It was an exciting President's day if you were a Kansas City Chiefs fan because for the first time in what seems like a very long time, the Chiefs were active in free agency in a pretty big way. The Chiefs went out and signed former Oakland Raiders' starting cornerback Stanford Routt to a three-year deal worth $19.6 million Monday afternoon.
While the move was bittersweet because of what it might mean for current Chiefs' cornerback Brandon Carr, it seems as if the Chiefs have turned a corner in their organizational belief in how to build a championship football team. Well, it may not be a new belief, but this was the first time that they had (most likely) to make a move that meant they weren't bringing back one of their better players, fan favorite and good representative of the team and community. There are going to be a lot of upset Chiefs fans if this move ultimately means that Carr will no longer be a Kansas City Chief, and for all intents and purposes, that's what this move means.
I guess there is still a small chance that a deal with Dwayne Bowe and/or Carr could be made before the franchise tag deadline comes around, but the most likely scenario is Bowe gets tagged and Carr hits free agency. With the Chiefs signing Routt there was already a lot of speculation on Monday where Carr might be a good fit on other teams around the NFL. Good starting cornerbacks are a premium in the NFL and Carr fits that mold, it's not a stretch to say that he would be a good fit almost anywhere.
We might never know what kid of offer could have been presented to Carr in the beginning of these discussions by the Chiefs front office. I do think it's safe to say it was at least what they offered Routt, but tough decisions have to be made on good football players when you are a good team on the rise. It may not feel like it now, but in the big picture scheme of things it is a good problem to have. On one hand you've got a fantastic No. 2 corner in Carr who has said that he wants to be in Kansas City, and on the other you have another good No. 2 corner that would like to play for you as well coming over from a hated rival. Whether or not it was the right decision won't be known in February, March or even August. We can judge this move in January when the season is over and you can look at the whole picture.
It will be interesting though to see what kind of deal Carr does eventually sign for if it's not back with Kansas City. But with Brandon Flowers getting a healthy deal last year and now this deal with Routt, it's hard to believe that the Chiefs will throw even more money at another cornerback this off-season. Although looking at it from a strictly dollars and cents standpoint, they could afford to sign Carr AND Bowe.
Brandon Carr has been nothing but a fantastic player and even better person since being drafted in the fifth round out of Grand Valley State by the Chiefs in 2008. I don't think that either side has done anything disrespectful for it to get to this point, it's just the cost of getting better in this business.