AFC West--Monitoring Team Needs--Weekly Update, 3-5-09

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 Time to catch up on the weeks happenings in the AFC West!

The early starters were the Denver Broncos, making a number of low cost free agency signings all over the place, including stud Brian Dawkins.  But stepping right behind Denver was the Chiefs, who pulled off a great move to bring in franchised QB Matt Cassel, for only a 2nd round pick, though inexplicably they have decided it is better to have a QB competition at the spot...  Oakland waded out into the shallow end of the free agent pool witha  focus on resigning a few of their own, while San Diego is content to sit on the sidelines now, with a few feelers extended out into the free agent market, and internal focus on what is increasingly looking like a rift between the organization and Tomlinson.

Below you will find the charts updated and notes on the most recent signings.  See you below the fold!

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

2008 Record and Rank:  2-14

4th place

Team Needs Likely Draft Targets (rd)
 DE, RT, C, WR, LB, CB, FS, K, DT  DE, Brian Orakpo, Texas(1st)
Free Agents Acquired Current Free Agents Free Agents/Players Lost

QB Ingle Martin (res/fut)

FB Jed Collins (res/fut)

LB Mike Vrabel (trade) 

QB Matt Cassell (trade) 

FS Jarrad Page RFA*(tendered)

C Rudy Niswanger RFA*(tendered)

WR Jeff Webb RFA*(tendered)

OG Adrian Jones UFA

DE Jason Babbin UFA

LB Pat Thomas UFA

LB Rocky Boiman UFA

CB Tyron Brackenridge RFA

CB Dimitri Patterson RFA

SS Jon McGraw UFA

S Oliver Celestin UFA

TE Mike Merrit (cut)

QB Damon Huard (cut)

LB Donnie Edwards (cut)

CB Patrick Surtain (cut)

  •  The big news for the Chiefs, of course, was the acquisition of QB Matt Cassel.  Of note, however, was the Chief's decision to "trade on the tag," or basicall, to sign Cassel as a one year player.  This means he will be competing with QB Tyler Thigpen in camp, and one has to wonder if a 2nd round pick on a backup QB and a LB on arguably his last legs has the same shine...
  • The other biggish news is the requested trade/release of G Brain Waters.  At this time, the coaching staff seems to be skirting the issue, and hoping that it blows over in time for training camp, but Waters seems like the type of guy who will stand behind what he has said...
  • The Chiefs' UFAs don't seem to be getting a lot of traction in the open market.  So far only QB Damon Huard has resigned (with the 49ers) and LB Pat Thomas has been visiting with teams.
  • WR is still a need, but the Seahawk's Bobby Engram doesn't look like he will be in the picture.  Despite the addition of LB Mike Vrabel, the Chiefs are still looking at LBs in Free Agency, including 32 year old Clark Haggans.  The Chiefs are also visiting with S Keith Davis, who would look to start in a  special teams role.
OAKLAND RAIDERS

2008 Record and Rank:  5-11

3rd place

Team Needs Likely Draft Targets (rd)
LT, WR, CB, DE, DT, ILB, TE, OLB, FS  OT, Andre Smith, Alabama
Free Agents Acquired Current Free Agents Free Agents/Players Lost

DE Derrick Gray (res/fut)

P Ricky Schmitt (res/fut)

CB Nmamdi Asomugha 

CB Chris Johnson 

TE Tony Stewart

OG Cooper Carlisle

P Shane Lechler UFA*(franchised)

OL Erik Pears

QB Bruce Gadkowski

LB  Isaiah Ekejiuba

 

QB Marques Tuiasosopo UFA

WR Drew Carter UFA

WR Johnnie Morant UFA

WR Ashley Lelie UFA

TE Ben Troupe UFA

OL Chris Morris RFA

LS Jon Condo ERFA*

DL William Joseph UFA

LB Sam Williams UFA

LB John Alston RFA*

LB Rickie Brown RFA *

CB Justin Miller UFA

CB Duane Starks UFA

FS Rashad Baker UFA

FB Justin Griffith (cut)

WR Ronald Curry (cut)

OT Kwame Harris (cut)

DE Kalimba Edwards (cut)

FS Gibril Wilson (cut)

C Jake Grove (signed)

  •  The Raiders got some work done to address their o-line depth, including resigning G Cooper Carlisle, and bringing in UFA OL Erik Pears.  Pears was a versatile starter for Denver who could play every spot on the line, including 14 starts at LT and 16 starts at RT.  The Raiders acquire him after he spent 2008 on IR for an emergency appendectomy.  They are also in "heavy" negotiations with OL Khalif Barnes from Jacksonville, and it looks like a very good chance they will sign him.
  • Start the rumor mill, cause with WR Terrell Owens being cut in dallas the buzz from the bees is that he would "fit in" in Oakland.  I don't know if they are looking at cap space, or whether TO could accept a one year offer, but with Javon Walker due a guaranteed payday, perhaps this is a subject that the Raiders would best leave untouched.
  • UFAs DB Justin Miller, WR Ashley Lelie, and TE Ben Troupe all went on visits around the league and are receiving legitimate interest.
DENVER BRONCOS

