by Brian Hawkes and Josh Johnson
Put yourself in the NFL General Manager’s shoes…If you have a player who has little guaranteed money and he hasn’t performed to expectations (whether due to on field performance, injury, or otherwise), what would you do? If we do this, it’s easy to see why rumors are spreading that the Buccaneers are willing to part ways with Doug Martin or the Broncos may draft a running back in 2017. A savvy dynasty owner looks at salary cap commitments before acquiring a player to assess the stability of the player’s situation. This article will do just that.
Here is the continuation of an in-depth look at all 32 depth charts. We will assess cap commitment for 2017 and beyond, and also the potential opportunity that may present itself if there is roster turnover/ depth chart changes. Today: the AFC West
Denver Broncos: For those of you that screamed at the Broncos for the Anderson deal last offseason, that zero in parenthesis is for you. Anderson will likely be retained for at least one year. Basically to save face and because his price tag is higher in 2018. The Booker did not make the most of his opportunity when Anderson got hurt but he was a stable learner. He should feel way more comfortable this season. He was also coming off a bad knee injury that he suffered in college. He also took quite a beating towards the end of the season for Denver. An ankle injury cost Bibbs nearly all of December. He was really starting to flash with minimal touches. Not sure the new regime will have any kind of allegiance to Bibbs but he would be cheap. If Bibbs walks we feel Denver will be in the RB market but until round three.
Kansas City Chiefs: Other than respect there is no real season for the Chiefs to retain Charles. Their current combo of West and Ware is treating them just fine. Ware accounted for 247 total touches for 1,368 yards. Ware also netted a 13.5 yards per receptions (2.5 yards more than David Johnson). West was certainly second fiddle in 2016 but we seen him have loads of success when he gets consistent touches. Kansas City would shock the world by taking a RB early in 2017. That is not a position of need at the present. Maybe their team landscape will look different next offseason and adding a back for the future could be in the cards then.
Oakland Raiders: Murray proved most of doubters wrong in 2016. He did not get 1,000 yards but he did miss two games. His 12 TDs and 33 receptions were a nice bonus. It makes sense that Oakland would try to retain him based familiarity. The Pats and Colts do have some money to spend in free agency. Murray is the big cog in the decision making process. Richard and Washington are change of pacers. The undrafted Richard outperformed Washington (5th rounder) most of the season. However, Washington might be the better between-the-tackles runner moving forward. The door is wide open if Murray leaves as long as the value is there. If Oakland doesn’t draft a RB in 2017 look for one in 2018, round to be determined.
San Diego Chargers: Gordon performed well behind a so-so offensive line. He is firmly entrenched. Woodhead seems to pricey too retain. Especially after appearing in just 21 of the last 48 Charger games. Oliver has not stepped on NFL field in pads since 11/01/2015. Why would the Chargers re-up that? Sorry Gordon’s owners they need depth. Most successful teams flourish with at least a couple of backs. Come round three the Chargers should pull the trigger, if not in 2017, maybe they do it sooner in 2018.