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If the Kansas City Chiefs were going to make a move in free agency for more competition at the quarterback spot, they are now likely going to wait until the draft after word that David Garrard signed a contract with the Miami Dolphins. While he's not the favorite choice of many, Garrard was coming off a career year for the Jags in 2010 and was the best FA quarterback still on the market. Now, with word of his signing, the Chiefs must look elsewhere if they want to stiffen the competition before the season begins.
For now, the team is going with a depth chart of Matt Cassel, Brady Quinn and Ricky Stanzi. The potential of Stanzi is unknown, while the ceilings of both Quinn and Cassel aren't inspiring in any way. Steady might be nice, but the 49ers'actions with Alex Smith tell you all you need to know about the potential of an efficient quarterback. Just months after leading the Niners to the NFC Championship, Smith has been treated like one of the lesser options on the market by San Fran.
The Chiefs could make a move for a quarterback in the upcoming draft and it would not surprise anyone to see the Chiefs do something from round one to seven. Whether it's a first round reach for Ryan Tannehill or a later addition of Kirk Cousins or Brock Osewiler, the Chiefs could do anything in the 2012 NFL Draft. That makes it hard to project.
For now they have three players that fail to inspire much in the way of confidence. That won't change with any more activity on the free agent market.
Chris Mortenson, who continues to stay on top of everything having to do with Peyton Manning, is reporting that the Miami Dolphins were finally able to have their own time with the former Colts quarterback via a meeting with head coach Joe Philbin and a few others. It's interesting that Manning was back in Indy when ties have been severed there professionally, but that's where Mortenson places the meeting that he says took 5 to 6 hours.
Manning is currently on his whirlwind tour of personnel meetings and team facilities and has already given some time to the Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos. The Titans are reportedly next and others like the Texans just reached out in the last 24 hours. It's been an amazing, dramatic ride to follow and it's something the NFL has never seen to this point in terms of media coverage for a single free agent. Then again, no player like Manning has ever entered free agency.
The Kansas City Chiefs have made public statements of their own interest, but have yet to hear anything back from Manning or receive a visit.
For more on Manning and the Chiefs' pursuit, check out Arrowhead Pride for more details.
Now that everyone in Kansas City is just about done playing "will he or won’t he?" since it seems quite clear that Peyton Manning is interested in everyone else but the Chiefs, we can begin to look at the entire affair and wonder something else: what what that all about? From the lack of interest from Peyton to the public display of interest from the team, the entire thing has been a bit of a head-scratcher.
Recently the Houston Texans became the next team to show some interest and generate some headlines. This follows the Tennessee Titans which followed the Arizona Cardinals which followed the Denver Broncos which… you get the point. One team after another has come out of the woodwork to chase a quarterback, the Texans being the latest.
The interest is completely understandable since so many teams have needs at the position or look mediocre at best. It’s not every day that an elite, future Hall of Famer makes a tour across the States for his next destination. But Mike Florio points something out with this latest public flirtation that might get to the heart of some teams.
"Previously, the Texans had said they have no interest in Manning," Florio writes. "Their interest possibly has been sparked by the Titans’ interest. If nothing else, the Texans need to make it look like they tried to get Peyton, in the event he ends up with the Titans and lead them to the AFC South title."
It’s that last line that piqued my interest. Did the Chiefs pull the same move? Did the team try to get in on the Peyton bandwagon in the hopes of making up some good will from fans frustrated by a season in which the team didn’t spend the money it could have last season?
If the perception is that the team is not doing enough to win, then going after the top free agent on the market is the way to silence your doubters. Whether you are serious or not, the posture of public interest can be a real boom to the fan base. Is this why the Chiefs were so uncharacteristically forward about Manning?
Everyone assumed that when head coach Romeo Crennel came right out at the NFL Combine and declared that he would be "crazy" not to consider Manning if he was available, that it was a slip up. Some articles even popped up wondering if the team could be guilty of "tampering." Clark Hunt comes out later and says that the team is definitely interested in Manning, in much the same way Bud Adams just did of the Titans. Both moves are not what we have come to expect from Arrowhead.
