2022 NFL Offseason Series: AFC West

2022 NFL Offseason Series: AFC West
Breaking down the upcoming offseason for each 2022 NFL team, broken down by division, including projected cap space, players under contract, notable free agents, potential extension candidates, franchise tag possibilities, & trade/cut options.

Offseason Division Pieces

Denver Broncos

Projected Top 51 Cap Space: $49M

Under Contract (38): FULL ROSTER

2022 Dead Cap: $6.3M

Notable Restricted Free Agents:DeShawn Williams (DT, 29), Malik Reed (LB, 25), FULL LIST

Notable Unrestricted Free Agents: Teddy Bridgewater (QB, 29), Melvin Gordon (RB, 28), A.J. Johnson (LB, 30), Josey Jewell (LB, 27), Kenny Young (LB, 26), Kareem Jackson (S, 33), FULL LIST

Franchise Tag Candidate: None.

Draft Picks: R1, R2, R2 (LAR), R3, R3 (LAR), R4, R5 (DET), R5, R7 (SF)

Extension Candidates

Bradley Chubb (EDGE, 25)
Chubb has battled injuries in 2 of his 4 seasons with Denver, but has 19.5 sacks combined in the other 2. There’s a high ceiling here, and with Von Miller not out of the equation, it stands to reason that Chubb is paid the long-term money, especially if the plan is to drop a veteran QB onto this roster in 2022. Chubb holds a $12.7M 5th year on his rookie contract, so a deal this offseason isn’t imperative. Games missed has his calculated value around $13.5M, with Matt Judon’s recent contract in New England as the closest comp.

Noah Fant (TE, 24)
Fant becomes extension eligible after 2021, and while the focus will be on finding a new QB to man the ship, it’s within reason that locking in their former #20 overall selection is in the cards this offseason as well. Jonnu Smith is the best comp currently, leading to a 4 year, $51M valuation.

Potential Trades/Cuts

Drew Lock (QB, 25)
Lock squandered his chance to be the next franchise QB for the Broncos, and the guarantees on his rookie contract expired in 2021. There's $1.45M of cap & cash to be cleared by moving on this offseason.

Kansas City Chiefs

Projected Top 51 Cap Space: $29M

Under Contract (30): FULL ROSTER

2022 Dead Cap: $2.3M

Notable Restricted Free Agents: Marcus Kemp (WR, 26), FULL LIST

Notable Unrestricted Free Agents: Tyrann Mathieu (S, 29), Orlando Brown Jr. (LT, 25), Charvarius Ward (LB, 26), Byron Pringle (WR, 28), Darrel Williams (RB, 26), FULL LIST

Franchise Tag Candidate: Orlando Brown Jr. (LT, 25), projected $16.5M

Draft Picks: R1, R2, R3, R4, R6 (BAL), R7 (MIN), R7 (LV), R7, R7 (COMP), R7 (COMP)

Extension Candidates

Tyrann Mathieu (S, 29)
Mathieu’s been vocal about wanting/expecting a new deal with the Chiefs, and for all intents, his numbers back up that request. Harrison Smith’s $16M mark is likely the pricepoint he’s looking for, though the calculated valuation stands at just over $15M per year currently.

Orlando Brown Jr. (LT, 25)
Brown grades out about the same as a left tackle that he did as a right tackle, though Patrick Mahomes is currently on pace to be handed the most sacks in his career. The reality here is that KC doled out a 1st, 3rd, & 4th round pick to bring Brown in, so a multi-year extension is happening, and our projections put that at 5 years, $90M currently.

Tyreek Hill (WR, 27)
Hill’s 2022 cap figure jumps to $20M in 2022, so a restructure is highly likely. Still just 27-years-old, Hill values to a 4 year, $88M extension right now, or 5 years, $106M total.

Potential Trades/Cuts

Frank Clark (DE, 28)
Clark can still be a factor on the edge, but time missed and a bit of decline puts his $26.3M cap figure on notice in 2022. With just $12.9M of dead cap attached to the deal, a post June 1st release means nearly $20M of cap space cleared for the Chiefs.

Anthony Hitchens (LB, 29)
Hitchens will be entering a contract year in 2022, with a $12.7M cap figure attached to it. The 29-year-old has been consistently solid in 4 seasons with the Chiefs, but there's reason to believe his off-ball position could be upgraded in a cheaper capacity going forward. KC can free up $8.5M by moving on.

