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AFC West Update: Two Teams Use Franchise Tag, Future Of Peyton Manning

Posted Mar 2, 2016

Just a week out from free agency, there's a lot going on around the AFC West. Let's get you caught up.

The offseason is in full swing, but that doesn’t mean things are quiet around the NFL.

We’re fresh off the heels of the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, and also just a week away from the opening of free agency.

A lot of is going on around the league, the AFC West in particular, so let’s take some time to catch you up on what’s happening around the division.

DENVER BRONCOS

Just over a month ago, the Denver Broncos defense – Von Miller in particular – demonstrated once again that defense does really win championships.

Miller was sensational against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50, tallying five tackles, 2.5 sacks one pass defensed, and two quarterback hits, en route to securing Super Bowl MVP honors.

The former Texas A&M Aggie was the best player on the field and showed just how valuable a versatile rusher who gets to the quarterback is in today’s game.

It was this versatility and value that prompted the Denver Broncos to use their *exclusive franchise tag for the 2016 season on Miller.

What that means, is that while the team and Miller were unable to come to terms on a long-term deal, the explosive outside linebacker remains under contract with the team for next season, and is slated to make no less than the average of the top five salaries at his position.

However, the future for Miller’s quarterback in 2015, Peyton Manning, remains a big question mark as the offseason continues, as his agent Tom Condon went on 104.3 The Fan in Denver and said the future Hall of Famer still hasn’t made a decision about whether or not to play in 2016.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

Just like their AFC West rivals in Denver, the Kansas City Chiefs elected to use their *non-exclusive franchise tag for the 2016 season as well, and just like the Broncos, they used theirs on the defensive side of the football, as they franchise tagged safety Eric Berry.

Berry has played his entire career with the Chiefs after being selected by the organization (No. 5 overall) in the 2010 NFL Draft.

He has appeared in 70 games with 68 starts and has tallied 384 tackles as well as 10 interceptions during his time in Kansas City.

After appearing in just six games during the 2014 season, Berry bounced back in a big way in 2015 – appearing in all 16 games, totaling 55 tackles and two interceptions, earning NFL Comeback Player of the Year honors in the process.

"Our goal is to keep Eric in Kansas City for the foreseeable future,” Chiefs General Manager John Dorsey told Chiefs.com. “He’s a special player that means a lot to our organization, the city, and has been a critical piece in building our foundation. With today being the deadline to use the franchise tag, we felt it was in the best interest of the club to place the tag on Eric.”

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

After a disappointing 4-12 result in 2015, the San Diego Chargers hold the No. 3 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

As is the case for most teams that are eight games under .500, the Chargers have multiple needs on their roster they must address if they hope to be competitive in 2016.

They’ve been linked to players from Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa to Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, so at the conclusion of the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Chargers.com took a look at how some of the players that might be there at No. 3 performed.


*Explaining the tag (courtesy NFL.com)

» The exclusive franchise tag is a one-year tender offer to a player for an amount no less than the average of the top five salaries at the player's position, or 120 percent of the player's previous salary, whichever is greater. The player's team has all negotiating rights to the player. 

» The non-exclusive franchise tag is a one-year tender offer to a player for an amount no less than the average of the top five salaries at the player's position, or 120 percent of the player's previous salary, whichever is greater. The player can negotiate with other teams. The player's current team has the right to match any offer, or receive two first-round picks as compensation.