For such a clamped down organization that led to the "Arrowhead Anxiety" drama surrounding Kent Babb’s piece at the Star describing the allegedly paranoid atmosphere, both instances seem rather like Jim Irsay or Rex Ryan. The Chiefs aren’t affable in public. The team isn’t accessible. Everything is on lockdown — except for Manning.
So either the team has been this forward because they want you, dear fan, to know that they are interested in Manning or they sincerely wanted Peyton to know. Perhaps the furor over Peyton was so great that the front office had to break the typical radio silence to declare their love since they weren’t getting messages returned. No one will know for certain, and perhaps it’s a bit of both, but it’s interesting all the same to watch a team act uncharacteristically.
If the Peyton saga somehow drags on longer than anyone could have predicted and Manning eventually makes his way on the Chiefs roster through some miracle of Pioli’s, then we will all look back and realize the team was doing everything it could to sway Manning — including breaking protocols. But if things play out the way it looks, which includes Manning heading to the Chiefs biggest rival, then the entire act might have been a publicity stunt in the first place.
It also appears that the Chiefs are not the only team in on the act.
Check out more about the Chiefs' chase of Peyton Manning over at Arrowhead Pride.
The Peyton Manning Express is making its way from the West back to the East and apparently stopping in Nashville along the way. But count Peter King among the many surprised fans and media writers who wonder why the Kansas City Chiefs are not being considered. After all, the team is a perfect fit for Manning for many different reasons — seemingly more so than the Denver Broncos who Manning spent considerable time with over the weekend.
King writes, “San Diego and Oakland have quarterbacks and/or no cap room to go get Manning. I am surprised he views Denver clearly better than the Chiefs, which apparently he does. Kansas City has better backs, if Jamaal Charles returns whole this year, and comparable if not better receivers. The Chiefs had a better defense last year, by three points and 24 yards allowed per game.”
Rumors were saying that Manning might be done with his tour and that he narrowed his choices down to Arizona and Denver. Now he’s making a trip to visit the Titans and he’s also meeting with Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin. In other words, he’s meeting with everyone who is seriously interested except for the Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks.
Given the timing of things, the Chiefs will likely have to move on in 24 hours as free agency starts tomorrow at 3pm CT. It’s frustrating and definitely shocking and it seems that local fans aren’t alone in their bias.
The Peyton Manning tour is apparently going to continue, making rumors that the Cardinals and Broncos were the only teams in it false. Unfortunately for Chiefs fans, the new rumor from Chris Mortensen is not good. Instead, Mort is reporting that the Titans and Dolphins are each going to get their chance to chat with Peyton Manning, although it will not be the full tour and team facility meetings that the last two have been.
Specifically, Mortensen notes that the head coach of both teams is going to get a personal visit with Peyton away from team facilities. That means that Joe Philbin and Mike Munchak each bear the weight of the responsibility to try to lure Manning to consider their teams and, at the very least, come for more of a full on visit.
Perhaps this is also a gesture on Manning’s part to personally tell teams that have publicly stated they are interested that he is not going to be interested in them. But that seems odd to choose the head coaches to do so and take that time rather than send a statement. After all, every team can open their wallets in just over 24 hours for the free agency period, so Peyton taking a few days to politely decline the interest of others is rather time consuming and selfish.
At this point, however, it seems the reports are real that the Chiefs are not in the race whatsoever. The Titans and Dolphins, meanwhile, have new signs of life.
The word on the street is the Kansas City Chiefs are out of the running for Peyton Manning. Then comes another rumor that the Chiefs could still be in it. While it’s more likely the Chiefs will not get Manning since there has been no official visit even scheduled and free agency starts tomorrow, the Chiefs still have reason to hope. But they should also plan for a different outcome — one that doesn’t include an elite-level quarterback rushing in to save the day.
Instead it’s more likely that the Chiefs will have to find some other less-exciting options to chose from. Perhaps you could use the word “realistic.” Despite the deflating morale, however, there are some solid bets on the free agent market.
1. David Garrard – The former Jags quarterback actually turned in a career best performance in his final year with the Jags before being cut for Blaine Gabbert. Health issues kept him out all of last season, but if he’s back and healthy, he’s among the best options out there — a surprise since no one is talking about him.
