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2021 Offseason Personnel Moves Tournament – AFC West

Date:
July 9, 2021 1:31 PM
July 9, 2021 1:30 PM

2021 Offseason Personnel Moves Tournament – AFC West

 

(Same intro everyday) We’re going to have a daily series (11 days) taking a look at the offseason moves for all the NFL teams – looking at the key adds and losses in personnel this offseason 2021 (whether free agent, draft, or trade).

I like to list out the key adds next to the key losses and just look at the lists for each team and see what their thinking was and if all the maneuvering made them better…or worse…or A LOT better…or A LOT worse – to help me digest the offseason impact to Fantasy performance and to over/under win total handicapping. So, we’re doing that with this series and having some fun with our research…pitting the teams in a tournament style format and evaluating who had the better offseason moves…with the winner advancing on until we have just one winning team of ‘best offseason’.

This season, we're looking at free agency and trades PLUS key draft picks (according to CFM/us)…and it’s not just me (RC) making the call on ‘who wins’ – a three person committee will vote (and provide commentary to their vote) and the majority vote winner moves on. RC + FFM analyst Ross Jacobs + The Computer (an RC program designed to try to evaluate the moves by talent and positional importance, etc.) – I (RC) pick my winner before I see what The Computer thinks, for fairness. RC and Ross make their choices without knowing what the other picked as well.

We’ll look at a division a day and declare a divisional winner, then the AFC and NFC finals and then a Final 2/Super Bowl to declare an overall offseason 2021 winner.

Here we go…

 

Chiefs v. Broncos

 

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

Key Personnel Adds: OG Joe Thuney (FA), DT Jarran Reed (FA), RB Jerick McKinnon (FA), CB Mike Hughes (trade), Orlando Brown (Trade), OC Creed Humphrey (draft), LB Nick Bolton (draft)

Key Personnel Losses: OT Eric Fisher (FA), WR Sammy Watkins (FA), CB Bashaud Breeland (FA), OLB Damien Wilson (FA)

 

DENVER BRONCOS:

Key Personnel Adds: CB Ronald Darby (FA), CB Kyle Fuller (FA), RB Mike Boone (FA), QB Teddy Bridgewater (trade), SAF Caden Sterns (draft), RB Javonte Williams (draft), OC Quinn Meinerz (draft), CB Patrick Surtain (draft)

Key Personnel Losses: CB A.J. Bouye (FA), DE Jeremiah Attaochu (FA), RT Ju’Wuan James (FA), RB Phillip Lindsay (FA)

 

RC: The great NFL teams get a great QB then focus on building a great offensive line around that asset…and KC did just that this offseason, while other idiotic GMs/teams chased WRs and RBs with high draft picks or with their precious salary cap. Thus, most all analysts for FFM are taking the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl…it’s not a radical pick, but it’s the best QB with a rebuilt/refortified O-Line…why shouldn’t we predict them to win the title?

That’s where the Denver bias comes in – what they did with draft picks and free cap space, mostly they chased defense and a run game, like Vic Fangio likes. Teddy Bridgewater luckily fell into their laps…and Denver has a top 10 O-Line in the league as it is.

I love what KC did, but Denver seriously upgraded two of the big 3 important things – QB and CB. No slight to KC, but I see Denver making the bigger jump here. WINNER = Denver.

 

ROSS: This is an interesting matchup. The Broncos improved slightly at several different positions. They upgraded at corner, safety, running back, the interior line, and at QB (although personally I think it's a slight upgrade at best). They are a better team than they were at the end of 2020.

The Chiefs poured their limited resources into fixing one position, the position that cost them a Super Bowl, offensive line. I absolutely love that they identified a problem and instead of doing a half-assed job like most of the league, they attacked the problem with an aggressive solution. Trading for Orlando Brown, signing Joe Thuney in free agency, and drafting my favorite (not the best, just my favorite) player in Creed Humphrey. Their line is completely revamped and no longer looks like a liability. Behind QB, the offensive line is the most important unit on the field, and the Chiefs did everything in their power to protect their half-billion-dollar QB. They have to be the winner here. WINNER = Chiefs.

 

THE COMPUTERWINNER = Chiefs 53%/47%

 

The Chiefs advance (2-1) to the AFC West finals…

 

============================

 

Raiders v. Chargers

 

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS

Key Personnel Adds: DE Yannick Ngakoue (FA), RB Kenyan Drake (FA), WR John Brown (FA), DT Solomon Thomas (FA), DT Quinton Jefferson (FA), CB Casey Hayward (FA), CB Nate Hobbs (draft), SAF Trevon Moehrig (draft), LB Divine Deablo (draft), DE Malcolm Koonce (draft), OT Alex Leatherwood (draft)

Key Personnel Losses: WR Tyrell Williams (FA), SAF LaMarcus Joyner (FA), OT Trent Brown (traded), C Rodney Hudson (traded), G Gabe Jackson (traded)

 

