major player in Free agency given that the cap situation is still not all that healthy even after moving Smith’s contract, but they will want to address some positions.
If they don’t resign Wilson, perhaps a wide receiver of the ilk of Dontrelle Inman would fit the bill.
He did nothing wrong in Chicago when he made it onto the field and could be a good outlet for Mahomes when Kelce and Hill aren’t open.
On the defensive line, perhaps the return of an old friend might be on the cards, as Dontari Poe could be viewed as a replacement should Logan move on.
Some help for Justin Houston and Tamba Hali to get to the opposing QB might be in order and OLB Junior Galette would probably be a cheap option to give some help in that department.
Current Cap Space Available: $32,838,124
Notable Free Agents: Jeremiah Attaouchu LB, Antonio Gates TE
Things are pretty thin on the Offensive Line depth chart in LA, especially at Tackle.
They could improve their run defence no end should they pick up someone like Demario Davis and Zach Brown could be in play also at Linebacker out of Washington.
If they don’t resign Tre Boston, the Safety position will also need to be addressed to pair with Addae.
One other major decision will have to be made, they need to make their mind up about a Kicker!
Current Cap Space Available: $20,398,640
Notable Free Agents: Aldon Smith LB, Navorro Bowman LB
I’d assume that they will be able to resign Bowman but if not they too will be looking at someone like Zach Brown to shore up the MLB position.
They are still not set in the secondary and a CB like Malcolm Butler could be a good fit in Oakland even after what might be viewed as a down season for him with the Patriots.
Could Kony Ealy or Adrian Clayborn deliver some pass rush for them? One or the other would add another option that might only help Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin deliver more on the stat sheets.
They are probably going to take another shot at filling the DT position where Star Lotuleilei could be the next target.
Has the Marshawn Lynch romance evaporated? Le’Veon Bell would be the dream, Carlos Hyde might be more the reality to take the short hop across to Oakland from Santa Clara.
Current Cap Space Available: $24,658,793
Notable Free Agents: Todd Davis LB, Allen Barbre G
Denver’s QB depth chart currently reads Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch.
Doesn’t exactly inspire confidence for the future.
Siemian might well be an OK backup on roster but John Elway’s first real shot at finding Peyton Manning’s successor has to be graded as a Fail. Paxton Lynch has not and does not look likely to become a franchise QB in this NFL. I’ve heard he’s quite good at playing Madden though.
So, for the Broncos is it now a case of Cousins or bust?
I’ve no doubt that they are making moves behind the scenes to try and get a deal done, but they have competition, so it’s up in the air whether they can or if they will take another shot in the Draft….could it be Baker Mayfield?
It’s probable that they won’t be able to find someone as a trade partner for Aqib Talib and that he will be cut, so they too will be looking at a replacement CB.
They always seem to need help on the Offensive Line and Nate Solder, who I believe is originally from Colorado, could move closer to home at Tackle, while they might also replace Barbre at Guard with a player like Luke Joeckel or Alex Boone.
They also have quite a few of their LB corps either out of contract or coming up on contract years, so they may also be looking at adding here with players like Demario Davis or Kevin Minter available.
*Note: Cap Space projections as per listed on www.spotrac.com
This OTI Piece was written by Eric Flynn. Eric is a San Francisco 49ers fan from Cork, Ireland. Huge fantasy focus on game weekends. He has been playing Fantasy Football for over 6 years in all types of leagues, having started out in IDP leagues. Check him out on Twitter @EricJohnFlynn