Dallas Clark, O.J. Atogwe Visits Show Chiefs Still Searching For Certainty At Key Positions

The Chiefs have been listed among the early winners in free agency with several key additions on both sides of the ball.

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Dallas Clark Rumors: Kansas City Chiefs Listed As Favorites By Peter King

The Kansas City Chiefs already made one move to shore up the tight end position and give the offense more flexibility when they signed Kevin Boss to a three-year agreement. Apparently that might not be enough given the injury history of starter Tony Moeaki. Thus, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King is predicting that Dallas Clark could land in KC soon enough.

The Chiefs already brought in Clark for a free agent visit, so it’s not surprising to see the Chiefs listed there. However, many believed that Clark would head to Denver to join his longtime teammate Peyton Manning. King writes:

I think for the scores of you who have asked me in recent weeks where Dallas Clark will end up — or if he’ll play anywhere in 2012 — I give you this answer: If I had to make an educated guess right now, I think the leader in the clubhouse is Kansas City.

Imagine if Clark, who visited the Chiefs May 1, could give Tony Moeaki a breather for 300 snaps this year, with Kevin Boss in the rotation as well. Moeaki’s been injury-prone in his college and pro careers, so the Chiefs will try to find the right number of snaps for him. But a three-tight end rotation of Moeaki, Boss and Clark would be solid, if the Chiefs wouldn’t be hurt too much on special teams without major contributions from the tight ends.

That last line is the interesting note on all of this. Despite Clark’s ability to get open, Scott Pioli loves versatility in his players. For a third tight end to not be able to contribute at other levels would be an anomaly of sorts — flowing against the way he typically thinks. After all, nearly every single one of his draft picks from April can play multiple positions and guys filling out the depth chart should all be able to help on special teams.

Yet the Chiefs are clearly checking out tight end on the roster given the recent tryout of Martin Rucker and the visit of Dallas Clark. King doesn’t seem to have an inside scoop, so if this is just a hunch, I’d say it’s likely incorrect. That is, unless Pioli is willing to forgo his usual M.O.

For more on the Kansas City Chiefs, check out Arrowhead Pride and SB Nation's NFL page.


Kansas Tight End Tim Biere Gets Chance With Kansas City Chiefs As Undrafted Free Agent

Former Kansas tight end Tim Biere was always on the fringe of getting a solid amount of attention for his craft, since the ability and versatility was definitely there. The Mackey Award placed him on their watch list on a couple of occasions, and the KU tight end can do several things well. But the lack of success in Lawrence doesn’t help anyone’s pro chances, and Biere’s numbers never stood out on their own.

Consequently, Biere went undrafted last weekend as the 2012 NFL Draft announced several names without mentioning his. However, that doesn’t mean that many teams weren’t interested in getting a closer look.

“From everyone I talked to, they pretty much said I’d be a priority free agent,” said Biere to KUSports.com. “Going through the draft, you’re kind of like, ‘What if it happens?’ but I kind of knew it wasn’t gonna happen.”

Biere ended up choosing the Chiefs over the other teams because of their proximity and his familiarity with the team. The Chiefs apparently still believe they have a need at tight end and brought in Dallas Clark recently. He has yet to sign and that could signal a possibility for Biere to impress in camp. The Chiefs already like a few things about Biere’s game as it is.

“The Kansas City guy just said that he thinks I’m a tough football player and he thought I could stick around there for a while,” Biere said. “He said he liked how I gave a lot of effort and just did a lot of things well.”

Biere caught 27 passes in 2011 for 322 yards and 2 touchdowns.


Dallas Clark, O.J. Atogwe Visits Show Chiefs Still Searching For Certainty At Key Positions

The word yesterday out of Arrowhead Stadium that the Kansas City Chiefs were already back to holding free agent visits so shortly after the 2012 NFL Draft was rather surprising. Dallas Clark, tight end for the Indianapolis Colts, and O.J. Atogwe, safety for the Washington Redskins, visited KC in the last two days to work out and visit with the team.

That’s quick work to start bringing in veterans again for a team that’s already made several moves and has rookies in place to develop as depth. Are the Chiefs truly interested in bringing in both Clark and Atogwe? With the work to bring in a player, the answer has to be “yes.”

So what does that mean? It means that the Chiefs are not content at the positions those players represent: safety and tight end. They’ve already addressed both positions with a tangible back-up. For tight end, it’s Kevin Boss, who signed via free agency coming in from the Oakland Raiders. For safety, it’s De’quan Menzie, who was drafted in the fifth round from Nick Saban’s Alabama squad.

Both players should definitely help outside of a traditional back-up role. Boss will see time on the field in multiple tight end sets, and he’s a solid receiver who should expect 30 to 40 receptions in 2012. Menzie is a versatile defensive back who could play in up to half of Kansas City’s defensive downs given his freedom to play nickel safety or slot corner.

But it’s also about the starters here: Eric Berry and Kendrick Lewis at safety and Tony Moeaki at tight end. All players are coming off of injury-laden seasons. Fans and the front office want to believe the best, of course. Everyone wants Berry and Moeaki to return as soon as the 2012 regular season begins at full strength. But injuries often redefine players, creating limitations where there previously weren’t any.

It’s hard to tell if a player is going to be completely ready until the game is played on the field. Rehab can go well. Reps can look good. A player can rejoin team workouts and full participate in drills and even through training camp. But once contact is allowed on the field against other players trying to chase their NFL dream as well… well, that’s an entirely different category.

The reality is that the Denver Broncos can enjoy all of the offseason accolades from post-Super Bowl through August. John Elway will enjoy the pats on the back for the next four months and soak it up with visions of greatness for the years ahead for the Broncos. But until Peyton Manning delivers a deep strike to Demaryius Thomas after getting laid out by Tamba Hali (and then gets back up), nothing is certain.

The Chiefs are doing due diligence in checking out other veteran options who could step in. The reality is that the Chiefs starting tight ends for the 2012 season could be Kevin Boss and Dallas Clark if, for example, Moeaki turns out to be not quite ready and needs more time to heal.

A situation can quickly turn into major playing time for a Donald Washington or Sabby Piscitelli in the defensive backfield. One wrong move and Tyler Palko is starting four games. In the NFL, one play can change the depth and strength of a position — thereby affecting the team’s ability to perform as expected. Division champions are won and lost in the process.

Scott Pioli learned a valuable lesson last season: depth makes all the difference. It is something he already knew, of course, but the Chiefs are now, in year four of his regime, finally reaching the point where the roster has been replenished. The talent is there at every position. This late FA period is about rounding things out, checking for depth in every position and feeling solid about contingency plans in the process.

For more on the Kansas City Chiefs, check out Arrowhead Pride and SB Nation's NFL page.


