2012 NFL Offseason: Kansas City Chiefs No. 1 Priority Is Brandon Carr

The Chiefs need to keep Carr if they are continue dominant defensive performances into 2012.

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Chiefs Free Agency: Brandon Carr, Stanford Routt And Kicking The Tires On Cornerbacks

The Kansas City Chiefs have already publicly stated that they have a first priority this off-season above all others: to re-sign their team main restricted free agents. Whether they use the franchise tag or figure out a long-term deal with each, the goal stated by head coach Romeo Crennel was that Brandon Carr and Dwayne Bowe would hopefully both return to the Chiefs for 2012 and possibly beyond. But if the Chiefs fail to work something out with Carr, things might not be as lost as some believe.

Certainly Carr is the best case scenario himself. He’s been a starter since he first came into the league four years ago out of Grand Valley State. He’s started opposite Brandon Flowers that entire time, developing a great chemistry as a young, dynamic tandem and displaying a rare durability throughout. Though his performances are often overshadowed by Flowers, the higher draft pick, Carr has earned a rep as a strong defender by those who look closely and now he’s set to get paid in a major way.

And he should. Everything a team would want in a cornerback is found in Brandon Carr. Last year he had a career-high four interceptions to go with 45 tackles and 15 passes defended. He’s the cream of not only the cornerback crop in free agency, but if it wasn’t for Mario Williams of the Texans, he might be the best defender available in the class. After all, few corners are available at age 26 who have four full 16 game seasons under their belt.

Carr has also stated he wants to come back under the right circumstances. Romeo Crennel was made head coach, which most players, especially Chiefs defenders, seemed to want. The Chiefs also have plenty of salary cap room to make him well-paid alongside the money already given to Flowers (5 years for $50 million with $22 million guaranteed last September).

If there’s a downside, however, it might be found there. Eric Berry is going to make his money. Kendrick Lewis is cheap, but he’ll be up for an extension soon as well. Can the Chiefs afford to keep every young member of their secondary as they become more expensive?

If Scott Pioli decides not to, there are other options out there — albeit ones of lesser quality. It’s about what provides the best value while making the Chiefs a better team all-around, and that’s the balancing that Pioli and his henchmen must think about. Does paying Carr big money keep the team from making investments elsewhere? Can they do both? That’s the question.

Which is why kicking the tires on Stanford Routt, the former Raiders cornerback who was just released, makes sense. Stat-wise, Routt matches Carr’s four interceptions last season with 49 tackles. The Houston product has seven seasons of experience in the NFL and he’s only 28, so he has some of the same facets of his game and persona that Carr does — making him a strong contender for someone aiming for Carr who doesn’t get him.

The Chiefs should also at least look closely at other options, including Tracy Porter, Carlos Rogers and other free agents who might not cost as much if the Chiefs simply cannot pony up the money for Carr over the long haul.

Bill Williamson writes, “The Chiefs could be comparing the price tags for Carr and Routt; they could also be showing interest in Routt to demonstrate to Carr that they would be willing to go elsewhere. I think it is a smart move for the Chiefs to at least see what Routt is looking for and to give themselves options in case they think Carr will leave. Because there is so much interest in Routt, this process could take some time.”

Some decision should be made by the end of February or early March as to what they will do for Bowe and Carr. Both decisions will majorly shape the Chiefs off-season to come, so here’s hoping the team can keep both. If not, they need to carefully consider what else is available.


Chiefs Free Agency: Crowded Cornerback Market Could Work Well For Brandon Carr's Return To Kansas City

There's no way to tell how things will play out. If Brandon Carr wants to be finished with his time in Kansas City, then there's nothing the team can do about it unless it wants to franchise a player that doesn't want to be here. And if, for some reason, the Chiefs do not want to have their starting cornerback return in 2012, then they can let him walk via free agency. But if the team is hoping to re-sign him to a long-term deal, the market might be helping their case just a bit.

While Carr would undoubtedly be the top player available in the cornerback market, there are other options available for teams looking for secondary help. Stanford Routt is the latest addition to that group after the Raiders released him yesterday. He falls right in line with several others who will be available and might lower Carr's demands given the amount of solid veteran corners out there.

Gregg Rosenthal writes, "The release of Stanford Routt on Thursday adds to an already deep group. Routt isn’t a Pro Bowler, but he’s been a decent starter at times in his career. Those guys usually get paid. Routt wouldn’t crack my top five-cornerbacks slated for the open market. Cortland Finnegan, Brent Grimes, Brandon Carr, Tracy Porter, and Carlos Rogers are all attractive options. The first three names above are so attractive that they may get stuck with the franchise tag. After those five names, guys like Routt, Terrell Thomas, Eric Wright, and Aaron Ross figure to attract significant interest."

Some of those are older while some are more limited than Carr, so he will definitely get his money. But the Chiefs might be more attractive if they are offering the money he wants and the outrageous suitor isn't out there after all (i.e. the Washington Redskins most off-seasons). Here's hoping the Chiefs have Carr back in 2012 and beyond.


NFL Free Agency: Brandon Carr Is Listed As Second Best Player On FA Market

The Kansas City Chiefs are going to have their work cut out for them if they are going to sign both of their big free agents in cornerback Brandon Carr and wide receiver Dwayne Bowe. Both players are still young yet have tremendous experience as immediate starters in the NFL and both are likely to get paid the big bucks this off-season. The Chiefs can only hope that the sway of more money doesn’t take them away from KC.

