At the end of the day, the National Football League is a business, which means players can be moved, replaced, or waived at any given moment. Over the past few days, this is what's occurred in the AFC West as a pair of players from the Kansas City Chiefs made headlines for different reasons, and a key defensive player from the Los Angeles Chargers was assigned the franchise tag.
With the free agency window scheduled to begin March 7, traction has started to build with more and more big players hitting the market. Among them will be long time Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, who spent the past nine seasons with the team. News broke Tuesday that the two-time First-Team All-Pro will part ways with the team and hit the free agent market.
Let's take a look at what's going on around the division.
Last Friday, the Orange Crush were awarded four compensatory picks from the league for the 2017 NFL Draft. Following the news, the Broncos will now enter the draft with 10 total picks, as opposed to their original six. The team retained the 20th overall pick in the first round and has been provided with a third round, fifth round, and two seventh round draft choices.
Here's a breakdown of all the Broncos' draft choices:
Round 1: Pick 20 (No. 20 overall)
Round 2: Pick 19 (No. 51 overall)
Round 3: Pick 18 (No. 82 overall)
Round 3: Pick 37 (No. 101 overall, compensatory)
Round 4: Pick 20 (No. 127 overall)
Round 5: Pick 34 (No. 177 overall, compensatory)
Round 6: Pick 19 (No. 203 overall, acquired from Tennessee)
Round 7: Pick 20 (No. 238 overall)
Round 7: Pick 34 (No. 252 overall, compensatory)
Round 7: Pick 35 (No. 253 overall, compensatory)
Kansas City Chiefs
Its official; after serving as the go-to guy in the Kansas City backfield for several years, Jamaal Charles will no longer be a member of the Chiefs. During his tenure with the team, No. 25 totaled 7,260 rushing yards, which is the most in franchise history. In addition, the University of Texas-product tallied 43 rushing touchdowns, an average of 5.5 yards per carry, 2,457 yards receiving, and 20 receiving touchdowns.
The four-time Pro Bowler made a large contribution to the Chiefs' success throughout his career, but after a pair of seasons (2015-2016) plagued with injury issues, Charles will find himself suited up in a different jersey next season.
While they're letting their former franchise running back go, the Chiefs have locked up safety Eric Berry for another six years. After being diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease in 2014, Berry made a full recovery and was awarded the title of Comeback Player of the Year in 2015. The veteran safety is coming off of back-to-back Pro Bowl and First-Team All-Pro selections after posting yet another impressive stat line in 2016.
In 16 games last season, Berry had four interceptions, two touchdowns, one forced fumble, and 62 tackles. At only 28 years of age, the Chiefs should expect to continue seeing solid production out of their safety blanket on defense.
Los Angeles Chargers
Monday afternoon the Bolts announced the team had placed the franchise tag on linebacker Melvin Ingram. After being selected by the Chargers with the 18th overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, Ingram has started in 44 of 61 games and posted 24.5 sacks, 224 tackles, and two fumble recoveries in the first five seasons of his career. In 2016, the South Carolina-product notched a total of eight sacks, which was good for the second-best on the team.
Since entering the league, Ingram has endured his fair share of injuries, from a torn ACL, to a hip injury. When healthy he's proved to be a dominant force for the Chargers and is a key component in their defensive scheme. The team suffered a massive amount of injuries in 2016 and was still the 17th best defense in the league. With a healthy roster next season and the Ingram returning, the Bolts should be able to contend with opponents week-in and week-out.