Plugging the holes: AFC West
Most pressing offseason needs for the Broncos, Chiefs, Raiders, Chargers
Welcome to the 2014 version of Plugging the Holes, an eight-part examination from Football Outsiders of the biggest needs for every NFL team, division by division, going into the offseason.
The series finishes off the AFC with the four AFC West clubs.
Denver Broncos: Secondary
As we chronicled before the AFC Championship Game, the Broncos had the worst pass defense in the league in the games that Von Miller missed. Miller should be healthy by the start of the 2014 season, and the pass defense was better with him in the lineup. Even so, the secondary that struggled badly without him could be facing significant personnel turnover, as four players who started at least 10 games are free agents.
The situation is not quite so dire as that previous sentence makes it sound. Strong safety Duke Ihenacho is an exclusive rights free agent who will return. He mostly displaced free agent Mike Adams, though Adams did start 10 games total and can play both safety positions. That versatility was needed because of the injury that caused free safety Rahim Moore to miss the entire postseason. Cornerback Chris Harris is a restricted free agent, which in all likelihood means that he'll be back. Considering that the ACL injury he suffered in the postseason could have teams guessing how durable he is, it seems unlikely another team would make him a big offer. He should return.