Where Does Oakland Stand in the AFC West Now?

As the end of the 2012 NFL season drew to a close, fanbases across the league eagerly anticipated the uncertainty that the offseason provided.

But not in Oakland.

Faced with a dire salary cap situation and low on draft picks, this offseason was going to be anything but exciting for Oakland. With multiple big-name players owed massive amounts of money, promising young players wanting more than Oakland could afford and few NFL players wanting anything to do with a cellar-bound Raiders squad, there wasn't much for Oakland fans to look forward to.

To make matters worse, the Broncos and the Chiefs did the exact opposite.

So as we stand just under a month away from the 2013 NFL draft, the question remains of where Oakland stands among the AFC West at the moment.

Just a year and a half removed from nearly stealing the division in 2011, Oakland faded in 2012 to third place. In 2013, however, it appears things are still getting worse.

At the top of the division are Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, fresh off a trip to the divisional round of the playoffs, where they lost by three points in double overtime to the eventual champs, the Baltimore Ravens.

If Denver had done nothing this offseason they would have remained in comfortable control of the division, but John Elway and the Denver front office had other plans.

The centerpiece of their offseason was wide receiver Wes Welker, who makes a dynamic offense featuring Manning, Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas even more dangerous.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Broncos parted ways with Elvis Dumervil and DJ Williams, but added versatile defensive back Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Rumors are also circulating that Dwight Freeney could be the next player to sign in Denver.

As far as the AFC West is concerned, the other three teams are all fighting for second.

The two teams really engaged ...

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