Pro Football Focus called him one of the best bargains around. Nathan Jahnke wrote, “Amenable to a backup role, it’s often forgotten just how solid a quarterback Garrard was for the Jaguars, even if he did fail to push them on. If his back heals fully after a season off, Garrard could prove a relatively cheap (talent wise) option at the QB spot that could provide competition for a struggling starter, or reliable backup for a team concerned with their quarterbacks health. On proven talent levels alone, Garrard trails only Manning in the passers available.”
2. Kyle Orton – This is the most common and the most likely since both player and team are already familiar with each other and succeeded quite well in the marriage given the drama, frenzy and short time span together. Orton helped the Chiefs defeat the Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos within the team’s last three games and the Chiefs finished one game out of the playoffs despite firing Todd Haley.
Orton is also going to be hot for that same reason on the free agent market, so it won’t be surprising to see other teams wanting in on Orton — perhaps the Jags and Bears among others. But the Chiefs have the familiarity, the cap room and the interest to make this move.
Between the two, the Chiefs could find their next quarterback and provide the competition for Matt Cassel that they wanted. It’s not a Manning-sized move, but there are a number of teams that will be left out in the cold when all is said and done about Peyton. In the meantime, there is still hope.
The Kansas City Chiefs must figure out their quarterback situation at some point this offseason. There has been an admission already to know the system is broken, as the front office has been clear that competition will be brought in for Matt Cassel in some form. The question is whether the Chiefs are going after the big free agents on the market like Peyton Manning or whether they're wiling to draft a Ryan Tannehill or Brandon Weeden.
There are other options, of course, in the free agent market and the Chiefs are already familiar with Kyle Orton and what he could bring. Nathan Jahnke of Pro Football Focus has a new name for the Chiefs to consider along with Chad Henne and Peyton Manning: David Garrard.
Jahnke writes, "The name that could make the most sense is Chad Henne (+3.9). He has shown some sparks in Miami, and the Chiefs new offensive coordinator is Brian Daboll who most recently was the offensive coordinator of the Dolphins. If the Chiefs are in a "win now" mindset, David Garrard after a year off, should be ready to lead an offense from day one. Although he’s not a free agent yet, if the Chiefs were to bring in Peyton Manning and he was even close to being fully healthy, they would instantly become one of the most dangerous offenses in the league.
Whoever the Chiefs decide to bring in, he's stepping into a fairly pleasing scenario with so many offensive weapons. The defense is mostly set, so the Chiefs could be poised to move forward in an major way in 2012 with the right addition.
As the NFL gears up for the end of the franchise tag period and the beginning of free agency, teams are getting ready to survey the options and go for broke on some players. For the Chiefs, the weaknesses include right tackle and there are precious few options out there for Scott Pioli to choose from. But Nathan Jahnke of Pro Football Focus says that Anthony Collins of the Bengals could fit the bill.
The Chiefs definitely need something since they have a major hole on the right side. Barry Richardson has been among the worst starting tackles in all of football over the last two seasons, particularly last year, and he is now a free agent. The team could bring him back for depth, but going into another year with the same weakness at right tackle is not likely.
Jahnke writes, “While it’s possible the Chiefs bring back Wiegmann who is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent and move one of their players to tackle, it would be better for the Chiefs long-term to bring in someone. Anthony Collins of the Bengals would be the best choice to take over the right tackle spot. The Chiefs have built their line around strong pass protectors, and Collins fits that mold. In his last 302 pass plays dating back to 2009, he has allowed just five pressures, with no sacks or hits.”
Collins is a free agent after the Bengals franchised Mike Nugent. Now the team has no ability to deal with Collins aside from the same rules every other team has to abide by. Expect Pioli to at least kick the tires on this option.
Cortland Finnegan had been predicted by sportswriters covering the Tennessee Titans writers that the team was unlikely to use the franchise tag on their cornerback. Now, Jason La Canfora is testifying to the opposite. If so, that means that yet another cornerback option is off the market for the upcoming NFL agency period — which could make Brandon Carr a happy man.
