Monday, March 1, 2010
Top free agents in the AFC West
By Bill Williamson
Most of the AFC West star power in free agency will be in restricted free agency.
There are several fantastic players in the division who are restricted free agents, including Vincent Jackson, Brandon Marshall, Marcus McNeill and Elvis Dumervil. However, those players are going to be difficult to sign because of the draft compensation involved.
The division’s unrestricted class is less impressive but there will be some talent available when free agency begins Friday. Here is a look at the top-five available free agents in the division:
1. Darren Sproles, running back/returner, San Diego: Technically, Sproles is not an unrestricted free agent. He is a restricted free agent who is not expected to be tendered, so Sproles will be free to sign anywhere. The Chargers are still trying to get a long-term deal done with him. Sproles, a multi-faceted weapon, will be very popular on the open market and it may be difficult for San Diego to keep him if he isn’t re-signed by Friday. Reports indicate that San Francisco and Washington will pursue him.
2. Chris Chambers, receiver, Kansas City: Chambers showed after he was claimed off waivers by San Diego that he is still a solid weapon. I wouldn’t be shocked if he strikes a deal to stay in Kansas City before free agency starts.
3. Kassim Osgood, receiver, San Diego: Osgood could be popular on the open market. He is one of the best special teams players in the NFL and he believes he can help at receiver. Osgood's desire to play the position could mean he will leave San Diego since the Chargers have been reluctant to use him on offense.
4. Brandon Manumaleuna, tight end, San Diego: Manumaleuna is an underrated player. He is a fine blocker and a hard worker. Chicago may make a run at him.
5. Mike Vrabel, linebacker, Kansas City: At this point in his career, Vrabel, 34, is more of a leader than a star on the field. But he still has something left and a contender could be attracted to his experience and leadership.