2024 AFC West Offseason Report Card: Key Additions, Subtractions, Final Grades

Chiefs and Chargers receive high marks, Raiders have some work to do, and the Broncos have a long road ahead after the Russell Wilson debacle. 
Jones signed a five-year extension worth $160 million, including $95 million fully guaranteed.
Jones signed a five-year extension worth $160 million, including $95 million fully guaranteed. / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs have ownership of the AFC West.

Since the 2016 season, Kansas City has ripped off eight consecutive division titles, the second-longest such streak in NFL history behind only the New England Patriots’ AFC East run of 2009 to ’19.

This offseason saw the Chiefs largely maintain their championship roster as  they aim for a three-peat, while the Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers and Denver Broncos will try to catch them.

In Denver, the rebuild is on after the Broncos released Russell Wilson and selected Bo Nix in the first round of the draft. Meanwhile, the Raiders are trotting out a new coach-quarterback combo in Antonio Pierce and Gardner Minshew II.

For the Chargers, Jim Harbaugh takes over as head coach, but does so without receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.

So which team did best this offseason and which teams fell further back in the AFC West? Let’s get to the grades.

Kansas City Chiefs

Offseason grade: B

Key additions: WR Marquise Brown, WR Xavier Worthy, QB Carson Wentz

Key losses: CB L’Jarius Sneed, LB Willie Gay, OT Donovan Smith, G Nick Allegretti

The two-time defending champions didn’t do a ton this offseason in terms of adding talent. However, and most importantly, they made sure not to lose much, either.

GM Brett Veach did well to retain superstar defensive tackle Chris Jones and linebacker Drue Tranquill. Then, in free agency, the Chiefs signed Brown to a one-year, $7 million deal to upgrade the weapons for quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who won the Super Bowl last year with Rashee Rice on the perimeter and little else.

However, Kansas City lost a few important defensive pieces, led by Sneed. After placing the franchise tag on Sneed, he was eventually traded to the Tennessee Titans for a 2025 third-round pick. Without Sneed, the Chiefs still have All-Pro corner Trent McDuffie, but he’s surrounded by lesser-known talents in Jaylen Watson and Joshua Williams.

Between free agency and the draft, the Chiefs netted a first-round receiver in Worthy, and remain a favorite to win it all again.


Los Angeles Chargers 

Offseason grade: B-

Key additions: OT Joe Alt, WR D.J. Chark, RB Gus Edwards, RB J.K. Dobbins, CB Kristian Fulton

Key losses: WR Mike Williams, WR Keenan Allen, C Corey Linsley

The Chargers finally made the right move and fired coach Brandon Staley, replacing him with a huge name in Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh.

With Harbaugh at the helm, Los Angeles is rebranding itself. The Chargers were forced to reset the roster some due to a salary cap crunch, with receiver Mike Williams being released and slot extraordinaire Keenan Allen sent to the Chicago Bears in a trade. Additionally, former All-Pro center Corey Lindley retired due to a medical condition.

To help bolster the squad for 2024, first-time general manager Joe Hortiz brought in rookie receiver Ladd McConkey in the second round before signing D.J. Chark. Up front, the Chargers landed Notre Dame tackle Joe Alt with the No. 5 pick, using him as a bookend to Rashawn Slater.

For Los Angeles, this season represents a pivot point, with contention hopes resting squarely on Harbaugh, quarterback Justin Herbert and a fourth-place schedule.


Las Vegas Raiders 

Wilkins received a four-year, $110 million deal, including $57.5 million fully guaranteed.
Wilkins received a four-year, $110 million deal, including $57.5 million fully guaranteed. / Jim Rassol / USA TODAY NETWORK

Offseason grade: C

Key additions: DT Christian Wilkins, QB Gardner Minshew II, TE Brock Bowers

Key losses: RB Josh Jacobs, QB Jimmy Garoppolo

The Raiders began the offseason by removing the interim tag from coach Antonio Pierce, making him the permanent replacement for Josh McDaniels.

With Pierce in town, the Raiders spent a bulk of the winter reshaping the quarterback position. Out went Jimmy Garoppolo and in came Gardner Minshew II on a two-year deal. He’ll compete with Aidan O’Connell for the main job, but Minshew has to be the favorite after the way he filled in for Anthony Richardson in Indianapolis.

However, Minshew won’t have Jacobs in the backfield, who signed a four-year deal with the Green Bay Packers. Without Jacobs, Las Vegas will turn to former Viking Alexander Mattison, who came in via free agency. The good news? Minshew will have Bowers, who fell to the No. 13 pick in April’s draft.

All told, this is another transition year for the Raiders, who are trying to establish a winning culture under Pierce and new GM Tom Telesco.


Denver Broncos 

Offseason grade: F

Key additions: S Brandon Jones, QB Bo Nix, QB Zach Wilson

Key losses: WR Jerry Jeudy, LB Josey Jewell, QB Russell Wilson, C Lloyd Cushenberry, S Justin Simmons

The Broncos took a huge swing at contention two years ago, trading multiple picks and players for Wilson. Now, they’re left with a three-way quarterback competition of Nix, Wilson and Jarrett Stidham, while Wilson’s lasting impact is $85 million in dead money over the next two seasons.

As a result, Denver has perhaps the league’s worst roster. The Broncos spent much of the offseason resetting the franchise. To this end, they released Simmons and traded Jeudy for a pair of mid-round picks. They also saw Jewell and Cushenberry leave in free agency, weakening the team down the middle on both sides of the ball.

For Denver, the 2024 season is going to be about Nix and his progress. As a 24-year-old rookie who isn’t blocked by a competent starter, Nix should start immediately, giving an immediate glimpse into his NFL potential.


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Matt Verderame

MATT VERDERAME

Matt Verderame is an NFL staff writer for Sports Illustrated. He hosts The Matt Verderame Show on Patreon; previously wrote for FanSided and Awful Announcing; and is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association. A proud father of two girls and lover of all Italian food, Matt is an eternal defender of Rudy, the greatest football movie of all time.