Carr and Dwayne Bowe are the two possible recipients of a franchise tag of their own from the Kansas City Chiefs, and the team has been reportedly set to use it on Bowe to protect their receiver on the roster for the 2012 roster. The Chiefs have already signed free agent Stanford Routt, so it’s clear that there’s more wiggle room to lose Carr than before.
If Carr hits the open market, he now has another corner off of the market (if the Titans keep Finnegan). He’s already the best option as a four-year starter for the Chiefs who is still only 25-years-old. He’s formed a great young tandem with Brandon Flowers for the Chiefs and any team needing to significantly upgrade their pass defense should reach for him. He’s going to make his money.
Other options will be available to some degree, but the Falcons have already tagged Brent Grimes. Carlos Rogers is on the wrong side of 30. So is Rashean Mathis. Richard Marshall will get some play. But none of the above are even close to Carr’s resume.
Carr’s price just likely went up even more with the loss of market leverage with Finnegan available. That is, unless the Chiefs surprise everyone and keep Carr in house.
If they bring back Carr, the secondary will be a very expensive group but one ready to play at a high level in the today's pass happy NFL.
The Kansas City Chiefs are expected to add significant size to their defensive interior given the lack of proven playmakers at defensive tackle. Kelly Gregg is a free agent and is in the twilight of his career. Jerrell Powe is a developmental prospect at this point, and the Chiefs can ill afford to go forward without adding a significant force on the roster there. That’s why the Chiefs have been linked to Paul Soliai of the Miami Dolphins.
Unfortunately, the Chief won’t be the only team bidding for his services. ESPN’s Bill Williamson says it could come down to a pair of rivals in the Chiefs and San Diego Chargers for Soliai.
Williamson writes, "Miami’s Paul Soliai is headed to free agency and I think both the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Diego Chargers will be interested in him. There will be a lot of interest in Soliai, but I wouldn’t be shocked if both the Chiefs and the Chargers make big plays for him.
“He’d fill a need for both teams. He is a terrific anchor for a 3-4 defense. Soliai is 6-foot-4 and he weighs 355 pounds. While Soliai doesn’t put up a lot of numbers, coaches and scouts around the league think he is an upper-echelon player because he plugs the hole in the running game and he wears down offensive linemen.”
Soliai should command top dollar on the open market, so the Chiefs will have to do their homework on cost analysis and what is the best investment for them. They have the chance to grab a Dontari Poe in the NFL Draft, so that might be the better asset for the investment, but the Chiefs do have money to spend in the free agent market. We’re only a few weeks away from finally knowing how all of this will play out.
The Chiefs publicly say that they still want to sign Brandon Carr to a contract to keep the cornerback opposite Brandon Flowers for 2012 and possibly beyond. This comes, however, after the seemingly opposing fact that they’ve already signed former Raiders corner Stanford Routt to a three-year deal. It’s likely, despite any conversation to the contrary, that the Chiefs will watch Carr leave to another team. That team, according to recent draft rumors from the NFL Combine, is the Dallas Cowboys.
The Draft Insider notes, “Teams here in Indianapolis feel when the dust clears in free agency cornerback Brandon Carr will be the newest member of the Dallas Cowboys. The team will then look to use their first selection on an offensive lineman, but who? Last night we reported the Baltimore Ravens would likely target Cordy Glenn. They may need a back-up plan as word is Glenn continues to sky-rocket up draft boards and ending up with Dallas in the top half of round one is a real possibility.”
Carr would definitely aid an ailing and aging secondary since Carr is only 25 even after four full seasons of starting in the Kansas City defensive backfield. Carr wants the chance to make top cornerback money and he would find a larger platform and lots of money with Jerry Jones as his owner.
The biggest free agent on the Kansas City Chiefs roster is cornerback Brandon Carr. Carr is going to be pursued by a lot of NFL teams once free agency begins on March 12. Chiefs general manager Scot Pioli is at the NFL Combine and he talked about the possibility of retaining Carr:
''We're going to continue to talk to Brandon and his agent,'' Pioli said. ''If we can come to a deal that makes sense for both sides, then hopefully we'll be able to keep him here.''
