AFC West Links: Raiders, Broncos, Hardy

Raiders safety Charles Woodson is excited about what the team was able to do in free agency, despite the lack of one huge signing, writes Jerry McDonald of

“There’s no question that Suh would have been huge. He would have been huge. He would have been a great addition to the team,” said Woodson. “But at the same time, if you don’t get a Suh, you can get three or four other players to make up for it. And what that does is build depth. So you bring in guys that are possibly starters, that will compete for a starting job, and then we’ve still got money to get three or four other guys. Then you’ve got the draft coming up. So you have the potential to build the team the way you want to. Just because you didn’t get the one guy, we’ll have the opportunity to build this team the right way and that’s what Reggie’s looking at.”‘

  • Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie is looking at free agency in the same light as Woodson, and is happy with what they were able to do, according to McDonald“Every year you go after a lot of guys, and you don’t get them all,” McKenzie said. “Our intent was to go out hard and heavy after each one of these guys, and we were able to land a whole bunch of guys we really liked.”
  • The Broncos were big spenders in free agency last offseason, but were more reserved this year as they lost Julius Thomas, Terrance Knighton, and Rahim Moore. Head coach Gary Kubiak stressed the importance of being able to sustain success by replacing veterans with younger players, writes Mike Klis of the Denver Post“I think you have to understand that’s going to happen with your football team,” Kubiak said. “You can’t keep everybody that you’d like to. Being able to replace guys is part of it. And right now our biggest challenge is that we have to improve a lot of the younger players.”
  • One free agent the Broncos were able to bring in was offensive lineman Shelley Smith, who played college ball at Colorado State University. Smith was specifically excited to play for Kubiak, writes Troy Renck of the Denver Post“We have a lot of friends and family here, a lot of support. And it was very appealing. I think he is a heck of a coach, and some of his staff obviously followed him,” Smith said Saturday. “Obviously the scheme has proven to be a very good system and I think it fits my capabilities well.”
  • Kevin Acee of the U-T San Diego asked a few Chargers’ players if they would be receptive to bringing in Greg Hardy despite his legal troubles. He feels the locker room would approve of the signing (via Twitter). However, he warns them that they will lose their right to judge the next player who gets himself into an ugly situation if they do take him in (via Twitter).
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