The Broncos have added some big pieces to their defensive line this season. Last season was their first running the 3-4 scheme, and while it was a mild success, the front wore down by season’s end.
To address the issue, the Broncos cut defensive end Kenny Patterson and added Justin Bannan from Buffalo, Jarvis Green from New England, and big nose tackle Jamal Williams from the AFC West rival Chargers. Green and Williams are likely to start at end and tackle, respectively, while Bannan’s versatility as an end/tackle will allow him to challenge for the strongside end spot or as a backup to Williams.
The Broncos also added quarterback Brady Quinn in a trade with the Browns. Kyle Orton, who played well last season, is still expected to start, but Quinn is coming in with the belief that it’s an open competition in Denver.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs made a splash early in free agency by signing former New York Jets running back Thomas Jones. At 31-years old, Jones rushed for 1,402 yards and 14 touchdowns last season with the Jets.
As is the current trend in the NFL, the Chiefs hope to display a versatile running game in pairing Jones with speedy running back Jamaal Charles. Jones is a proficient “between the tackles” type of runner and the Chiefs hope his consistent presence will allow for Charles’ big play ability to shine.
The Chiefs are also looking to beef up their offensive line this offseason. After bringing back center Casey Wiegmann, the team signed former Indianapolis Colts guard Ryan Lilja. Early draft predictions also suggest the team will look to draft a left tackle with the fifth overall pick in the upcoming draft.
San Diego Chargers
The Chargers have made headlines this offseason, but not in the way their fans might have wanted.
After losing nose tackle Jamal Williams to the Broncos, the Chargers parted ways with arguably the greatest player in their franchise’s history, LaDainian Tomlinson (Tomlinson has since signed with the New York Jets).
Initially, it looked as if the Chargers were going to let running back Darren Sproles go, but they have since tendered Sproles and now it will cost a team a first- and third-round draft pick to sign the diminutive spark plug.
The Chargers also traded away cornerback Antonio Cromartie to the Jets for a third-round pick in 2011, and have lost wide receiver Kassim Osgood (Jacksonville Jaguars) and tight end Brandon Manumaleuna (Chicago Bears) to free agency.
The only noteworthy addition to the Chargers roster at this point is former Redskins running back Marcus Mason. The Chargers are possibly looking to add another running back in the draft.