Dwayne Bowe Reportedly Not Set To Sign Franchise Tender Despite Rumors To Contrary

It did not take long at all for one rumor to dispel another. So goes the NFL media right before the 2012 NFL Draft, where one smokescreen is sent to disguise another and it’s hard to tell the truth from a lie. Just a bit after one rumor said that Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe was possibly set to sign his franchise tender, another is out to undermine it saying it is not so, from NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora. He writes:

Kansas City Chiefs wideout Dwayne Bowe has no plans to sign his franchise tag soon, a source with knowledge of the situation said Thursday, contrary to an Internet report. Bowe, like other franchise players who have yet to sign their tags, is hoping to get a long-term deal, but nothing is imminent. The NFL’s deadline for franchised players to agree to a long-term contract is July 15.

Mike Florio reported the opposite on Pro Football Talk this morning, and for a little while, there was some talk that the Chiefs could focus on one of the draft’s top receivers in the first round tonight. It’s hard to tell fact from fiction at this point, but it’s more believable that Bowe will be in KC next season and that he will sign the tender at a later date. Then again, anything is possible.


Dwayne Bowe Could Sign Franchise Tender From Chiefs To Keep Team From Drafting Michael Floyd, Justin Blackmon

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has the rumor that Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe might sign his franchise tag sooner than later. The reason? The Chiefs could go ahead and select a first round wideout in this year’s draft that would then strip him of his franchise designation. The end result is that Bowe would be a free agent.

“Yes, that would make Bowe an unrestricted free agent,” writes Florio. “But with the big money for free agents long since dried up, Bowe wouldn’t get a deal remotely close to the one he would have gotten on March 13, the day on which the market opened. At this point, his short-term and long-term interests may be better served by accepting the one-year, $9.5 million offer and trying to get a long-term deal while under contract.”

It’s hard to imagine that the Chiefs would do this, however. They have other positions to upgrade in the draft and the No. 11 pick is a solid enough placement to guarantee a safe, top performer at guard, linebacker or in the secondary. Michael Floyd could conceivably be available at the Chiefs draft slot, so perhaps that’s a match. However could the Chiefs really lose Bowe for nothing the same way they did Brandon Carr? That just doesn’t sound right.

There’s a lot of flexing and smokescreens around this time of year, posturing from front offices to players and other teams. Perhaps Bowe is falling for his own team’s rumor mill.

For all news and information regarding the Kansas City Chiefs, please visit Arrowhead Pride.

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NFL Free Agency: Dan Skuta Re-Signs With Cincinnati Bengals

The Kansas City Chiefs visited with free agent linebacker Dan Skuta, but they allowed him to leave town and the former Grand Valley State star (along with Brandon Carr) re-signed with the franchise he’s been with over the last three seasons. The Cincinnati Bengals decided to keep Skuta after enjoying a career high three starts in the middle and 31 total tackles.

The Chiefs were likely checking out Skuta as an option to man the inside spot next to Derrick Johnson. The Chiefs already have Jovan Belcher and Brandon Siler competing for time there, so Skuta would need to really impress as a player on the next level. It’s also the position the Chiefs have been projected at in mock drafts for some time for Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly.

In a recent overview of the Bengals’ linebackers on the team’s main web site, Skuta was profiled as a guy who “does it all. He’s the first guy off the bench at middle and SAM as well as the leader of special teams with 39 tackles in his three seasons.”


NFL Free Agency: Jerricho Cotchery Visited Rams, Continues Tour Around League

While most NFL players do well to make it to the second or even third visit on their itinerary in the NFL free agency period, Jerrico Cotchery is seeing the sights around the United States as he goes from team to team hoping to catch on with the right franchise. The latest from Jason La Canfora is that the former Jets and Steelers wide receiver hung out with the St. Louis Rams yesterday as the team makes over its roster with a new regime in place.

Cotchery visited the Chiefs earlier this offseason, although it’s clear the Chiefs will likely wait until after the NFL Draft to add any more pieces. There’s no reason to add a veteran when you don’t know how the draft chips will fall. Cotchery would be an interesting addition for any team, but the Chiefs would need him to play special teams as well as offer that fourth receiver for Matt Cassel.

Cotchery will likely sign somewhere soon after the draft.


Dwayne Bowe Refuses To Discuss Progress On Contract Extension With Chiefs

Contractually speaking, the biggest question mark facing the Kansas City Chiefs this upcoming 2012 season is what the team will do with Dwayne Bowe over the long-term. And while Bowe had much to say at the recent Nike reveal earlier this week where he showcased the brand new Chiefs uniforms, Bowe would not address the question asked most.

From the official press release, “Though Bowe refrained from going into detail about his current contract situation, citing "business is business," he indicated that he wasn’t upset about receiving the franchise tag. Bowe plans to let his agent and the Chiefs handle any public statements regarding the state of negotiations.”

Bowe has been the best wide receiver on the Chiefs roster by a country mile for the last half-decade, so on the one hand, it’s difficult to see why the team would let him walk. Then again, the Chiefs might have a bit of leverage with the addition of Jon Baldwin from last year’s draft, but certainly he will have to take a major step forward from his rookie season. If they don’t have a long-term plan to pay a wide receiver top dollar, then that might be the move they needed to make the shift when Bowe does leave.

However, it’s impossible to ignore the tremendous asset he’s been on the field no matter who the quarterback in KC is. While the Chiefs offense was near the league’s worst last year, Bowe was again a strong performer. It’s guys like that who generally deserve to get paid.

For more on the Chiefs, head to Arrowhead Pride, and for more mock draft updates, head to SB Nation Kansas City's StoryStream.


NFL Free Agency: Geoff Schwartz Reportedly Signs With Minnesota Vikings

Geoff Schwartz was reportedly supposed to visit the Kansas City Chiefs along with several others this offseason, but it’s clear he didn’t need to visit after all. While the Chiefs need for offensive line help went down considerably with the signing of Eric Winston to man the right tackle position, Schwartz has now found a new home with the Minnesota Vikings, per Matt Miller reporting on Twitter.

Schwartz was one of the better offensive linemen available in free agency at this point, and he still would have served the Chiefs needs quite well given his ability to play at guard and tackle. That sort of versatility generally plays well with Scott Pioli’s choices for roster additions. That said, the Vikings made a nice move here getting him to help protect Christian Ponder.

The Vikes had Anthony Herrera and Phil Loadholt on the right side last season, so it’s not quite clear how things will shake out when all is said and done. Schwartz will likely start somewhere depending on who else the Vikings add along the way. If Matt Kalil joins the team, then the line will definitely have taken major leaps forward.


Chiefs' Switch From Brandon Carr To Stanford Routt Grades Poorly For CBS Sports

As Pete Prisco of CBS Sports "rates the replacements" thus far in NFL free agency, the Kansas City Chiefs are earning a rare low grade compared to many others who give them high marks overall. But specifically when analyzing the Chiefs' move at cornerback from Brandon Carr starting opposite Brandon Flowers to Stanford Routt. The move was likely necessary at this late juncture, but the team could have made a move to lock up Carr long-term before this season. Alas, everyone has moved on.