Las Vegas Raiders

Projected Top 51 Cap Space: $39M

Under Contract (34): FULL ROSTER

2022 Dead Cap: $9.1M

Notable Restricted Free Agents: Alec Ingold (FB, 25), FULL LIST

Notable Unrestricted Free Agents: Casey Hayward (CB, 32), Zay Jones (WR, 26), K.J. Wright (LB, 32), Quinton Jefferson (DL, 28), Marcus Mariota (QB, 28), FULL LIST

Potential Franchise Tag: None.

Draft Picks: R1, R2, R3, R4, R5, R5 (NE), R7 (CAR)

Extension Candidates

Derek Carr (QB, 30)
Carr seems to be in a similar tier with Kirk Cousins, whereas the numbers look great most of the time, he possesses a lot of the qualities a franchise QB should have, and yet big game wins and "elite" talent alludes him. He's the 11th rated QB according to PFF currently, and his contract has 1 year, $19.8M remanining on it through 2022. A cap-adjusted version of Ryan Tannehill's extension in Tennessee could be on the table here, 4 years, $125M.

Hunter Renfrow (WR, 25)
The 5th round pick from 2019 becomes extension eligible this offseason, with a $965,000 salary remaining on his rookie contract. The Raiders possess plenty of question marks at the wide receiver position, so locking in a model of consistency like Renfrow makes a lot of sense. The 25 year old should be pushing north of Tim Patrick’s recent deal in Denver, around the 3 year, $40M mark.

Josh Jacobs (RB, 23)
The former 1st-round pick is finding work as a pass-catcher in 2021, further elevating his value as a young running back. Jacobs become extension eligible after 2021, currently holding a $10M valuation, but that figure will continue to rise as dual threat option, with Aaron Jones' 4 yrs, $48M easily in his sights.

Maxx Crosby (DE, 24)
Crosby is currently the 2nd highest rated edge defender in football according to PFF and becomes extension eligible for the first time this winter. The 4th round pick out of Eastern Michigan has had standout performances in 2021, and is a major reason the Raiders remain in the hunt. Crosby projects to a 4 year, $55M deal currently.

Potential Trades/Cuts

Clelin Ferrell (DE, 24)
Ferrell holds a fully guaranteed $4.7M salary for 2022, with a $9.9M cap figure to boot. While a trade would certainly be ideal, an outright release seems more likely here, even it won't free up any cap space.

Yannick Ngakoue (DE, 26)
Ngakoue has probably done enough to stick on this roster one more year, but his $15M cap hit in 2022 is probably too rich to keep in its current state. The deal was always setup to be a 1 year tender with an option in year two, so a restructure or extension is highly likely here to help reduce the hit. His $8M roster bonus is already fully guaranteed, and converting all $13M of his compenations into bonus can free up over $6M of cap space for Las Vegas.

Los Angeles Chargers

Projected Top 51 Cap Space: $71M

Under Contract (34): FULL ROSTER

2022 Dead Cap: $327k

Notable Restricted Free Agents: Storm Norton(G, 27), Jalen Guyton (WR, 24), FULL LIST

Notable Unrestricted Free Agents: Mike Williams (WR, 27), Chris Harris (CB, 32), Linval Joseph (DT, 33)
Jared Cook (TE, 34), FULL LIST

Franchise Tag Candidate: Mike Williams (WR, 27), projected $18.5M

Draft Picks: R1, R2, R3, R4, R5, R6, R6 (COMP), R7, R7 (COMP), R7 (COMP), R7 (COMP)

Extension Candidates

Derwin James (S, 25)
James holds a $9M fully guaranteed 5th year salary in 2022, which actually ranks 11th in safety cash right now. He carries a $15.7M valuation toward the new year, projecting to a 5 year, $78M extension. 

Mike Williams (WR, 27)
A few months ago this extension would have been laughable, but QB Justin Herbert and Williams have developed clear big play chemistry, so keeping him in the fold is now very much on the table. A franchise tag is likely coming (projected $18.8M), while a multi-year projection places him at 4 years, $65M currently.

Potential Trades/Cuts

Bryan Bulaga (OT, 32)
Bulaga's production as dipped since joining the Chargers from Green Bay in 2020, and back injury has limited his ability to help the squad down the stretch this season. He holds a $14M cap hit in 2022, with $10.75M to be freed up should LA move on.