The emergence of Derrick Johnson was one of the most exciting aspects of the 2010 Kansas City Chiefs, and the consistent play of undrafted FA Jovan Belcher was a welcome addition as well. But ILB remains a position with upgrade potential, which means that Scott Pioli might sign someone to fill Belcher's role or add depth given his statement that he'll do anything that helps the roster.
To that end, enter Channing Crowder and Nick Barnett, both recent middle linebacker cuts from the Miami Dolphins and Green Bay Packers respectively. Both players are familiar with the 3-4 system and could immediately step in and provide an upgrade for the Chiefs in a defensive system that should only get better given the amount of young players learning the ropes from front to back.
For Crowder, he was a victim of the Dolphins' finding a better player in former Charger Kevin Burnett. Still the trickle down effect would give the Chiefs a good-to-great defender against the run who's also decent in the passing game. Crowder has had some injury concerns over the last few seasons, which means that having Belcher in the back pocket is a positive scenario.
As for Barnett, he was getting older as the Packers were committing to getting younger. He also has the same injury concerns that Crowder comes with. Even still, Barnett has Super Bowl experience and the ability to rush the passer and drop into coverage. Of both linebackers, he would be the stronger addition to the roster.
It's nice to know there are still some solid options out there as Pioli slowly works the phones and aims for the best addition to the team currently in camp. It wouldn't surprise me if these guys are both snatched up by some team in the next 24 hours, but here's hoping the Chiefs land one of them.