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

Key Personnel Adds: OC Corey Linsley (FA), OL Matt Feiler (FA), TE Jared Cook (FA), OLB Kyler Fackrell (FA), OLB Nick Niemann (draft), CB Asante Samuel (draft), TE Tre McKitty (draft), WR Josh Palmer (draft), OT Rashawn Slater (draft)

Key Personnel Losses: TE Hunter Henry (FA), SAF Rashawn Jenkins (FA), LB Denzel Perryman (FA), QB Tyrod Taylor (FA), CB Casey Hayward (FA)

 

RC: All the Raiders did was lose the core of their O-Line this offseason…no, biggie…

Even if those OLs were aging, it’s a lot of loss and mostly no-names replacing them (and a rookie) otherwise. The Raiders are not attracting good free agents, which is odd because it should be a desired place to play – but word is out on Gruden, I suspect. Otherwise, they had a solid-not-spectacular draft.

Where the Raiders died at O-Line, the Chargers got radically better – because they followed the most obvious plan that I keep harping on in football -- get your good/great QB and then build an all-star O-Line around him. So, the Chargers added a top center, a top swing lineman, and drafted a top tackle prospect. They dumped an expensive, overrated TE (Henry) and added more cost-effective options. The Chargers are clearly better after the 2021 offseason…and are the obvious winners here. WINNER = LA Chargers.

 

ROSS: This is another easy one for me. The Raiders might be better, they might not be. Hard to say. They brought in a couple of interesting defenders, but they traded away three good offensive linemen. The Chargers did the opposite and added three linemen. Corey Linsley was arguably the best get in all of free agency. They also nabbed Slater in the draft and a decent guard in Pittsburgh’s Matt Feiler. All the other moves are mostly noise. The simple reality is the Raiders will likely have a worse offensive line in 2021, and the Chargers will have a much better one to protect their young franchise QB. Just like with the Chiefs, the Chargers identified the problem and set to work fixing it. Kudos. They move on. WINNER = Chargers.

 

THE COMPUTER: Winner = Chargers 88%/12%

 

The Chargers advance (3-0) to the AFC West finals…

 

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***The 2021 FFM Draft Guide Package is now available – see the FFM homepage for more information, including Combo deals with the In-Season Package and Dynasty Stash reporting.

2021 College Football Metrics subscriptions are still available – all the NFL Draft/rookie prospect scouting reports, Dynasty Rookie Draft (weekly top 350) coverage and analysis PLUS our annual Devy scouting report/rankings summer series begins in July.***

 

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--AFC WEST FINALS--

 

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

Key Personnel Adds: OG Joe Thuney (FA), DT Jarran Reed (FA), RB Jerick McKinnon (FA), CB Mike Hughes (trade), Orlando Brown (Trade), OC Creed Humphrey (draft), LB Nick Bolton (draft)

Key Personnel Losses: OT Eric Fisher (FA), WR Sammy Watkins (FA), CB Bashaud Breeland (FA), OLB Damien Wilson (FA)

 

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

Key Personnel Adds: OC Corey Linsley (FA), OL Matt Feiler (FA), TE Jared Cook (FA), OLB Kyler Fackrell (FA), OLB Nick Niemann (draft), CB Asante Samuel (draft), TE Tre McKitty (draft), WR Josh Palmer (draft), OT Rashawn Slater (draft)

Key Personnel Losses: TE Hunter Henry (FA), SAF Rashawn Jenkins (FA), LB Denzel Perryman (FA), QB Tyrod Taylor (FA), CB Casey Hayward (FA)

 

RC: The battle of teams doing the offseason the right way…fortifying their O-Line, hard. To try and judge between them, I could say they both did great with the O-Line (a ‘draw’)…and then LAC added more/better/other pieces. But I will say I like LAC’s O-Line adds a touch more, because I like Linsley (and Thuney) but adding Slater is a huge potential asset and Matt Feiler is very solid AND then all the other solid adds by LAC. No one LAC lost fazed me a bit…players that needed to go or aged out. WINNER = Chargers.

 

ROSS: Two very similar off-seasons here. I don't think you can go wrong with either. They both did a fantastic job fixing their offensive lines to protect their young QB's. This is how you build around your most important player. The rest of the league could learn from KC and LA.

So how do we pick a winner? Both teams added a top-tier interior lineman. The Chiefs traded for Orlando Brown, and we know he can play as opposed to Rashawn Slater still being unproven, although I highly doubt he's a failure. The Chargers added more in free agency than their rivals did with Jared Cook and Kyler Fackrell, but they also lost more starters than Kansas City. In the end I'm going to take the Chiefs by a hair because their changes were mostly replacing established starters with other established starters, whereas the Chargers group depends a little bit more on the draft class being good which is always a bit dicey. I think RC might disagree with me here, and if he does I can't blame him. WINNER = Chiefs

 

THE COMPUTER: Winner = Chargers 58%/42%

 

The L.A. Chargers advance (2-1) to the AFC Final Four.



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About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is a fantasy football player analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics and College Football Metrics. 

Email rc4metrics@gmail.com

Learn more about RC and the Fantasy Football Metrics system >>