The Chiefs just signed cornerback Stanford Routt to a three-year, $19 million deal, so the finances need to be just right if the Chiefs can retain Carr. Last season the Chiefs extended Brandon Flowers contract for five years with an average salary of $9.75 million, so that is another reason the Chiefs may have to get creative with their salary cap to have Carr in a Chiefs jersey in 2012 and beyond.
For more on the Chiefs go visit Arrowhead Pride.
As the Kansas City Chiefs decide what they are going to do with Dwayne Bowe and a franchise tag of their own with Brandon Carr also to consider, another team facing a similar conundrum with their top wide receiver has decided to reportedly leave the tag out of it.
“A league source told The Buffalo News that Johnson isn’t expecting to receive the franchise tag from the Bills and despite swapping contract proposals recently the two sides are far apart on negotiations,” reports Rodney McKissic. “The franchise tag option hasn’t been discussed during negotiations with Johnson, the source told The News. Johnson’s agent, C.J. LaBoy, was unavailable for comment.”
That’s an interesting development for a team that has shown signs of life, including a blistering start to last season, and yet needs to turn the corner. The Bills passing game took a while to develop a top target for Ryan Fitzpatrick, so if they let him walk, it will be intriguing to see what they do.
The Saints are another team to consider what to do with their own wide receiver in Marques Colston. They have a franchise tag available, but they’re also dealing with Pro Bowl guard Carl Nicks and a guy named Drew Brees. The Chiefs will likely watch what the Bills are doing and others to see how the market will shift. Each team has until 4pm ET on March 5 to turn in their franchise plans to the league.
The Kansas City Chiefs aren’t likely to let Dwayne Bowe go. After all, the team has stated publicly on multiple occasions that they want him back and that they are executing that as their main priority in their offseason plan. So it’s hard to even bother talking about any other destinations for the wide receiver when KC has the control with the franchise tag in hand. However, if Bowe could potentially leave the Chiefs, the Buffalo Bills are being brought up as a possibility.
ESPN’s James Walker wonders whether or not Bowe’s ties to Chan Gailey could make a difference. The Bills have an obvious need at wideout with Stevie Johnson up for free agency and Bowe would fit the bill, pardon the pun. It’s the same argument used for the Chicago Bears who now have Phil Emery calling the shots. Walker writes:
Bills coach Chan Gailey was Kansas City’s offensive coordinator in 2008, when Bowe set a career-high with 86 receptions. Gailey knows what Bowe can do, and Bowe proved he can fit in Gailey’s offense.
Bowe and Johnson have put up comparable numbers the past two seasons. But Bowe is a more physical specimen and bigger game-breaker than Johnson. The Bills’ front office may not want to pay Johnson approximately $8 million per season, but they may be willing to do that for Bowe. The AFC East blog ran a poll on how much Buffalo should pay Johnson, and a majority of readers picked $5-$7 million.
No matter what they could offer, the reality is that Bowe isn’t going anywhere this offseason. It’s a pipe dream for any team to consider Bowe in their uniforms simply because it’s a waste of time. KC is prepped to keep him and has the power and the money to do so.
Some people love the signing of Stanford Routt for the Kansas City Chiefs. Others don’t get it and hate the swap if it leads to losing Brandon Carr. While Scott Pioli insists he wanted more competition and better players this offseason and that one doesn’t have anything to do with the other, detractors point to Routt’s penalties from last season and wonder what the Chiefs are thinking.
Peter King at Sports Illustrated says that the voice of the detractors will go away after Routt’s time in KC. Routt’s talent is clear as a cornerback, and King also says his best could still be forthcoming as he’s coached properly behind the Chiefs secondary coaching staff. He writes:
Now about Routt. There’s been something missing in his game in the last couple of years in Oakland: discipline and technique. The good about Routt: He’s one of a very small handful of corners to play 1,000 snaps in the last two years and hold receivers under 50-percent completions.
