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Grading the Chargers and the AFC West in Free Agency

Denver Broncos

Unsigned players: RB Kyle Eckel (UFA), RB Laurence Maroney (UFA).

Key arrivals: Ex-Patriots DE Ty Warren, Aug. 2 (two years, $10 million); Ex-Panthers TE Dante Rosario, July 31; Ex-Rams TE Daniel Fells, July 31; Ex-Texans WR David Anderson, July 30; Ex-Ravens RB Willis McGahee, July 29 (three years, $7.5 million); Ex-Jaguars DE Derrick Harvery, July 29; Traded for ex-Redskins DL Jeremy Jarmon, July 29 (Broncos give up WR Jabar Gaffney).

Key departures: UFA OT Ryan Harris, Aug. 2 (to Eagles); UFA DT Ronald Fields, July 31 (to Dolphins); Traded WR Jabar Gaffney to Redskins, July 29 (Broncos get DL Jeremy Jarmon); Released RB Correll Buckhalter, July 28.

Key re-signings: UFA DT Marcus Thomas, July 31 (one year); RFA OLB Wesley Woodyard, July 29 (one year); RFA PK Matt Prater, July 29 (one year).

Grade: C

Comment: The team thought they would have a boost on the D-line with Ty Warren, but he tore his triceps and is out for the season. It’s going to be a wait and see approach with new coach John Fox, but the team really didn’t make any headline moves, outside of inking former Ravens RB Willis McGahee to backup Knshown Moreno. Losing OT Ryan Harris hurts, but overall this offseason free agency-wise was a yawner for the Broncos.


Kansas City Chiefs

Unsigned players: OLB Charlie Anderson (UFA), FB Tim Castille (UFA), QB Brodie Croyle (UFA), WR Kevin Curtis (RFA), ILB Corey Mays (UFA).

Key arrivals: Ex-Ravens OLT Jared Gaither, Aug. 11; Ex-Seahawks DL Amon Gordon, Aug. 6; Ex-Browns S Sabby Piscitelli, Aug. 4; Ex-Ravens FB LeRon McClain, Aug. 3; Ex-Chargers ILB Brandon Siler, July 31; Ex-Ravens DT Kelly Gregg, July 30; Ex-Cardinals UFA WR Steve Breaston, July 29 (five years).

Key departures: UFA C Rudy Niswanger, Aug 10 (to Lions); Released TE Brad Cottam, July 29; UFA DT Shaun Smith, July 29 (to Titans); UFA DT Ron Edwards, July 29 (to Panthers); Cut OG Brian Waters, July 28; UFA CB Maurice Leggett, July 28 (to Lions).

Key re-signings: RFA CB Brandon Carr, Aug. 4; FFA OLB Tamba Hali, Aug. 3 (five years, $60 million, $35 million guaranteed); RFA OT Barry Richardson, Aug. 1; RFA DE Wallace Gilberry, July 31 (one year); UFA RB Jackie Battle, July 29; UFA WR Terrance Copper, July 29; RFA FB Mike Cox, July 29; UFA CB Travis Daniels, July 29; UFA S John McGraw, July 29; UFA OT Ryan O’Callaghan, July 29; UFA TE Leonard Pope, July 29; UFA C Casey Wiegmann, July 29.

Grade: B

Comment: Good offseason for the Chiefs, who signed fullback LeRon McClain to open holes for Jammal Charles, and also added speed at the WR spot with Steve Breaston. On defense, they inked another former Raven, Kelly Gregg, and ILB Brandon Siler from the Chargers. Many think that the Chiefs are going to take a step back in 2011, and they may, but it’s not because they were not active in trying to make the team better in free agency. The team did also make OLB Tamba Hali happy with a huge deal.


Oakland Raiders

Unsigned players: MLB Ricky Brown (UFA), QB Charlie Frye (UFA), OT Mario Henderson (UFA), QB J.T. O’Sullivan (UFA), OT Langston Walker (UFA).