Prisco gives the move a "C" grade and writes, 'Routt was given a huge contract by the Raiders last year, then flopped and was released. That was an Al Davis move. The new regime decided he wasn't worth the money. The Chiefs signed him with the anticipation they might lose Carr. Routt can be a good man-cover player, but he wasn't last season. Carr was. Routt isn't the same type of player."

Routt was once a heralded cornerback enough for the Raiders to sign him to the big-time deal and the KC deal is definitely much more palatable than Carr's with Dallas. It will be interesting to see if the Chiefs further bolster the position or rely on the growth of young players like Jalil Brown.


Chiefs Free Agency: Jackie Battle Visits With San Diego Chargers

With Ryan Mathews injury history at the running back position, the San Diego Chargers are searching for some help to bolster the backfield. The team has already lost Mike Tolbert this offseason to the Carolina Panthers, who signed the running back to a four-year contract.

Mike Gehlken of the Union-Tribune writes, “The Chargers, still looking to add a veteran backup to Ryan Mathews, had a visitor Tuesday. Running back Jackie Battle met with team personnel and toured the Chargers facility as one of four candidates in the mix to join the backfield.”

It’s unknown who exactly Gehlken means by four candidates. Perhaps Michael Bush is in the picture or even Cedric Benson. Battle would join Le’Ron McClain as former Chiefs heading to the Chargers, since the former Kansas City fullback signed a three-year contract earlier in free agency with the team. Battle ran 149 times last season for 597 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns.


NFL Free Agency: Michael Bush Visiting Cincinnati Bengals Tuesday

As former Oakland Raiders running back tours the NFL in search of his new home, the Cincinnati Bengals are hoping he might be the one to help anchor the backfield after watching Cedric Benson walk away this offseason. Bush would definitely be an upgrade. Although he’s a similar type of power runner, Bush is younger and would likely be more effective for the Bengals offense.

Bush had been mentioned as a possibility for Kansas City, but the team signed Peyton Hillis instead from the Browns. He’s also drawn interest from the Chicago Bears, so it will be interesting to see where he lands.

Bush also leaves a hole with the Raiders as they watch their safety net for Darren McFadden leave. Given McFadden’s injury prone nature, it’s likely the Raiders bring Bush back later in free agency or find a replacement on the same level. The team cannot afford to not have a solid handcuff to McFadden despite his incredible talent.


Kamerion Wimbley Leaves Titans Without Contract, Chiefs Still In Play?

The Kansas City Chiefs continue to be mentioned as a possible landing spot for pass rusher Kamerion Wimbley. That’s not surprising given that the Chiefs tied for the third-worst team in total sacks in the 2011 NFL season. The growth of Justin Houston near season’s end provides room for hope and Tamba Hali will always get his share of sacks, but the team could use another pass rusher and Wimbley fits the bill.

That said, the former Raiders linebacker has other teams interested, including the Tennessee Titans. Yet Adam Caplan says that Wimbley left today without a contract.

He writes, “Kamerion Wimbley had a good visit with the Titans today. Is set to leave today without signing a deal, but will make a decision on what to do next (pursue something with Titans or take more visits) over the next few days.”

Wimbley has a history with Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel and that could be enough to bring him to KC for a visit. The Chiefs could use an additional pass rusher either way, but the announcement of Peyton Manning’s choice of the Denver Broncos certainly raises the ante as well.

Wimbley had 7 sacks last season for the Raiders and has 42.5 in his six-year NFL career.


NFL Free Agency: Mike Tolbert Signs With Carolina Panthers

After visiting with a few teams including the Kansas City Chiefs, Mike Tolbert has found his new home three time zones away from his former team in the San Diego Chargers. Joe Person has the announcement today that Tolbert has signed a four-year deal with the Carolina Panthers on a team that now has a glut of possibilities at running back.

With DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart already, the Panthers now have another solid end zone option in Tolbert. However, Tolbert has a lot of value in special teams as well and played a vital role there for the Chargers over the last couple of seasons. Certainly that versatility plays a major role in landing with the Panthers.

The Chiefs signed Peyton Hillis, but still brought in Tolbert for a visit. Perhaps they were thinking the same thing, since Hillis was brought in on a one-year deal.


Kamerion Wimbley To Chiefs? Pass Rusher Predicted As Kansas City's Next Free Agent

The Kansas City Chiefs have already been listed as one of the early winners of the NFL free agency period with the addition of five players to the team. Now they might be adding a sixth and it could be one of the most important of all.

The Chiefs have already bolstered the right side of the line with Eric Winston to address the biggest need. Kamerion Wimbley might help with the team’s other great need for a pass rush. Tamba Hali holds the fort down at one outside linebacker position and Justin Houston came on strong at the end, but overall the Chiefs were near the bottom of the NFL rankings in team sacks and they have to get better this offseason.

Adding Wimbley would help and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk predicts that he could land with the Chiefs as their newest free agent. The team has already signed WInston, Stanford Routt, Kevin Boss, Peyton Hillis and Brady Quinn. Wimbley would be another feather in Scott Pioli’s cap this offseason.

Wimbley has 42.5 sacks in his six NFL seasons, averaging just over 7 sacks each year. He had 7 sacks last year for the Oakland Raiders, but he played his first few years for Romeo Crennel in Cleveland. The roots are here with the team’s coaching staff and the need is here as well. Whether it’s a financial or schematic fit is another thing, but Florio thinks it will work.

For more on the Chiefs offseason and free agency new, go check out Arrowhead Pride, and for all NFL free agency updates, check out SB Nation's NFL hub.


NFL Free Agency: Michael Bush Visits With Cincinnati Bengals, Chicago Bears

Michael Bush was a candidate for a possible spot in the Kansas City Chiefs’ backfield after being set free by the Oakland Raiders. While the Chiefs eventually landed with Peyton Hillis as their choice for a tandem back with Jamaal Charles, Bush has moved on to the AFC North to potentially replace Cedric Benson of the Cincinnati Bengals.

Jason La Canfora writes, “Michael Bush met with Bengals coach Marvin Lewis during Arizona State’s pro day, sources said, and they had lunch together. But his visit with the Bengals doesn’t begin until Monday, sources said. He visited the Bears last week and several teams looking at him as a 1A or 1B back. Several people around the league believe Bush would be a good fit for the Jets, who have Shonn Greene as their starter.”

Bush also leaves a hole with the Raiders as they watch their safety net for Darren McFadden leave. Given McFadden’s injury prone nature, it’s likely the Raiders bring Bush back later in free agency or find a replacement on the same level. The team cannot afford to not have a solid handcuff to McFadden despite his incredible talent.

For more on the Chiefs offseason and free agency new, go check out Arrowhead Pride, and for all NFL free agency updates, check out SB Nation's NFL hub.