The bad bout Routt: He’s sloppy; no corner had more than Routt’s 28 penalties accepted in the last two years. He’s a solid corner who could be very good with better coaching — and he’s coming to the right place. Emmitt Thomas, the secondary coach, was a Hall of Fame player and is a strong technique coach. His assistant, Otis Smith, was a marginal NFL player who had to do everything right to stay in the league — and Carr and Flowers both benefited from his coaching. I think one of the big reasons Routt went to Kansas City is he’s dying to be coached. And he’ll be coached in Kansas City.
To get a good NFL corner for about $6 million a year over three years is a good signing, and should prove to be good insurance for the Chiefs. (The deal would be worth $10.5 million for two years and $18 million for three … if Routt is in Kansas City for a third year.)
Whether Routt is the third corner or taking over for Carr, if he’s able to round off the rough edges that came out last season, the Chiefs made a strong play in free agency. The Chiefs’ coaches have already made big playmakers out of Brandon Flowers and Carr and Routt should enjoy the same treatment.
The Chiefs started their signing period early by grabbing the recently released former Oakland Raider Stanford Routt, locking up the cornerback with a three-year, $19 million deal. Does that mean free agent Brandon Carr is all but gone? It's very, very, likely, but Scott Pioli would still have fans believe that the two deals - Routt's signing and whatever Carr ends up getting - aren't mutually exclusive. That's tough to swallow given the logistics of Dwayne Bowe's yet-to-be-determined deal, but hey, the G.M. says he's trying.
Here's exactly what Pioli said to 810 WHB:
"I’ll say this: The signing of Stanford Routt does not impact where we’re at with Brandon Carr. As a matter of fact, Romeo and I both reached out to Brandon yesterday as this was unfolding and talked to him. I spoke personally with Brandon, and without getting into the details of what that conversation was, he knows and he’s known before that he’s someone that we want to try and keep here and he’s still someone we want to keep a Chief. This signing doesn’t eliminate the feelings that we have for Brandon and how we want to have him here. He knows that. He wants to be here. We want him here. And we’re going to try to work. If both sides find a deal that makes sense for one another, we’d love to have Brandon back. Part of the big-picture philosophy between keeping a large amount of cap room and managing the cap the right way is that when opportunities come to improve your football team with good players, you keep trying to do it. So, we had conversations not only with Brandon, but his agent and told him, "We’ve been talking, let’s continue to talk, let’s see how things work out." If we come to a deal that makes sense for everybody, let’s do that."
On Friday, the last four teams will finally know their official placement in the 2012 NFL Draft. The NFL will hold tiebreaker coin flips between the Carolina Panthers and Miami Dolphins, as well as between the Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks.
The Chiefs and Seahawks both finished the 2011 season with 7-9 records, while both teams' opponents held 131-125 records, necessitating the coin flip. The winner of the toss will receive the No. 11 pick in the draft, while the loser will select at No. 12 in the first round. It may not seem like too large a difference, but it will absolutely make an impact.
Peter King of Sports Illustrated runs down some of the potential implications and exactly what this could mean for the two teams.
The difference in one spot on the draft trade value chart -- the chart most teams use to divine value when making draft-day trades -- between picks that high is 50 points. That's roughly the equivalent of a mid- to low-fourth-round pick on the chart. And with this draft expected to have lots of very close valuations between post-Luck and -RGIII players at the top, the winner of each flip could lead to a valuable chip when the first round goes off April 26. Example: Let's say Kansas City and Seattle both want Iowa tackle Riley Reiff at No. 11. Seattle wins the flip. And let's say there are other suitors for Reiff. Seattle could move down one spot, with the Chiefs, for a third- or fourth-round pick, or seven spots, with tackle-needy San Diego, for something significantly better. Just something to keep your eye on in the two months before the draft.
It is safe to say that the Chiefs are definitely going to be hoping they'll win the toss. We shall have to wait and see whether things go their way on Friday.
For all news and information regarding the Kansas City Chiefs, please visit Arrowhead Pride.
Several sources -- most notably ESPN -- have reported that the Kansas City Chiefs have a whopping $63 million dollars of cap space to work with in the offseason.
Joel Thorman of Arrowhead Pride reported that Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli appeared on 810 WHB to clear up the figure just a bit.