But Carr is now listed among the best free agents available overall, and those are the kinds of names that can change teams for the franchise willing to outbid everyone. Now the Chiefs have nearly as much money as anyone this off-season, yet Carr’s hometown team, the Detroit Lions, have already been linked to Carr if he leaves the Chiefs. In other words, this isn’t a simple re-sign.

Pete Prisco loves Carr on the open market and writes, “How often do good man-cover players in their prime hit the market? This kid is about to get paid. He is this high because he plays a premium position well. He turns 26 in May.”

The pressure is definitely on Scott Pioli to keep Carr opposite Brandon Flowers, the Chiefs other top corner, for the next few years. The Chiefs secondary has been a strong point and keeping Carr would allow the team to upgrade the roster elsewhere. To lose Carr would force the team to possibly grab a corner in the first round in Dre Kirkpatrick, for example, instead of drafting an offensive or defensive tackle.


Romeo Crennel Says Chiefs Want To Keep Brandon Carr And Dwayne Bowe

The Kansas City Chiefs have money to spend. They also have the makings of a fine young nucleus on both sides of the ball. In fact, there’s more wrong than there is right for a team that missed the playoffs by a game, so fans are hoping to see the final blocks put into place. But that could change if free agents like Brandon Carr and Dwayne Bowe are not re-signed. Suddenly the team will need a lot more than they currently do.

But head coach Romeo Crennel says the Chiefs are focused on getting those guys back at Arrowhead for next season as their “first priority.” In an interview with 810 WHB, Crennel gave the perspective on both players from the organizational stance. Arrowhead Pride has the quotes.

“Those guys have done a good job for us,” Crennel told Soren Petro. “We would like to keep those guys in house. We know the free agency process is a difficult thing at times.” GM Scott Pioli has said the same thing — that he wants to keep both of them. So we’ve established that the Chiefs will make an effort to keep both.

“Hopefully they will want to stay and we’re going to do everything we can to keep him,” Crennel continued. “You just never know. But they are the first priority.”

Losing Bowe would significantly injure an offense that has difficulty moving the chains anyway. Getting players back healthy is only part of the solution. Jon Baldwin did not make “the leap” last year to the pros, so the team cannot afford to lose Bowe and limit an offense even further.

On the flip side, Carr has started every game over four seasons for the Chiefs and creates a dynamic veteran tandem with Brandon Flowers at cornerback. The Chiefs might be forced to grab Dre Kirkpatrick or another top corner in the draft’s first round rather than help at another position if they lose Carr to his hometown Detroit Lions, for instance.

Hopefully their first priority can get things done and the Chiefs can move on to improving other areas.


John Clayton Says Brandon Carr's Deal Might Not Get Done With Brandon Flowers Extension In Play

The Kansas City Chiefs are already paying big money to one cornerback, so it stands to reason that they might not be as willing to pay the opposite side big money as well -- specifically to free agent to be Brandon Carr. Carr and Dwayne Bowe are the two big free agents staring back at the Chiefs as they explore their offseason game plan. As they consider both, ESPN's John Clayton says that Bowe might take precedence.

Clayton writes, "Matt in Kansas City wonders which free agent the Chiefs will retain sooner, Dwayne Bowe or Brandon Carr. Because they paid so much for Brandon Flowers (five years, $52.5 million), it probably will be harder to keep Carr. The strategy would be to get a long-term contract with Bowe, then maybe franchise Carr."

To the same effect, however, you could say that the NFL Draft investment made in first round choice Jon Baldwin to go with Steve Breaston as a free agent last season for a five-year deal could nullify Bowe's worth or at least the necessity of targeting him first. In other words, both arguments are actually unnecessary.

The reality is that the Chiefs are sitting on around $27 million in salary cap money they did not spend last season. These extensions could have been done already. Yet it's clear the Chiefs don't want to pay either player or have another plan in mind. Carr might not want to re-sign. The same could be said for Bowe. But the franchise tag is there to use and many of these deals do not find their authorship until the final hour. That time is coming soon.


Brandon Carr Could Leave Kansas City Chiefs For Detroit Lions

The Kansas City Chiefs have several moves they need to make this off-season but the two greatest ones come down to keeping players in house on both sides of the ball. Dwayne Bowe is a free agent at wide receiver and Brandon Carr is also available at cornerback. Given the young talent in the secondary, it's crucial the Chiefs resign Carr to compete at a high level defensively, especially with Eric Berry returning from injury next season.

Yet in a recent interview, Carr says there are other teams as a possibility for his services -- particularly his hometown Detroit Lions. Certainly former Chiefs defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham would love to add him to the secondary there in Detroi.

"I don't really want to talk about contracts," <a href="http://www.mlive.com/lakers/index.ssf/2012/01/after_four_years_with_kansas_c.html" target="new">Carr told 610 Sports Radio host Nick Wright</a>. "If everything works out the way, you know, that it should, I will be in a Kansas City Chiefs uniform, but at the end of the day it's going to be my decision to make. It's going to be a hard one. It's not going to be easy. I've been out here four years and I have a lot of things established here and a lot of friendships and -- on the field -- getting a lot of things done."

The Chiefs need Carr to maintain his development across from Brandon Carr as the two have combined for the Chiefs as one of the best young secondaries in the NFL. Carr had a career high four interceptions last season and has started 65 consecutive NFL games since his rookie season.

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