Chiefs Free Agency: Mike Tolbert Remains With Carolina Panthers

The San Diego Chargers backfield is likely to take a hit this offseason with the loss of Mike Tolbert as he makes his way around the NFL in free agency. He’s already had a visit with the Kansas CIty Chiefs and Jason La Canfora reports that he’s now making his way to the East Coast.

La Canfora writes, “According to league sources, Mike Tolbert remains in Carolina on Sunday night, having dinner with Panthers team officials. He previously visited Kansas City, but the Chiefs signed Peyton Hillis instead, and Tolbert’s return to the Chargers seems unlikely at best at this point.”

Tolbert is a special teams ace and a great goal line back. It will be interesting to see where he lands. The chances of signing with the Chiefs are close to nil at this point, since the team already invested in Peyton Hillis. Whoever lands Tolbert, they’ll enjoy the versatility of an unheralded back.

For more on the Chiefs offseason and free agency new, go check out Arrowhead Pride, and for all NFL free agency updates, check out SB Nation's NFL hub.


Chiefs Sign Right Tackle Eric Winston To A 4-Year, $22 Million Contract

Earlier on Saturday the Kansas City Chiefs announced that they had signed right tackle Eric Winston who was released this past week by the Houston Texans. The details of the contract have now been release with Winston and the Chiefs agreeing on a four-year contract worth $22 million. The specific details of guaranteed money and the amount per year have not been disclosed.

Winston was signed to help improve the Chiefs offensive line which was a sore spot for the team over the past few years. Winston is already being slotted as the starting right tackle to replace Barry Richardson. Richardson was the Chiefs starting right tackle the past two seasons and has had issues in pass protection and is currently a free agent.

For more on the Chiefs offseason and free agency new, go check out Arrowhead Pride, and for all NFL free agency updates, check out SB Nation's NFL hub.


Kevin Boss: Chiefs New Tight End Says 'The Talent Here Is Amazing'

Kevin Boss is the latest official signing to the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2012 free agency period, and the team added a nice tight end option to the offense in the process. Boss has won a Super Bowl ring with the New York Giants and has exhibited nice pass catching and blocking abilities in his time with the Giants and the Oakland Raiders.

The Chiefs must have liked what they saw in Boss because they signed him for a three-year, $9 million deal to keep him in KC for a while.

"We felt that signing Kevin continued our free agent plan of adding good players to our roster," Pioli said at a press conference. "Kevin has a track record of personal and team success in this league and he is a good fit for us."

Boss took the time to praise the city and the team itself as part of his reason for signing with the Chiefs.

“I kind of like the smaller town feel,” Boss said. "Just talking to Mr. (Scott) Pioli and Coach (Romeo) Crennel, I just love the whole organization from the top down. I’m looking forward to getting out here and getting settled in.

"I think the direction that Mr. Pioli and Coach Crennel are taking this team is definitely moving in the right direction," said Boss. "The talent here is amazing, and it’s young talent. That’s something that I think gives us a lot to look forward to in the future and a lot of years to continue to build this team."

Boss is the second tight end on the roster expected to play a major role for the Chiefs offense under Brian Daboll. Boss said he was ready to work alongside Tony Moeaki.

"I’m excited to be here with Tony," Boss said. "I think it’s going to be fun to play with him. You’ve seen the success the Patriots have had with a couple of good tight ends and I think it’s something we can do here."

For more on the Chiefs offseason and free agency, check out Arrowhead Pride, and for all NFL free agency updates, check out SB Nation's NFL hub.


Chiefs Free Agency 2012: Kevin Boss Signs Three-Year Contract With Kansas City

The Kansas City Chiefs picked up a veteran backup to use as insurance for Tony Moeaki at tight end late on Thursday when they signed Kevin Boss to a three-year contract reportedly worth $9 million.

Boss, who signed a four-year, $16 million deal with the Oakland Raiders last August before being released by Oakland on Tuesday, made his first visit as a free agent to the Chiefs, and obviously didn't leave Kansas City without a contract.

Boss has 147 catches for 1,968 yards and 21 touchdowns in five seasons with the New York Giants and Raiders, and had 28 catches for 368 yards and three touchdowns in 11 starts Oakland in 2011. That alone would be an upgrade on the production the Chiefs received from the position last season: Moeaki suffered a season-ending injury in Kansas City's final preseason game and Chiefs tight ends recorded 34 catches collectively in his stead.

For more on the Chiefs offseason and free agent visits, visit Arrowhead Pride.

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Brandon Carr: 'No Love Lost, No Bad Blood' With Kansas City Chiefs

Brandon Carr recently appeared on Sirius XM Blitz to discuss his departure from the Kansas City Chiefs and signing with the Dallas Cowboys in NFL free agency. His comments were very fair concerning the Chiefs, and it only goes to show that the situation could have likely been avoided with a proper extension within the last year. Alas, that didn’t happen and the Cowboys have their $50 million man.

Some high points of the quick interview include Carr’s thoughts on the free agency process in general:

I didn’t really know what to expect, but from the initial conversation with my agent, he said, “It could go quickly or it could go slow. The first step is Dallas. Be prepared to be blown away.” Everything he said was right on with how they treated me — from the first time to seeing the plane and meeting the coaches to the personnel and the staff and also the players. Everyone accepted me with open arms and they were eager for me to sign and eager to get this show on the road.

When asked about the money, Carr didn’t avoid the fact that money is the primary motivator in these matters:

You want to get paid. You want to get some security and longevity, so the money has to add up. At the same time, you want to go somewhere you feel comfortable and feel like you can excel and make a name for yourself and help that club win ballgames. At the end of the day, all of those things matched up and now I’m a Dallas Cowboy.

He also admits he didn’t know what the Chiefs motivations were in not signing him, but that he understands the business nature of the NFL:

I really don’t know what they were thinking in that process, but I was pretty much open to any club that wanted to talk about my services. Kansas City, it was four great years with those guys. There’s no love lost, no bad blood. It’s business and I had to make the right decision, the right choice for myself and for my family.

For more on the Chiefs offseason and free agency, check out Arrowhead Pride, and for all NFL free agency updates, check out SB Nation's NFL hub.


NFL Free Agency: Chiefs Have 'Significant Interest' In WR Jerricho Cotchery

The Kansas City Chiefs made sure their receiving corps is intact already this offseason with the use of the franchise tag on Dwayne Bowe. Along with Steve Breaston and the first round draft pick from 2011 in Jon Baldwin, the Chiefs have a strong trio for Matt Cassel or whoever the quarterback happens to be in KC in 2012. But there’s apparently room for more since the Chiefs are rumored to have “significant” interest in wideout Jerrico Cotchery.