Key arrivals: Ex-Giants UFA WR Derek Hagan, Aug. 6; Ex-Giants UFA TE Kevin Boss, Aug. 5 (four years, $16 million); Ex-Jaguars OG Justin Smiley, Aug. 2; Ex-Redskins OT Stephon Heyer, Aug. 2; Ex-Jaguars UFA QB Trent Edwards, July 30 (one-year).

Key departures: UFA TE Zach Miller, Aug. 2 (to Seahawks); UFA CB Nnamdi Asomugha, July 29 (to Eagles); UFA QB Bruce Gradkowski, July 29 (to Bengals); UFA WR Johnnie Lee Higgins, July 29 (to Eagles); UFA OG Robert Gallery, July 29 (to Seahawks); UFA OLB Thomas Howard, July 28 (to Bengals).

Key re-signings: RFA RB Michael Bush, Aug. 6 (one year); UFA C Samson Satele, Aug. 2; UFA OLB Sam Williams, July 31; UFA S Michael Huff, July 31; UFA DE Jarvis Moss, July 31; UFA OT Khalif Barnes, July 30 (one year); UFA LS Jon Condo, July 28.

Grade: C-

Comment: The big position for the Raiders this offseason was tight end, as the team lost Zach Miller to the Seahawks, but hope that former Giants TE Kevin Boss will step up and have a big season. There was some hope that CB Nnamdi Asomugha would come back, but really the team was never in the running. They did also grab former Giants WR Derek Hagan, and brought back safety Michael Huff, which was a head shaker. The Raiders will look to build on the 8-8 finish of the season ago.


San Diego Chargers

Unsigned players: S Tyrone Carter (UFA), LS James Dearth (UFA), DT Travis Johnson (UFA), FB Billy Latsko (UFA), ILB Brandon Moore (UFA), LS Ryan Neill (UFA), S Pat Watkins (UFA).

Key arrivals: Ex-Rams UFA WR Laurent Robinson, Aug. 3; Ex-49ers UFA OLB Travis LaBoy, July 29 (two years); Ex-49ers UFA LB Takeo Spikes, July 29; Ex-Colts UFA S Bob Sanders, July 29 (one year).

Key departures: UFA WR Legedu Naanee, Aug. 4 (to Panthers); UFA CB Paul Olier, Aug. 2 (to Saints); UFA ILB Brandon Siler, July 31 (to Chiefs); RFA OLB Antwan Applewhite, July 31 (to 49ers); UFA ILB Kevin Burnett, July 29 (to Dolphins); UFA RB Darren Sproles, July 29 (to Saints); Cut WR Craig “Buster” Davis, July 28; Cut LB Brandon Lang, July 28; Cut CB Donald Strickland, July 28; Cut TE Kris Wilson, July 28; Cut LB Jyles Tucker, July 28.

Key re-signings: UFA ILB Stephen Cooper, Aug. 13; UFA WR Malcom Floyd, Aug. 5 (two years); UFA QB Billy Volek, July 30 (two years); FFA WR Vincent Jackson, July 29 (one year); UFA OT Jeromey Clary, July 29 (four years, $20 million); UFA TE Randy McMichael, July 29 (one year); UFA S Eric Weddle, July 29 (five years, $40 million, $19 million guaranteed); UFA OLB Antwan Barnes, July 29 (two years, $3.2 million); UFA DE Jacques Cesaire, July 29 (two years); RFA FB Mike Tolbert, July 29 (one year); UFA OG-C Scott Mruczkowski, July 29 (one year); UFA CB Dante Hughes, July 29 (two years). UFA WR Kelley Washington, July 29 (one year).

Grade: C+

Comment: The club lost RB RB Darren Sproles to the Saints, but seem to be Ok going with the two-back set of Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert. They also lost ILB Kevin Burnett to the Fins, and got OLB Travis LaBoy from San Fran. Getting back Malcom Floyd was a good signing, and along with Vincent Jackson it’s a good 1-2 punch at WR. They overpaid for safety Eric Weddle, but he’s a solid safety that the team needed to have back. They also gave $20 mil to OT Jeromey Clary, but again, felt he’s a solid piece on the O-line. Overall, the Chargers are favored for the most part to take back the West in 2011.


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