The Wild, Wild AFC West

The 2022 NFL offseason has been wild. One could argue that this has been the craziest NFL offseason ever. Trades and free agent acquisitions have turned the AFC West into an arms race. Which teams are making the right deals? Let’s dive into the wild, wild AFC West.

Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos got the party started by acquiring Russell Wilson from Seattle, in exchange for their future, or so it seems. Denver traded away QB Drew Lock, TE Noah Fant, DL Shelby Harris, and draft capitol consisting of two first-round picks, two second-round picks and a fifth-round pick. That’s quite a haul for Wilson. Was it worth it?

David Zalubowski – The Associated Press

Los Angeles Chargers

The Los Angeles Chargers acquired Khalil Mack from the Chicago Bears for a 2022 second-round pick and a 2023 sixth-round pick. To improve their defense further, the Chargers inked former Patriots’ CB JC Jackson to a deal worth $82.5 million for five years. Then the Chargers re-signed WR Mike Williams for three more years for $60 million. The arms race in the west was escalating quickly.

Brian Cassella – Chicago Tribune

Las Vegas Raiders

The Las Vegas Raiders entered the AFC West arms race by acquiring arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL, Davante Adams, in exchange for two 2022 draft picks. Those picks are the 22nd and 53rdoverall picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. The Raiders also added more speed to their receiving corps by signing former Chiefs’ wide receiver Demarcus Robinson. To think that Derek Carr finished 5th in the NFL for passing yards with basically only Renfrow to throw to is intriguing and scary if you’re the Broncos, Chargers and Chiefs. Carr threw for 4,804 yards last season according to ESPN; only 35 passing yards less than Patrick Mahomes (4,839).

Brian Bahr – Getty Images

Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City signed JuJu Smith-Schuster to a one-year deal for $10.75 million. The Chiefs traded Tyreek Hill (six-time Pro-Bowl WR) to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for five draft picks. This includes a 2022 first-round pick, second-round pick and a fourth-round pick. The deal also includes a fourth and sixth-round pick in 2023, according to Adam Schefter.

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) reacts as he beats Tampa Bay Buccaneers strong safety Antoine Winfield Jr. (31) on a 75-yard touchown reception during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)

The Chiefs aren’t doing enough in this arms race to keep their crown of the AFC West, but they still have a talented roster. The Raiders were two games below them in 2021 and the Chargers were dangerous too. Denver clearly beefed up their arsenal, but I’m not sure if they have enough firepower to be victorious on the same battlefield with the AFC West. One thing is for sure, the AFC West is definitely the wild west and you better come armed to the teeth.

Vegas has a legitimate shot at dethroning Kansas City as kings of the AFC West. The Chargers are my pick to finish second. The Chiefs will finish third and despite acquiring Russell Wilson, the Broncos will finish last in the AFC West. Carr is reunited with his college roommate, who just might be the best wide receiver in the league. Carr will now have weapons consisting of Adams, Renfrow, Robinson, Waller and Jacobs out of the backfield. That sounds dangerous.

Wags’ picks

1. Raiders

2. Chargers

3. Chiefs

4. Broncos

Kirby Lee – USA TODAY Sports

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