Cotchery played for the Pittsburgh Steelers last season after seven seasons with the New York Jets. It’s assumed that Cotchery would also become a special teams contributor in addition to helping as a receiver. Last year, Cotchery had 16 catches for 237 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News is the one with the report and he also says the Jets have interest in bringing Cotchery back. There’s no word of an official visit scheduled.

For more on the Chiefs offseason and free agency, check out Arrowhead Pride, and for all NFL free agency updates, check out SB Nation's NFL hub.


NFL Free Agency: Geoff Schwartz Schedules Visit With Chiefs, 49ers After Lions

The primary need for the Kansas City Chiefs is definitely found along the offensive line. Right tackle is usually the position pointed to the fastest when analyzing the Chiefs roster for issues, but depth at all positions is a point of concern. It’s not surprising then that the Chiefs are bringing in one of the most versatile, competent linemen to hit free agency.

Dave Birkett is reporting that Geoff Schwartz of the Carolina Panthers is making the rounds and has scheduled the Chiefs as he also visits the Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers. It’s not often that players get out of one visit, let alone a few, so it remains to be seen whether Schwartz will even make the trip.

Still it’s a nice name to hear associated with the Chiefs since he was one of the most heralded linemen among free agents this season, and Pro Football Focus called him their “secret superstar” at one point. The Chiefs could definitely use the help at all points, and it will be interesting to see what happens between this scheduled visit and Eric Winston’s visit today at Arrowhead.

For more on the Chiefs offseason and free agency, check out Arrowhead Pride, and for all NFL free agency updates, check out SB Nation's NFL hub.


Peyton Hillis To Chiefs: Scott Pioli, Romeo Crennel Praise New Running Back

There was a time when the entire city of Cleveland lavished praise on their potent running back — a moment in time when Peyton Hillis even graced the cover of the Madden football series of video games. Those days are gone after the drama-filled, injury-riddled 2011 season. The Chiefs might have struck gold when getting Hillis to close on a one-year, $3 million deal that bolster the backfield while minimizing the risk.

The move was officially announced today by the Chiefs, and the team brass had plenty of positive things to say about their new running back.

"We are happy that Peyton decided to join us," said Chiefs Head Coach Romeo Crennel. "Peyton is a big, strong, physical back with a lot of talent and he should fit into our system well. We are looking forward to working with him and adding him into our offense."

"Peyton was a player we planned to target when free agency began," added Scott Pioli. "One of our goals going into free agency this year was to build depth at the running back position and we are pleased to add a talented player like Peyton to the mix."

Hillis rushed for 587 yards and 3 touchdowns in 2011.

For more on the Chiefs offseason and free agency, check out Arrowhead Pride, and for all NFL free agency updates, check out SB Nation's NFL hub.


Chiefs Free Agency: Mike Tolbert's Potential Signing Crowds Backfield With Jamaal Charles, Peyton Hillis

The Kansas City Chiefs had a hole in their offensive backfield without even thinking of the season-ending injury and consequent rehab for Jamaal Charles. With Thomas Jones, Le’Ron McClain and Jackie Battle all hitting free agency, the team was predicted to explore a second back to pair with the hopefully healthy Charles for a nice tandem a la Jones and Charles in 2010 — a pair that led the league in rushing.

Fast forward a bit and Peyton Hillis seemed to be that man. The former Cleveland Browns running back is exactly the sort of buy-low signing at one-year, $3 million that Scott Pioli loves. Hillis will be playing for a new deal and should be significantly motivated in his new surroundings to move past the drama of his last year in Cleveland.

But the word is that Mike Tolbert, the former Chargers running back, is also visiting the Chiefs and that the visit was not altered because of the Hillis signing. Given how valuable visitation time becomes during the early parts of free agency, it’s amazing that Tolbert would even consider coming to KC unless he could legitimately sign there. But as the team’s third running back? Pro Football Focus has some questions.

Even though Peyton Hillis signed with the Chiefs earlier today, it’s being reported that Mike Tolbert will still visit Kansas City as a potential landing spot. If he is signed it would make for a very crowded backfield, and might be a sign that Jamaal Charles recovery isn’t going as well as one would hope. Both Hillis and Tolbert were at one point fullbacks, and can both catch out of the backfield and run with the ball. Tolbert had just 120 rushes in 2011, and in that time had eight touchdowns and caused 12 players to miss tackles on him. With a young Dexter McCluster also in the backfield, if Tolbert arrives than someone won’t be getting the touches they want.

One facet of his visit could be if the Chiefs were interested in a long-term deal for Tolbert. Part of the selling point could be that Hillis is a one-year rental and Charles’ health is uncertain until he sees game action, so Tolbert could or could not get his carries in year one, but the money and long-term playing time will still be there. If that’s the pitch, then things could make sense.

Still it’s an interesting visit given the state of the Chiefs’ backfield. If he signs, expect some sort of commentary from the team to explain how things will work in Brian Daboll’s offense.

For more on the Chiefs offseason and free agency, check out Arrowhead Pride, and for all NFL free agency updates, check out SB Nation's NFL hub.


Brandon Carr Likely To Draw Interest From Bucs, Cowboys And Vikings In Free Agency

There are several teams with holes to fill and money to burn in the upcoming free agency period of the NFL offseason and few players are going to cash in like the Chiefs Brandon Carr. The team already committed a big extension to Brandon Flowers last September and then signed Stanford Routt only weeks ago after his release by the Raiders. That set Carr free to likely explore the open market and find his own big money deal — something the Chiefs aren’t likely to match.

Joel Corry profiled Carr over at the National Football Post and believes that he’ll have three main suitors this offseason in the Cowboys, Vikings and Bucs. All three teams have significant needs in the secondary. The Cowboys are older and void of dynamic talent there. The Vikings and Bucs are even worse off, with the latter being as deficient as any. Fortunately they also have the most money available.

Corry writes, “In the pass-happy NFL, teams can never have too many good cornerbacks. Carr has good size (6-0, 207 lbs) and is just entering his prime at 25-years-old. When the Kansas City Chiefs gave Brandon Flowers a five-year extension averaging $9.75 million per year, Carr’s days with the Chiefs were numbered. They hedged their bets by signing Stanford Routt ($18 million for three years, $5 million guaranteed) when the Oakland Raiders released him. Carr should attract plenty of attention in free agency, possibly from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings. A Flowers type deal could be his benchmark.”

It’s that last line that will keep him from re-signing with the Chiefs. The team simply cannot pay big money to two starting corners and expect to have the right amount to invest elsewhere. Losing Carr is a big hit, but the Chiefs had the foresight to grab Routt when he came available. It was a nice contingency plan, especially when Chiefs fans see the money Carr is likely to get.

For more on the Chiefs offseason and free agency, check out Arrowhead Pride.


Brandon Carr Free Agency: Chiefs Could Still Retain Cornerback

While very few people have really considered the possibility of the Kansas City Chiefs re-signing Brandon Carr a legitimate possibility, Doug Farrar of Yahoo! Sports begs to differ. In fact, he believes it could be a great signing to make the Chiefs nickel package arguably the best in the league. Imagine having the ability to shut down a team's passing game with a trio of quarterbacks like Carr, Stanford Routt and Brandon Flowers.

