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Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Big stories brewing in the AFC West

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Last year was a wild offseason in the AFC West. It could be just as dramatic in the division this year.

I was watching ESPN’s "NFL Live" earlier Tuesday and senior writer John Clayton was running down what he believes will be among the biggest stories in the NFL this offseason. Yes, the AFC West played had some major roles in Clayton’s segment.

Clayton addressed six potential storylines. The AFC West could play a role in as many as five of them. Let’s recap Clayton’s story lines that could/will affect the AFC West:

Richard Seymour: This is Clayton’s No.5 story of the offseason. Seymour is an unrestricted free agent. Oakland may have to give him the franchise tag to keep him. If a long-term deal (Seymour said preliminary talks have begun) can’t be finalized, the Raiders will likely have to give Seymour the franchise tag. Oakland gave up a first-round pick in 2011 to get Seymour. It doesn’t have a choice but to keep him.

Brandon Marshall: This is Clayton’s No. 4 story of the offseason. Marshall will probably be a restricted free agent. Denver will probably trade him.

Julius Peppers: This is Clayton’s No. 3 story. The Carolina pass-rusher will likely hit the open market. Denver and Kansas City -- and perhaps San Diego -- could make a run at him.

Donovan McNabb: This is Clayton’s No. 2 story. ESPN has reported Denver has had multiple talks with Philadelphia about McNabb. That would be a blockbuster.

LaDainian Tomlinson: Clayton also touched on Tomlinson’s situation. San Diego is expected to cut him soon. Clayton said Denver may be one of two (along with Houston) landing spots for Tomlinson. It would kill San Diego fans to see Tomlinson end his career in Denver.

We look forward to monitoring these stories in what is shaping up to be a busy offseason in the division.