Although the $63 million number is accurate as of this moment, that figure is basically a technicality at this point.Here's what happens. At this point in time, the NFL has not completely reconciled the cap for 2012. And what I mean by saying that is that any incentives that were earned by players for teams in 2011 -- and let's just say a player had a Pro Bowl incentive in their contract for $200,000 -- because that happens after the season and all incentives in 2011 are reconciled during the month February, that isn't yet showing against the 2012 cap that's on the books with the league office where these people get their numbers from.
The other thing that happens is any players that have Paragraph 5 escalators, which are base salary escalators, for the 2012 sason, even if that triggered back in 2010, 2009 or this past season, those numbers aren't showing against the cap yet.
In our case, it was showing that we had $63 million in cap space. The reality is that, that's true in that moment but, on the first day of the league year, the number of escalators and bonuses from last year will be netted out.
So say for instance, what we have is $63 million in cap space showing with the league. However, there are $18 million in escalators that seven different players have earned -- contracts on some players that were done four years ago -- but even though they triggered, it hasn't been netted against the cap yet.
So we've got $18 million in escalators, another $5 million of incentives that were earned last season that will count against that, plus what we don't have is our restricted free agent tenders. What that number is, is approximately $25 million against the $63 million that isn't showing yet.
Confusing? Sure, but the bottom line is that once all the incentives, escalators and various other things are taken out of that $63 million cap space, it looks like the Chiefs will still have between $37 and $38 million to work with before the 2012 season kicks off, which is more than enough to make a legitimate splash.
For all news and information regarding the Kansas City Chiefs, please visit Arrowhead Pride.
Brandon Carr seems likely to leave. It's also possible he will stay. Either way, Stanford Routt is the newest member of the Kansas City Chiefs secondary and it's likely that one supplants the other. If that's the case, then there's bound to be some unhappy Chiefs wondering why general manager Scott Pioli refused to "take care of his own." But it's never that simple in the NFL and fans and sportswriters are largely not privy to what goes on behind closed doors. And in Kansas City, there are a lot of those.
It's possible that Carr was set on entering the free agent market no matter how much the Chiefs offered him in this period. Perhaps he's ready to leave and become the primary cornerback on another team. Maybe he wants to be closer to his hometown in Detroit. Or maybe he stays and the Chiefs have the most expensive secondary in the NFL. Yet even if Carr leaves and Routt replaces him, Bill Williamson of ESPN says he deserves credit for making this move.
Williamson writes, "I give Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli a lot of credit for making this move. Routt will fit well with Flowers, and I expect him be closer to the player he was in Oakland in 2010 than the 2011 version. Routt was solid as the No.2 cornerback to Nnamdi Asomugha. But after Asomugha went to Philadelphia in free agency last season, Routt struggled as the Raiders’ No. 1 cornerback. He had 17 penalties and gave up eight touchdowns, which was tied for the most in the NFL by a cornerback last season."
Consider this: if Carr was bound to leave anyway, then adding Routt above other teams' offers yet before the free agency period opens means that the Chiefs have taken care of a need before anyone else could even get in the way. The team can also turn its focus to Dwayne Bowe on the offensive side and take care of that need as well, knowing the franchise tag is available if need be.
Instead of entering free agency hoping to solve other roster issues as well as new ones, the Chiefs are going in able to think clearly and only worry about a few serious issues. That's the beauty of the Routt signing regardless of whether Carr stays or leaves.
If the Chiefs defense can continue to be the cornerstone of this team the way they were last year in games against the Packers and Broncos under Crennel's leadership late in the season, Carr will be forgotten, Routt will be celebrated and Pioli will enjoy further proof of his acumen in NFL personnel decisions.
"My first stop in the NFL was great. I don't like to look backwards. I think that's an old chapter. It's time to turn the page. I trust the Kansas City Chiefs to lead us in the right direction. It helps that I'll be playing in the AFC West going on eight years now, so I think that will be a plus. I've always had a lot of respect for Romeo Crennel with his defensive expertise, so the sky is the limit for us. When you look at that, and combine it with the pieces they have on offense, I don't see why we can't win."