Farrar writes, "With their recent signing of Stanford Routt, the Chiefs can do one of two things -- either let Brandon Carr hit the open market, or re-sign him and have a dynamite cornerback threesome with Brandon Flowers as the lead dog. With teams playing far more nickel than ever, that move would make sense. But if Carr does become a free agent, he'll get as many calls as anyone in this article -- he's perhaps the most underrated cornerback in the NFL. Carr can play press, but his real game is playing in space and jumping routes, and he'd be an asset to just about any secondary."

The Chiefs have the money if they are going to fall completely out of the Peyton Manning sweepstakes. If Scott Pioli deems it the right need and value match, perhaps he could return after all. It's still hard to consider as a real possibility, but it might give KC the edge to beat a team like the Chargers or the Broncos if they can land Manning.


Brandon Carr Free Agency: Will Dallas Cowboys Be Able To Afford Chiefs Cornerback?

Given the Chiefs had already signed Stanford Routt and used the franchise tag on Dwayne Bowe, it was a given that Carr was likely gone to greener pastures to be paid like a No. 1 cornerback. But he might have to find a new place to land given the recent penalties handed down by the NFL on the Cowboys and Washington Redskins.

The Dallas Cowboys were considered the frontrunners to land Brandon Carr in the upcoming NFL free agency period, which is ready to start tomorrow afternoon. They need both talent and youth in their secondary at both cornerback and safety, so many sportswriters had them grabbing Carr in free agency and a pick like Mark Barron in the upcoming 2012 NFL Draft. Instead, the team might not be able to afford Carr now given the $10 million cap penalty they have to take either this year or next.

The NFL assessed the Cowboys that figure after the team front-loaded contracts during the recent uncapped year of 2010. The Miles Austin deal looks to be the culprit, and the Skins were also charged a much heavier fine of $36 million of cap room lost. The ‘Boys can divide that however they want over the next two seasons, so they don’t have to take the penalty this season. But it will affect them in some way.

They have the Anthony Spencer contract to absorb and the team has been near the threshold already. Now they’ll have to dance a bit more if they want to bid on Carr’s services.

Expect the NFC North teams to also get involved. The Vikings need a top flight corner and the Bears and Lions should also be in play. Given that Carr went to Grand Valley State, the Lions could be the best guess. Then again, Lions coach Jim Schwartz will likely want to team up with his former Titans player Cortland Finnegan if possible.


Dwayne Bowe Set To Make $9.515 Million Via Franchise Tag From Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs made their decision on who to keep recently this NFL offseason when they had to choose between Brandon Carr at cornerback or Dwayne Bowe at wide receiver with the franchise tag. Since the team could not agree to a long term deal before the franchise tag deadline, the Chiefs went with Bowe as their selection, allowing Carr the chance to explore free agency in just a few days. Now that the numbers have been released, Dwayne Bowe can finally know exactly what he will be making next season.

Jason La Canfora is reporting
that wide receivers who were franchised this season will make $9.515 million. That number is around the projections that most believed would be between $9.4 and 9.6 million. Carr would have been over $10.2 million if he would have been the Chiefs choice.

The Chiefs already signed Stanford Routt to a contract, which enabled the team more flexibility when considering Carr. However, the team has made public overtures that they still want the Grand Valley State product back next season.

For more on the Chiefs offseason, check out Arrowhead Pride.


Peter King Has Brandon Carr As Sixth Best Available Free Agent

The battle is on for who is the top free agent cornerback on the market in the upcoming NFL free agency period between Cortland Finnegan of the Tennessee Titans and the Kansas City Chiefs' Brandon Carr. No matter who comes out on top, however, both are about to get paid like the best.

In his list of Top 50 Available Free Agents, Peter King of Sports Illustrated says that Finnegan is the better of the two and has the Titans corner at No. 3 overall. Carr comes in just a bit behind at No. 6. King writes, "Paucity of CBs makes his value skyrocket. He'll have at least five suitors." He says that the Lions will look at Finnegan, but they should also take a closer examination of Carr since that's his hometown team.

Carr has four seasons of experience starting with KC, but he's only 25 years old. A multi-year deal for Carr is hardly any risk for the team that signs him.

For more on the Kansas City Chiefs, go to Arrowhead Pride, and for all your NFL free agency news head over to SB Nation's NFL page.


Brandon Carr Reportedly Has Dallas Cowboys Interested, According To Adam Schefter

The Kansas City Chiefs had a major decision to make when it came to the franchise tag this offseason. If they could not reach a long-term deal with either player, which they could not, they would have to let their best wide receiver go or a strong starter at cornerback from the last four seasons. They chose the former, so now the Chiefs are likely going to watch Brandon Carr sign with another team. That team could be the Dallas Cowboys. From Rotoworld:

“The Dallas Cowboys are expected to have a heavy interest in Brandon Carr,” Schefter said on SportsCenter. Schefter, ESPN Dallas’ Calvin Watkins, and Pro Football Weekly have now all reported that the Cowboys will be in hot pursuit of Carr. Dallas is also expected to be in on free agent Cortland Finnegan, though Carr offers better size and superior tools for press coverage.

Carr would be the biggest offseason addition for any secondary on the open market, despite the presence of Finnegan. Carr is only 25, has an incredible record of health, is still entering his prime and would bolster any secondary in the league. For a team like the Cowboys with an aging secondary, he would be the best overall addition.


Dwayne Bowe Helps Other Free Agent Receivers Earn More Money By Going Back To Chiefs

Yesterday at the eleventh hour, the Kansas City Chiefs officially announced the much-rumored move that placed the franchise tag on Dwayne Bowe, the team’s free agent wide receiver. In doing so, they secure his services. Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated says it was the right move for the Chiefs, but it also made several other receivers very happy.

Burke writes
, "Kansas City waited until the last minutes before the 4:00 p.m. ET franchise-tag deadline before making sure Bowe would be back for 2012. It was a no-brainer decision for the Chiefs, who need Bowe’s play-making ability on their offense.

“The move did, however, eliminate yet another potential free agent from this year’s class. With Bowe, Welker and DeSean Jackson tagged and Stevie Johnson re-signed, several big names have to be crossed off the list. What will that mean for guys like Vincent Jackson, Marques Colston and Brandon Lloyd? Probably big things for their wallets.”

The Chiefs could have reached for similar targets on the market, but when a player has already made such an impact and knows the system and team, there’s no reason to make a switch. Bowe was definitely the best receiver option out of anyone the Chiefs could bring in this off-season and there was no way the team could afford to lose him.


