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Around the AFC West: New league year, new division

The Chiefs’ most bitter rivals continue to load up.

Oakland Raiders v Green Bay Packers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The theme of the week was watching the AFC West teams trying to bolster their defense in order to stop the Kansas City Chiefs offense.

Denver Broncos

The Broncos have not messed around in free agency.

In this year’s edition, they signed a dominant pass rusher in Randy Gregory to be paired up with Bradley Chubb on defense. Once this news broke, we all got the sense Von Miller would not have a reunion with Denver (he wound up in Buffalo). Instead, they got a veteran pass rusher who is still under the age of 30. The Broncos will be getting the prime years of Gregory since his contract is five years for $70 million.

With more talented players signing on to play in the AFC West, I will be curious to see what the Broncos do next, as they have been a little quiet since the Gregory deal.


  • OT Calvin Anderson one-year deal
  • FB/TE Andrew Beck one-year deal
  • NT D.J. Jones 3-year, $30 million
  • G Ben Braden
  • TE Eric Tomlinson one-year deal
  • ILB Josey Jewell 2-year, $11 million
  • Randy Gregory 5-year, $70 million
  • OL Tom Compton one-year deal


Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders traded for — arguably — the top wide receiver in the league in Davante Adams. In order for this trade to go through, the Raiders made Adams the highest-paid wide receiver ever in the NFL with a five-year $141 million deal. Las Vegas only sent a 2022 first-round draft pick and 2022 second-round draft pick to the Green Bay Packers in exchange for Adams

That seems like a steal. Adams made it clear to the Packers that he did not want to play on the franchise tag this season, and they accommodated him. With the move, the Raiders look to be fully in the win-now mode, just like every other team in the division.

The Raiders were one of the quieter teams toward the beginning of free agency, initially locking up one of their own in Maxx Crosby, who they signed to a contract extension. Once that was all said and done, the Raiders signed pass rusher Chandler Jones to a three-year deal and traded Yannick Ngakoue to the Indianapolis Colts for cornerback Rock Ya-Sin.

New head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler have already made major moves to shake up the Raiders.


  • CB Darius Phillips one-year, $2.25 million
  • DT Bilal Nichols 2-year, $11 million
  • EDGE Chandler Jones 3-year, $51 million
  • RB Brandon Bolden
  • WR Mack Hollins
  • CB Anthony Averett one-year, $4.5 million


  • The Raiders could be a fit for free-agent safety and ex-Chief Tyrann Mathieu.
  • Stephon Gillmore’s potential landing spot might be in Las Vegas.

Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers upgraded on defense, just like every other team in the AFC West, signing cornerback J.C. Jackson to a five-year deal worth $82.5 million. This is another example of how teams are trying to stop the high-power offense of the Chiefs. Jackson entered free agency as a hot target for most teams, but the Chargers secured his rights.

As of right now, Jackson is the only player I trust on the Chargers’ defense playing the full season, as he has done so three of the last four seasons.


  • LS Josh Harris 4-year, $5.6 million
  • QB Chase Daniel one-year, $2 million
  • DT Sebastian Joseph 3-year, $24 million
  • DT Austin Johnson
  • CB J.C. Jackson 5-year, $82.5 million
  • K Dustin Hopkins 3-year, $9 million
  • WR Jaylen Guyton


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