I’m going through each NFL division and looking at the biggest additions and losses in free agency.
Thanks to Pro Football Guru, we can look at every team’s additions and losses in free agency that’s updated on a daily basis.
Note: For the sake of these series of articles, I’m only looking at players who were on the roster in 2016 who will no longer be there in 2017. Likewise, I’m looking at guys who were not on the roster in 2016, but will now be in 2017 (in-house re-signings and draft selections excluded)
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs made interesting offseason moves that suggest some turnover is soon to happen. They drafted a quarterback in the first round of the draft, fired their GM, and let go of their highest-paid receiver.
Loss: Jeremy Maclin (released/Ravens)
The Chiefs lost Dontari Poe; he’ll be a big addition elsewhere. But the Chiefs’ defense has been one of the better units in the league for several years now, while their offense has been underwhelming. While Maclin struggled to stay on the field last year (recently said he played with a torn groin), he still has good football ahead of him. They now poise a unit that features Tyreek Hill as the top option; while Hill made huge noise last year, he’s not exactly a no. 1 type of guy – more of a complimentary, do-it-all asset. I think Maclin will be missed on offense for Kansas City.
Addition: Bennie Logan (from Eagles)
While Dontari Poe will be missed, Bennie Logan should fill in for Kansas City nicely as the starting nose tackle. Logan’s only 27 years old and gets a fresh start after playing all four years with the Eagles. The Chiefs’ defense is a nice place to land in free agency, and he’ll help pass rushers like Justin Houston and Dee Ford get at the quarterback.
The Raiders had a magical 2016 season, and they look to take the next step as their franchise QB enters his fourth season after getting his big pay day recently. While their defense is the clear weak link of the team, their offense may have gotten even better this offseason.
Loss: DJ Hayden (Lions)
The Raiders’ secondary was a mess last season. While Hayden missed some games due to injury, he’s still a young player who’s valuable in the secondary. The Raiders will also be without Latavius Murray, but I have a feeling they won’t miss him much…
Addition: Marshawn Lynch (trade/Seahawks)
The Raiders got Lynch out of retirement and were able to reach a deal with Seattle to send him back to his hometown in Oakland. This is a huge signing for Oakland; Lynch is immediately a fan favorite and gives them offensive swagger that can lead to a strong playoff run. They have a great offense and Lynch was a great landing spot with them; Murray just didn’t do enough behind a good offensive line. What Lynch has left is unknown, but knowing Lynch, it will be enough to move the chains and keep the defense off the field. The Raiders become one of the scariest offenses in the league with the addition of a boss.
Denver’s quarterback position still remains a question mark, but their defense is still elite despite the loss of a future hall-of-fame lock.
Loss: DeMarcus Ware (retired)
Ware is a first-ballot Hall of Famer who was an absolute terror opposite of Von Miller. When he was able to stay on the field, he was a monster. Any time a guy like Ware leaves your team, he’s likely going to be the biggest loss of the offseason. The Broncos also lost Tackle Russell Okung and NT Sylvester Williams, both who will be missed in the trenches on opposite sides of the ball.
Addition: Domata Peko (from Bengals)
The Broncos signed both Ronald Leary and Manelik Watson to fill holes in their offensive line, which is much needed. They also took a flyer on Jamaal Charles, but it’s still unknown if he has good football ahead of him after not being able to fully recover from an ACL injury in 2015. But I think Peko is the biggest addition to their team moving forward after losing both Williams and Ware on that side of the football. Peko is an 11-year veteran who still has good football left in him; it was a good two-year signing for the Broncos.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers are one of my favorite sleeper teams heading into 2017; I think they have a legit shot of winning a tough division.
Loss: Danny Woodhead (Ravens)
The Chargers lost a few valuable players in free agency and to retirement. Tackle King Dunlap retired, while Offensive Lineman DJ Fluker was released and signed with the Giants. They’ll also miss Brandon Flowers and Manti Te’o. But Woodhead has been a reliable receiver and running back for four years on the Chargers; only injuries in 2014 and 2016 stunted his production. He’s an older back and they don’t age well in the league, but Woodhead was Philip Rivers security blanket (after Antonio Gates) for a couple years now. He’ll be missed on the ride to Los Angeles.
Addition: Russell Okung (from Broncos)
The Chargers will miss Dunlap and Fluker on the offensive line, and that’s one of the reasons Okung is a huge addition this season. Rivers hasn’t exactly had ideal protection from his offensive line over the years, and it’s something the Chargers need to prioritize as he enters the last year(s) of his career. They didn’t make much noise in the offseason, but the Chargers made a good move by signing Okung to protect Rivers’ blindside.