Dwayne Bowe Receives Franchise Tag From Kansas City Chiefs

While it's been projected for some time, the Kansas City Chiefs made it official today as they tagged Dwayne Bowe with the franchise player designation that will guarantee his spot on the 2012 Chiefs roster. It also gives the team time to negotiate a long-term agreement with their best receiver if that's the way they decide to go. In doing so, the team also makes cornerback Brandon Carr an official free agent who will be able to explore the open market soon enough.

Bowe has been the Chiefs' best receiver since they drafted him out of LSU in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft. In five season for the Chiefs, Bowe had nearly 5,000 yards receiving and 36 touchdowns, including a league-leading 15 in 2010. Even though the Chiefs drafted Jon Baldwin in the first round in 2011 and signed Steve Breaston to a five-year deal as a free agent, Bowe was still the top receiving option on the team and that should not change going forward. His value to the Chiefs offense is quite clear and everything else works around that.

With the franchise tag, Bowe will make around $9.6 million, a lesser amount than last year but a product of the new labor agreement struck in 2011.

Check out more about the franchise tag and the repercussions over at Arrowhead Pride.


Dwayne Bowe And Brandon Carr Both Still In Play For Kansas City Chiefs

The league-wide assumption reads that Kansas City Chiefs will use the franchise tag on Dwayne Bowe, the team’s top wide receiver, at some point today before the tag’s deadline. There is a slim possibility, however, that the Chiefs could go anotehr direction. With Brandon Carr also among the team’s unrestricted free agents, it’s possible that a surprise move could be made by Scott Pioli.

Josh Looney writes at the Chiefs’ main web site, “Chiefs GM Scott Pioli reiterated at the NFL Scouting Combine that the team would like to keep both Bowe and Carr in Kansas City. Securing a long-term deal with Bowe before Monday’s deadline would allow the Chiefs to use the franchise tag on another player, presumably Carr.”

Many teams are announcing last-minute long-term deals with players who could have been franchised. Stevie Johnson is getting a five-year deal from the Buffalo Bills. Arian Foster is getting the same with the Houston Texans. The Chiefs could be next with Dwayne Bowe, and if that is the case, then Carr is up.

That would likely be frustrating for Carr, but then again he will get paid handsomely either way. The team would also have trade leverage and while they might not break the bank for Carr in a trade given that there’s not as much leverage with a player locked into a very expensive one-year deal, they could gain some sort of draft asset with it.

Expect Pioli to know whether he wants an elite but expensive secondary or what he can get in a trade if he uses the franchise tag on Carr. Most likely is that all of this talk is for naught and that Bowe will get the tag.


Chiefs Free Agency: Peyton Hillis Could Provide Cheaper Running Back Option

One of the running backs available this offseason with some name recognition is Peyton Hillis. Amazingly, Hillis will have went from being on the cover of Madden’s popular video game to being in the doghouse on his own team: the Browns. Yet when a player goes through a down season or experiences drama, it provides the kind of short-term, low-risk situation that someone else can enjoy.

Enter the Chiefs. The team is going to need another runner in the backfield with Jamaal Charles coming off of rehab for a torn ACL and Thomas Jones and Jackie Battle are free agents. Hillis might believe he could make more money at first, but he will likely fall to a lower bidder.

Jason La Canfora writes, “Peyton Hillis could go from Madden cover boy to someone looking for the kind of deal he thinks he’s worth. Teams have struggled to come to terms with giving even the very best backs in this league big money, so for someone coming off a lost season with off-field concerns, finding a lucrative contract will prove tough.”

He’s not the only one who thinks Hillis is in for a tough offseason.

Jason Smith writes, “There will be a tremendously soft market for Peyton Hillis. He may fall through a cloud and onto a stack of cotton balls and toilet paper made out of memory foam. However, I think he could be a steal, since you’d probably be able to get him on the cheap after his public relations nightmare from last season. He has the talent. He’s a tough, cold-weather runner who would fit in for either New York team, Pittsburgh, Green Bay or even Cincinnati — a team that desires more of a 1-2 punch in the backfield going forward.”

That last line definitely describes the Chiefs, who have always used Charles in such a way. Coming off of an injury, it only makes sense to continue that with someone who can bolster the backfield.


Kansas City Chiefs Are Asking For Mediocrity If Chad Henne Is Matt Cassel's Main Competition

The word is out that the Kansas City Chiefs are among the players for Chad Henne, former starting quarterback for the Miami Dolphins. Also listed are the New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos. While a new player acquisition is usually an exciting thing for any team, it would only represent a step in the wrong direction for Scott Pioli and the Chiefs.

Earlier this offseason, the Chiefs brass made it clear that they were going to bring in someone to compete with Matt Cassel for the starting spot as the Chiefs’ quarterback. Cassel has had middling results so far and last season was particularly bad and ended with an injury over the final seven games. The offensive boost seen with Kyle Orton at the helm over the final three games confirmed for everyone what they already knew — that Cassel needed someone to push or even supplant him.

Chad Henne, however, is not the answer. While the Chiefs have been publicly linked to Peyton Manning and they interviewed Robert Griffin III among others at the Combine, the Chiefs bringing in yet another mediocre quarterback in hopes that one suddenly finds the ability to lead an NFL team to greatness. In this instance, in other words, one plus one does not equal two. It just equals one again — as in “you need one more quarterback.”

The Chiefs have done a great job building up the roster since Pioli took over, adding impact players in the secondary and at the skill positions. Quarterback has to be the next place to receive some sort of boost that moves beyond efficiency and into the realm of game-changing ability. Will that cost? Yes. Has any team regretted that cost in the past? Likely not.

Next year is going to be Henne’s fifth year in the NFL. In that time, he’s thrown for 31 touchdowns and 37 interceptions. He’s had a chance to show what he can do, and while he hasn’t always had the greatest offensive potential around him in Miami, he has had enough weapons to work with to do something with it. Even Matt Moore looked decent as the season went on last year.

In short, the Chiefs should not be players in the market for Henne under any circumstance. Taking a mid-round rookie and throwing him to the wolves in training camp would be better than bringing in a veteran with a ceiling that’s already known. Henne could be a fine back-up for a team in need of one, but the Chiefs are talking about starting caliber competition. That is exactly what Chad Henne is not.


NFL Free Agency: Wide Receivers Like Dwayne Bowe, Marques Colston Are Set For Great Offseason

If you’re a wide receiver, Jay Glazer has good news for you. In his discussions with various teams around the league, it’s quite clear that many teams are looking to go all-in on upgrading the passing game. Instead of adding a few extra targets through the draft or low-risk free agents, Glazer says teams are preparing to bid against one another in the coming free agency period for one of the few high-profile wideouts on the board.

Glazer writes, “Great year to be a free-agent WR. Had several teams tell me in the last week they’re going to be in the market to make a run at top tier guy”.

