“there is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.”
― Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings
While attending the National War College, this book was required reading. Since the start of free agency, each team in the AFC West has applied this mentality and have left the rest of the NFL in its dust. The strength of this division is unbelievable and we are still in the middle of free agency with the NFL Draft still to come.
Each year you see a team or two make a big trade or a big free agent signing. What you do not see is a entire division make huge moves that propel it leaps and bounds ahead of the entire NFL. This season will be a downright bloodbath and every week a team in this division will be in a featured game.
Let’s look at the moves each team has made so far….
QB Josh Johnson, QB Russell Wilson, OT Calvin Anderson, OL Tom Compton, DE Randy Gregory, DT D.J. Jones, DT DeShawn Williams, LB Josey Jewell, LB Malik Reed, LB Alex Singleton
The Broncos went all in to get a pro-bowl quarterback and did so with the trade for Russell Wilson. They surrendered 5 draft picks and 3 players to get him and a draft pick but if he can regain his pro-bowl form, this team could be in the mix for a playoff spot. They also were able to sign Gregory who is a terror on the edge.
Kansas City Chiefs
QB Chad Henne, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, OT Orlando Brown, DE Frank Clark, S Justin Reid
The Chiefs did not need to do much but resigning Brown and Clark was very smart. Adding JuJu Smith-Schuster should be great as he will see more one on one coverages on this team than he has ever seen before.
Las Vegas Raiders
QB Garrett Gilbert, RB Ameer Abdullah, RB Brandon Bolden, FB Jakob Johnson, WR Davante Adams, DE Maxx Crosby, DE Chandler Jones, DT Bilal Nichols, CB Anthony Averett, CB Rock Ya-Sin
The Raiders new brain trust started slow but boy oh boy when they did get started. Resigning Crosby was a must and they got it done. To stay up with the rest of the teams in the division, they went out and traded for arguably the best receiver in the NFL and one of the most consistent sack artist as well.
Los Angeles Chargers
QB Chase Daniel, WR Mike Williams, TE Gerald Everett, DT Christian Covington, DT Austin Johnson, DL Sebastian Joseph-Day, LB Khalil Mack, CB J.C. Jackson, LS Josh Harris, K Dustin Hopkins
This was the year that TT and the Chargers decided to swing for the fences and so far it is clean out of the park. He resigned Williams after a career year. Bringing the interception machine that is Jackson to the team was not enough, they also went out and traded for the sack machine that is Mack.
The quarterbacks in the division are second to none. The defensive ends are sick. The receivers are top tier. There are just so many good football players in this division with more to come.
Which ever team/s make it to the playoffs from this division, they will be completely battle tested and should make a deep run. No coach can complain that they don’t have the talent to win as each GM has really done their jobs to this point with the draft to come.
There are some serious football warriors in the AFC West and we should see some incredible football this year. Buckle up gents, it is going to be a fun ride.
“The only reason a warrior is alive is to fight, and the only reason a warrior fights is to win”
― Miyamoto Musashi, A Book of Five Rings: The Classic Guide to Strategy