HERTFORD ENGLAND - OCTOBER 27: Franklin Aubrayo of San Francisco 49ers looks on during a training session at The Grove Hotel on October 27 2010 in Hertford England. The San Francisco 49ers will meet the Denver Broncos in the NFL International Series regular-season match at Wembley Stadium on October 31. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
If we had to guess how things will turn out in Kansas City, these seem pretty safe predictions for how Scott Pioli would act.
It's all hearsay. It's pure speculation. Call it conjecture, an educated guess or a shot in the dark. Just know that anything you read from here on out is under the descriptor of "prediction", and has no merit from a single source. That being said, with the dearth of free agent news coming out of Kansas City while other teams like the Carolina Panthers are doing their best Dan Snyder impersonations, I thought it'd be a fine time to make a prediction as to how Kansas City's free agent additions will end up panning out. That said, here's my predictions (or insert other word here) on how the Chiefs offseason will end up.
1. Sign Aubrayo Franklin - This one (and the next) seem a no-brainer given the rumors (or silence) swirling around the player. In this case, the Chiefs have a massive hole in the defensive interior with the loss of Shaun Smith and Ron Edwards, and there's been very little from Aubrayo Franklin's camp in terms of rumors (or from the Chiefs in their pursuit of anyone else to fill that role). Instead, they seem either far too content with Jerrelle Powe or they're poised to make a move for Franklin. And like the Steve Breaston signing, this one seems well telegraphed.
2. Sign Le'Ron McClain - Speaking of well telegraphed, is it possible for any single player to be linked to one team more right now than the former Ravens fullback to the Chiefs? Twitter is bursting with fans and reporters all signaling the move to the Chiefs for McClain and that's a boost for KC's running game -- one that's already the best in the NFL last season. A side note for Chiefs fans: learn it now that it's pronounced "lay-ron", not "luh-ron" or "lee-ron."
3. Sign Sean Locklear - For some reason, I still think the shake-up is coming for Kansas City's offensive line. Whether they sign a left tackle and slide Branden Albert inside or to the right or whether they make a signing like Sean Locklear to anchor the right side, I'm just having a hard time believing the Chiefs will go through another year of Ryan O'Callaghan and Barry Richardson. Locklear was released by Seattle after anchoring their right side for the last seven seasons. He's a finesse blocker who would be great for Jamaal Charles' running style, and the Chiefs have the experienced OT depth to cover in case Locklear's health issues creep in again. Could be economical yet impactful move. Sounds like Scott Pioli.
4. Sign Stephen Cooper - The Chiefs have needs at inside linebacker after investing this offseason on the outside (Justin Houston), and Stephen Cooper is the kind of defensive leader and experienced veteran who can take over some of Mike Vrabel's duties in the locker room and on the field. He wasn't healthy last year, but even at 32, Cooper is a solid tackler against the run who also has good eyes to knock down the pass across the middle. He also knows the division and seems the kind of savvy veteran both Pioli and Haley would love to add.