For the Chiefs, Dwayne Bowe is the possible target if they don’t franchise him, but all reports say that Bowe will stay with the Chiefs at least through 2012. Perhaps the team could sign and trade him, but Bowe has been the Chiefs passing game for some time and continues to make plays despite quarterback shifts and coordinator changes over the last few years.

Even if Bowe is not around, teams will still have Marques Colston of the Saints, Vincent Jackson of the Chargers and Stevie Johnson of the Bills as possible wide receivers to bid for. Braylon Edwards is also available as is Plaxico Burress. Mario Manningham is also a name to watch. Jackson is the biggest prize of all while no one is sure what the Bills are doing with Johnson.


Chiefs Franchise Tag Situation Is Toughest Decision Faced By Any Team With Dwayne Bowe, Brandon Carr

Several teams are facing difficult decisions at this point in the NFL offseason schedule with the franchise tag period open. The Houston Texans have to decide what to do about Mario Williams. The Raiders have Michael Bush. The Colts have Robert Mathis. But no one has a tougher decision, according to Jason La Canfora, than the Kansas City Chiefs.

The reason is that they have two impact players available, each on a different side of the ball. The Chiefs defense won several games for the team last season and is the strongest point, so do they weaken it by allowing young cornerback Brandon Carr to potentially walk in free agency? Then again, the offense already has major investments alongside Dwayne Bowe with Steve Breaston and Jon Baldwin in tow. Should they really franchise yet another receiver?

La Canfora writes, “The Chiefs have two options in cornerback Brandon Carr and receiver Dwayne Bowe — and they need both players. I’m not sure how much should be read into the Chiefs’ recent interest in free agent Stanford Routt. A strong case could be made for either player here, and the difference between the franchise tags is negligible given the massive cap space Kansas City is sitting on (the corner tag is about $1.2 million higher than the receiver tag). This might be the toughest decision for any team vis-à-vis the franchise tag, especially given the Chiefs’ needs. New head coach Romeo Crennel is a defensive guy.”

There’s a good argument to be made on both sides and it’s something the Chiefs have likely went over ad nauseum leading up to this point. Fans will soon learn where the team has placed their priorities and where they plan to bolster the team in other areas with their decision. Then again, there’s enough cap room to keep both and make everyone happy.


Dwayne Bowe And Brandon Carr Would Likely Make Fortune In NFL Free Agency

Chiefs fans certainly hope that their team is able to sign both players and keep the team's core intact. But the lure of the big payday is often enough to trump any experience, history and tradition and bring a player to the highest bidder.


Paul Soliai Would Make Major Difference For Kansas City Chiefs Defensive Front

Pete Prisco recently posted a column at CBS Sports linking one key free agent with each team, and Kansas City Chiefs fans will love the sound of Paul Soliai coming to Arrowhead. Prisco says the Chiefs have a major need at defensive tackle and that the former Miami Dolphins anchor would help in a major way.

Prisco summarizes, "They need a run stuffer in the middle of their defense. Soliai would bring that to a unit that needs it." That's a short way of saying that the Chiefs have no real options in the middle at this point, Kelly Gregg is getting old and could possibly retire. The team only has Anthony Toribio and Jerrelle Powe under contract and both players lack experience to even know what they have there. For the anchor point of the entire 3-4 defense, the Chiefs will need to do something at the point of attack.

Perhaps a draft choice like Devon Still or Dontari Poe will make a difference there, but Soliai is already one of the best paid defensive tackles on the market as he was franchised last year at nearly $12.5 million by the Dolphins. He's still young at 28 and made the Pro Bowl last season.

Pro Football Focus likes him and ranks him as the No. 36 free agent available this offseason. "2011 didn’t quite match 2010 in terms of production for Soliai who saw less playing time as the Dolphins got more sub packages involved in their defense. A valuable run defender who has shown some burst to get up field, Soliai is at the right age (28) and could fit into any defensive front."

Adding a player like Soliai would be a major win for the Chiefs in free agency, giving them more than a one-year stopgap at an all important position -- someone who is already experienced enough to take the Chiefs defense to the next level when it's already so promising.

For more on the Kansas City Chiefs, check out Arrowhead Pride.


NFL Free Agency: Dwayne Bowe Linked To Chicago Bears As Possible Landing Spot

The Kansas City Chiefs have some major choices to make this offseason, but none are more important than what the team should do with their own free agents: Dwayne Bowe and Brandon Carr. Romeo Crennel has already declared the two the team’s top priority in the offseason, but other teams will bring their dollars and sales pitches to the table and it might make it difficult for the Chiefs to keep both. In fact, the Chicago Bears might make life hard on the Chiefs when it comes to their prized wideout.

Jay Cutler definitely needs some new targets in Chicago if the passing game is going to continue to develop and be able to rival division foes like Matt Stafford’s high flying Lions attack or Aaron Rodgers and his incredible wide receiver corps in Green Bay. Dwayne Bowe would go a long way toward changing the team’s passing attack, and that’s why Pete Prisco links the player and the team.

“The Bears have to get some help on the outside for Cutler. Their receivers just can’t get it done on a consistent basis. Bowe would help change that.”

It should also be noted that former Chiefs scouting director Phil Emery is now the general manager in Chicago, so he’s very familiar with what Bowe can bring as well as Chargers wideout Vincent Jackson. Expect the Bears to pull for someone and the Chiefs to have to be on the defense unless they can strike before free agency begins.


NFL Free Agency: Dwayne Bowe Listed As Fourth Available WR Behind Wes Welker, Mike Wallace

Dwayne Bowe has over 1,000 yards in four of his first five seasons in the NFL and led the league in receiving touchdowns just last season. Somehow that’s good enough for only fourth on the list of available wide receivers in free agency this offseason, according to Gordon McGuinness over at Pro Football Focus. With potential names available like Wes Welker and Mike Wallace, it seems Bowe’s lack of respect around the league continues to hamper him despite the productivity on a run-first offense.

McGuinness writes, “Despite his touchdown receptions dropping from 15 to five, Bowe had an impressive 2011. Catching a pass of 20 yards or more in 12 of 16 games this year, he showed that he can stretch the field and, in the right situation, could put up big numbers again in 2012.”

It’s hard to imagine Bowe needing a “right situation” given that he had such a strong year last year with four games featuring Tyler Palko as the Chiefs’ starting quarterback and the team going through three overall. The Chiefs had weak spots along the offensive line, lost Tony Moeaki and Jamaal Charles for the season and had the quarterback carousel and Bowe still managed all that he did.

Then again, if the word is a bit negative on Bowe, then the Chiefs can luck out from that one. They know exactly what they have on hand with Bowe and should respond accordingly. Despite the presence of last year’s signee in Steve Breaston or the first round choice of Jon Baldwin, the Chiefs need Bowe to complete the passing game.


NFL Franchise Tags: Kansas City Chiefs Have Tough Decision, A Few Teams Don't

The NFL off-season really gets underway in a few short days as teams can begin using their franchise tags on February 20th.

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