Monday, February 13, 2012
Top AFC Wests UFAs
By Bill Williamson
A look at the top potential unrestricted free agents in the AFC West:
1. Vincent Jackson, receiver, San Diego: Receivers with Jackson’s size speed and skills are rare. The Chargers want him back, but there will be competition.
2. Dwayne Bowe, receiver, Kansas City: Bowe has major skills and he will get paid. There are consistency and personality questions, but Bowe is a talent.
3. Brandon Carr, cornerback, Kansas City: I know some folks think Carr will be one of the prizes of free agency and he will be paid large by the Chiefs or someone else. But he’s a No. 2 cornerback, so I’m always a bit worried to see them get paid before they prove they are No. 1 starters.
4. Michael Bush, running back, Oakland: I’m concerned that Bush’s production waned down the stretch. It makes you wonder if he can be a true starter. But he is immensely talented and I wouldn’t blame Oakland if it franchised him.
5. Tyvon Branch, safety, Oakland: Branch is a good player. He isn’t without faults, but he would be attractive in free agency and Oakland’s defense will be better with him than without him.
6. Nick Hardwick, center, San Diego: He’s a rock and the anchor to the offensive line in San Diego. There has been talk he may retire, but the Chargers want him back.
7. Brodrick Bunkley, defensive tackle, Denver: He is an underrated player, who could be would be popular on the open market. Denver wants him back.
8. Jason Campbell, quarterback, Oakland: Campbell showed he is a starter in the NFL while with the Raiders and some team will likely make him their starter in 2012.
9. Mike Tolbert, running back, San Diego: Tolbert is a multi-purpose back. San Diego regretted letting the versatile Darren Sproles walk to New Orleans last year. It can’t make the same mistake with Tolbert.
10. Jared Gaither, tackle, San Diego: Gaither could easily be one of the five best players in this group. He just has to show consistency.
11. Kyle Orton, quarterback, Kansas City: Some teams may value Orton more than Campbell. I just like Campbell a tad more.
12. Antonio Garay, defensive tackle, San Diego: This is a good, stout player who may finally get paid at the age of 32.
13. Matt Prater, kicker, Denver: Prater has a cannon for a leg and he one of the better kickers in the league. Prater loves playing in Denver and Denver loves having him.