Broncos Must Keep Pace in a Suddenly Competitive AFC

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Dec 28, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore (21) looks on during the fourth quarter of the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi

The elite maintain the status quo, except…

There really haven’t been any flashy or big splash signings from any of the AFC’s top contenders. Besides the Patriots’ signing of versatile linebacker Jabaal Sheard, both New England and the Broncos have stood pat, staying away from anything that resembles a splashy signing. New England has actually contributed more to other team’s headline-grabbing moves by letting starting cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner hit the road.

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Only the Indianapolis Colts have had the hot-hand in free agency out of the AFC’s contenders, starting with the signing of veteran back Frank Gore. Edge-rusher Trent Cole also decided to hop aboard the train to Indy, as did defensive lineman Kendall Langford. Colts’ general manager Ryan Grigson handed out big-time money to all three players, and still wasn’t finished. Future Hall of Fame receiver Andre Johnson ultimately chose to play out the final years of his career in Indianapolis, reuniting with Gore, his former college teammate, in the process.

While the rest of the AFC’s contenders let the market play itself out, the Colts have dove right into the action, seemingly going all-in for a championship next season. We’ll have to wait and see if these moves pay off for the Colts, but the race for the top seeds in the AFC is already shaping up quite nicely.