Perhaps Scott Pioli knew some of the dominoes would fall if he just waited to address the offensive tackle position in free agency rather than use a draft pick. Or perhaps he doesn’t feel like it even needs addressing. But if he is interested in bolstering the position, this is a good time to do so.
The Chiefs have been relatively silent during this FA period, save for the Steve Breaston addition at wideout, but fans are clamoring for any announcement that brings relief at defensive tackle and/or a fullback named McClain. Yet right tackle has also been a position where no single player would stake his claim, merely filling in adequately enough to hold the Chiefs over. That’s the reason why many fans thought OT Gabe Carimi from Wisconsin might be the Chiefs first round draft choice this year.
Ryan O’Callaghan and Barry Richardson have played the role before, so it’s not as if the Chiefs have no worthy candidates to continue to fill that space. But it’s clear the position could be a candidate for an upgrade, which means Pioli might be looking at his options. And there are plenty:
-Sean Locklear – The longtime Seattle Seahawk was finally cut loose and at 32, his best days are behind him. When healthy, he’s a great finesse blocker who would love the athleticism of Charles and would provide a veteran voice along the line. And Chiefs have the depth to handle the health risk.
-Matt Light – The Patriots cut ties with Light this week and made their longtime left tackle available. Perhaps he comes back for less money, but it’s possible that Pioli strikes in familiar territory. It’s worked out well with other players he’s brought in.
-Nick Kaczur – The same could be said of Light that can be said here, but the likelihood of a return to New England is significantly less here than with Light. In fact, if one of the two linemen were really available, the bet would be on the right tackle. He slipped down the depth chart and is coming off of a back injury, so there are a few question marks here.
-Jammal Brown – The Saints left tackle for years, he switched in 2010 to the right side in Washington and that experience could pay dividends for the Chiefs. He has great size at 6-6, 315 and is solid as a run and pass blocker. This would be my vote for best all-around “get” at the position.
Others are available, including the Broncos’ Ryan Harris or the Colts’ Charlie Johson. Pioli has some choices available to him if he doesn’t want to enter 2011 the same way he did in 2010. But after leading the league in rushing, he might believe the roster is fine as is.