Rock Cartwright #25 of the Oakland Raiders celebrates
A lot has happened since free agency started five days ago. There has been a great deal of free agent activity in the AFC West. Players leaving as free agents and other joining teams as free agents. Here is where each team stands as of five days into the frenzy.
We start with the Raiders
The team has seen many of their unrestricted free agents and cuts receive interest from teams around the league. Stanford Routt and Kevin Boss both joined the Chiefs, Jason Campbell joined the Bears, Chaz Schilens joined the Jets, Rock Cartwright joined the 49ers, and Saturday Trevor Scott became a Patriot.
The Raiders have also released Cooper Carlisle, John Henderson, and Kamerion Wimbley though none have been signed by another team as of yet. Reportedly the team would consider bringing back Carlisle should he not get picked up by another team.
In the meantime, the team has signed two unrestricted free agents in right guard Mike Brisiel from the Texans and cornerback Ron Bartell from the Rams. On Friday they also had recently released cornerback Shawntae Spencer in for a visit from the 49ers. No deal has been reported as of yet.
The team still has a good deal of salary cap space to work with and many positions to fill including right tackle, linebacker, center, and cornerback (another one).
The Bolts have gone crazy in free agency. In total they have inked 11 free agents. Four of them were their own-- LT Jared Gaither, TE Kory Sperry, TE Randy McMichael, and C Nick Hardwick. Then they went out and got LB Demorrio Williams, S Atari Bigby, LB Jarret Johnson, WR Eddie Royal, FB Le'Ron McClain, and WR Robert Meachem and QB Charlie Whitehurst.
They lost Vincent Jackson as a free agent and attempted to replace him with Robert Meachem. Meachem is not on the level of Jackson but they did well to fill the hole. Eddie Royal comes over from the Broncos and adds some speed to their receiving corps.
Le'Ron McClain was a great fullback at one time but it remains to be seen if he has much left in the tank. The Chargers are hoping he can replace the production lost by the departure of Mike Tolbert as well as the possible departure of Jacob Hester.
The real prize among them could be Jarret Johnson. He was a stalwart outside linebacker for the vaunted Ravens defense and was in high demand. He will bring a toughness to the Chargers defense it didn't have before.
Though the Chargers have been busy, most of their signings are either lateral moves or downgrades. Jarret Johnson is the one upgrade and Eddie Royal brings an added dimension. But other than that, this is just re-signings and replacements.
The Chiefs knew they would lose Brandon Carr as a free agent so they signed Stanford Routt to replace him. They were also right there to scoop up tight end Kevin Boss as soon as the Raiders released him. And while Le'Ron McClain left for the Chargers, the Chiefs signed Peyton Hillis to replace his production at running back. Free agent Kyle Orton was signed by the Cowboys so the Chiefs replaced him with former Bronco Brady Quinn.
But perhaps the biggest free agent signing for the Chiefs is that of right tackle Eric Winston. He comes over from Houston where he was said to have failed a physical. He is a solid tackle and will replace the soft services proved by Barry Richardson for the Chiefs.
The Chiefs upgraded several positions this free agency. Hillis is an upgrade for McClain at this point in their careers, and Boss is an upgrade from Leonard Pope and will give the Chiefs a solid 1-2 punch between he and Tony Moeaki at the two tight end spots. And of course, Eric Winston at right tackle. Routt is not an upgrade from Carr at corner. The team simply knew Carr was going to break the bank and didn't want to pay what he thought he was worth.
The news this offseason has been mostly bad for the Broncos. First they found out several of their players would be suspended the first portion of next season. They have also been silent in free agency while the teams around them in the AFC West, even the Raiders, have been filling holes and making upgrade.
All that would change, however, if Peyton Manning should decide to choose Denver as his destination of choice. The Broncos are assumed to be among a few teams still in the running for Manning's services. He is expected to announce his decision Monday or Tuesday. If he chooses the Broncos, that would not be good news for the rest of the AFC West. If he doesn't, expect the Broncos to instantly start making some moves in free agency to attempt to get their mitts on what's left.
They have signed just one free agent thus far when they picked up S Mike Adams.