2008 Record and Rank:  8-8

2nd place

Team Needs Likely Draft Targets (rd)
NT, 3-4 DE, FS, ILB, RB, OLB, C/G

 ILB, Rey Maualuga, USC(1st)

3-4 DE, Evander Hood, Missouri (2nd-3rd)

Free Agents Acquired Current Free Agents Free Agents Lost/PlayersLost

WR, Jayson Foster (res/fut)

WR Matt Willis(res/fut)

OL Mitch Erickson(res/fut)

OT Clint Oldenburg (res/fut)

DL Matthias Askew(res/fut)

DL Ryan McBean(res/fut)

CB Rashod Moulton (res/fut)

TE Adam Bergen (res/fut)

G Matt McChesney (undisclosed)

DL Kenny Peterson (resigned)

SS Brian Dawkins

LS Lonie Paxton

FS Renaldo Hill

RB Corell Buckhalter

RB J.J. Arrington

WR Jabar Gafney

CB Andre Goodman

ILB Andra Davis

RB Lamont Jordan

QB Chris Simms

NT Ronald Fields

DE/OLB Darrell Reid

QB, Patrick Ramsey UFA

RB Andre Hall ERFA

RB Michael Pittman UFA

WR Darrell Jackson UFA

LB Nate Webster UFA

WR Edell Shepherd UFA

RB Tatum Bell UFA

DL Ebeneezer Ekuban UFA

CB Karl Paymah UFA

FS Marlon McCree UFA

RB Anthony Alridge (cut)

RB PJ Pope (cut)

RB Alex Haynes (cut)

TE Chad Mustard (cut)

TE Nate Jackson (cut)

C Tom Nalen (retired)

DL John Engleberger (cut)

DT Dewayne Robertson (cut)

DT Josh Shaw (cut)

LB Niko Koutivides (cut)

WR Cliff Russell (cut)

LB Jamie Winborn (cut)

CB Dre Bly (cut)

SS Marquand Manuel (cut)

LS Mike Leach (signed)

OL Erik Pears (signed)

  •  The Broncos have been VERY busy in free agency, signing 13 players since free agency began, and parting ways with 25 others.
  • The big pickups for Denver are Brian Dawkins, who is expected to move into a SS type role near the line, similar to that occupied by John Lynch in his final years in Denver, and NT Ronald Fields, the first significant signing meant to address the void at NT with any sort of urgency.
  • With young, inexperienced players in the ranks already in the backfield, Denver signed 3 veterans to go with Champ Bailey back there.  Outside of 2nd day depth pickups, Denver's DB shopping should be pretty close to finished.
  • With the surprising news that Denver plans on trying DE Darrell Reid out at OLB, this gives Denver a serious glut of ??? at the position, with no less than 8 players on the roster who all can be projected to the OLB posiiton, yet none have ever started in before.
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

2008 Record and Rank:  8-8

1st place

Team Needs Likely DraftTargets (rd)
RT, RB, SS, ILB, DT,DE

 RB, Knowshon Moreno, Georgia(1st)

 

Free Agents Acquired Current Free Agents Free Agents/Players Lost

RB Eldra Buckley (res/fut)

WR Gary Banks(res/fut)

OL Brandyn Dombrowski(res/fut)

DL Andre Coleman(res/fut)

CB DeJuan Tribble(res/fut)

DL Ogemdi Nwagbuo(res/fut)

CB Grant Mason(res/fut)

 LB Erik Bakhtiari(res/fut)

OG Kynan Forney (resigned)

 RB Darren Sproles UFA*(Franchised)

WR Malcom Floyd RFA

CB Cletis Gordon RFA

OG Mike Goff UFA

DE Igor Olashansky UFA 

LB Marques Harris UFA

C Jeremy Newberry

 

LB Anthony Waters (cut)

 

 

  •  The Chargers have been one of the quietest teams in free agency, and have also managed to slow the LDT rumors down to the barest of trickles.  With reports that he isn't willing to devalue his base pay, but that he is "optimistic" that a deal will get done that keeps him in San Diego, it seems the ball is squarely in the Charger's court.  They have to choose whether to pay him like a starter (i,e, more than the recently franchised Sproles), or they have to state that they are willing to let him go.
  • LB Kevin Burnett of the Cowboys has been the only legitimate free agent target of the Chargers, and they look to be close to nailing him down.  With DB Drayton Florence off the block and the Seahawks in the running for S Jermain Phillips, it will likely stay quiet around San Diego for a little while yet.
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