Sports Out West

AFC West Roundup: Teams offseason free agency needs

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This is the time of year where veteran guys in the NFL find out that although they are under contract, it does not mean they have a job.  Many veterans in the coming weeks will be cut due to large cap numbers.  Teams will try to get guys to restructure but the team and normally a player past their prime cannot come to an agreement of what the new salary should be.  The old saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” will soon come into play.

Every team in the AFC West has needs heading into the offseason; here is a list of potential salary cap casualties that will help each team. 

Denver Broncos:

The Broncos may cut their veteran cornerback Champ Bailey as he is due $9 million next season and a $1 million roster bonus on March 15.  The Broncos will need a playmaker to replace Bailey and who better than Antonio Cromartie who will likely be a cap casualty with the New York Jets.  Cromartie still plays at a high level and would likely jump at the chance to play on a team that will be favored to return to the Super Bowl. 

 

Kansas City Chiefs:

The Chiefs need weapons on offense.  Dwayne Bowe is a solid receiver but he and Jamaal Charles need help to make the Chiefs offense flow more consistently.  Enter tight end Scott Chandler of the Buffalo Bills.  The Bills need money to try to resign Jarius Byrd and Chandler may be one of the men let go to make cap room.  He is not a big-name guy, but will be a safety blanket for Alex Smith.  What makes him more attractive is his asking price should not be too high. 

Another player the Chiefs need to take a hard look at is Miles Austin.  The Dallas Cowboys are not going to pay the oft injured wide out the $5 million he’s due because of the emergence of Terrence Williams.  Austin when healthy is a quality No. 2 receiver and would help take the Chiefs offense to the next level. 

Oakland Raiders:

The Raiders have a ton of holes that need to be filled, none more important than quarterback.  They will probably select their future franchise quarterback on draft day, but getting a tutor for him would not hurt.  None of the guys that will be available are going to make a fan base get excited but Michael Vick or Matt Schaub can show a quarterback what not to do.  Vick can teach a young guy how not to take their youth for granted.  Schaub could show a young guy how not to be late on his reads and throw pick-sixes.  The backup quarterback could be an important role for the future of the Raiders franchise. 

San Diego Chargers:

NFL.com is reporting that there is a 50/50 chance that DeMarcus Ware could be cut by the Dallas Cowboys.  If that happens then San Diego  must be the new place he calls home.  The Chargers desperately need a guy who can bring consistent pressure and not make the secondary cover for extended periods of time.  Ware basically played with one arm last season, if he returns to form he could be the piece the Chargers defense has been missing since Shawn Merriman left. 

Photo Courtesy Ron Jenkins

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Keenan Actkins

Keenan Actkins is an Arizona resident living in the Phoenix metropolitan area. He brings a wealth of sports knowledge and passion to the team with his unique insight and strong voice and opinion. He also contributes to Yahoo! Voices and has written for WoodyPaige.com.

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