Vincent Jackson probably wont be a Charger next year. Photo by Matt A. Brown/Icon SMI
The biggest news in the AFC West this week is the possibility of Peyton Manning joining the Denver Broncos, and Tim Tebow being traded. However there is more to that going on with the division.
Of course the Kansas City Chiefs are also in the hunt for Peyton Manning but the Broncos seem to be ahead of them on Peyton’s list. The Chiefs like other NFL teams are clearing cap space and did that when they released linebacker Demorrio Williams. While the team has plenty of cap room they are still trying to make more.
I don’t expect the Chiefs to get very near the cap unless they do sign Peyton Manning and get him some help. The Chiefs pattern themselves after the New England Patriots and try to stay cheap.
The Oakland Raiders are also clearing cap space. Defensive backs Hiram Eugene and Chris Johnson were released to get some cap room. Veteran players Richard Seymour, Michael Huff and Carson Palmer all got restructured deals that are cap friendly for 2012. The Raiders need cap relief to add free agents as they have traded most of their 2012 NFL draft picks away. The Raiders will get some picks awarded to the by the NFL for free agents lost.
The San Diego Chargers quickly signed Demorrio Williams when he was cut by the Chiefs. Williams can add some veteran savvy to the Chargers and knows the division well. The fact that the Chargers didn’t franchise tag Vincent Jackson probably means he will be with a new team in 2012.
Lost in the midst of Manning Mania is the fact that three Denver Broncos have been suspended for multiple games for violating the performance enhancing drug policy. Linebacker D.J. Williams, defensive tackle Ryan McBean and tight end Virgil Green have been suspended. McBean and Williams got six game suspensions without pay while Green will be sitting out four games. I wonder what Tim Tebow thinks about that? Of course he is probably more worried about Peyton Manning taking his job.
I don’t really think Peyton Manning will be joining the Denver Broncos or the Chiefs. I suspect Manning will be a Dolphin or possibly working with Larry Fitzgerald will appeal to him and he will be a Cardinal. Unless Manning is convinced he can win a Super Bowl in Denver, I don’t see him embracing the cold weather there. But you never know where Manning will end up.