Routt said he talked to seven other NFL teams -- Cincinnati, Buffalo, Oakland, Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Tennessee -- but thought Kansas City was the best fit for him.
If Brandon Carr is going to enter the free agent market after all in just a few weeks, the word "sweepstakes" will undoubtedly be utilized. The cornerback has 64 career starts underneath his belt and he's only 25. He's held down his own opposite Brandon Flowers for four consecutive seasons and has as much talent as any other corner on the market. He also is coming off of a career high four interceptions in 2011.
For those reasons, Carr is going to be chased in the offseason by teams in need of help in the secondary. Specifically some teams that could pony up include several from the NFC North, including his hometown Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings, as well as the Tennessee Titans.
Gil Alcaraz at Yahoo! Sports writes, "The only thing that could make landing Carr tricky is the price tag that he will undoubtedly be wearing. Not only will his talent level demand a big salary, but interest from other teams such as the Tennessee Titans could result in a bidding war. Carr would provide an immediate upgrade to the Vikings secondary. There are, however, other fish in the free agency pool that could have a similar impact."
ESPN's Kevin Seifert agrees and writes, "If he reaches the open market, however, Carr will be an attractive option for the Minnesota Vikings, who need multiple layers of help at the position, and the Chicago Bears, who might be looking for an upgrade alongside Charles Tillman. It's hard to imagine the Detroit Lions finding the salary-cap space to sign Carr, assuming they retain defensive end Cliff Avril in one way or another, but stranger things have happened."
Of course that doesn't include other teams with major needs in the secondary (and money) like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the St. Louis Rams. It's likely to end up as a major bidding war for Carr's services if he lands on the market, and we'll know soon enough what the Chiefs plan to do on their part to keep him or let him walk.
Right after the Kansas City Chiefs officially announced the signing of Stanford Routt to a three-year deal, the rumor mill started about where current Chiefs cornerback Brandon Carr might end up. After all, the Chiefs signed Routt to a defensive backfield that already has larger contracts given to Eric Berry at safety and Brandon Flowers at the other starting corner spot. There's only so much money to go around for the unit, after all.
Carr is currently able to negotitate with the Chiefs and could still be franchised, but he's likely to go somewhere else as a free agent or at least in a sign and trade. If he's able to walk, Bill Williamson wonders if the Denver Broncos are a possibility.
He writes, "I thought Denver would be the favorite in the division to land Routt, but the Broncos reportedly never had any interest. Carr could pair nicely with the aging Champ Bailey for the short term. The Broncos could then have Carr take over as the No.1 cornerback if Bailey is eventually moved to safety. The Broncos have cap room and I could see them looking at Carr."
The Broncos definitely need talent and youth in the secondary, but the Broncos could use more help at safety where Rahim Moore didn't work out so well last season and Brian Dawkins is getting awfully old. Carr is also likely to jump ship to the highest bidder and that's likely to come from his hometown Detroit Lions if anywhere. Still the Broncos are an option and it would be intriguing if it all comes down to musical chairs within the division.
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.
Kansas City Chiefs runningback Jackie Battle recently stated on a Sirius/XM NFL radio show on Monday that he will be testing the free agency waters when the market opens in a few weeks. Battle has spent 5 seasons in the Chiefs organization, but with Jamaal Charles returning and the potential for Kansas City to draft another ball carrier, Battle will try to get the biggest pay day in his career.
"[The Chiefs] said they wanted me back before we left but I was gonna just see what my options were before I made that decision," Battle told Andrew Bogusch and Pat Kirwan on SiriusXM NFL Radio Monday afternoon. "But they said they wanted me back before the season ended."
This will be Battle's best chance to test the market and achieve his biggest payday in his entire career. Battle finished his 2011 campaign with 597 yards rushing with 4 total touchdowns.
According to Gregg Rosenthal of NBC Sports, the Kansas City Chiefs signing of CB Stanford Routt on Monday has major implications for their two main free agents:
One big benefit to Routt's contract: Now Kansas City can use the franchise tag on wide receiver Dwayne Bowe.
The Chiefs have a huge amount of salary cap space, so it should be easy to tag Bowe. A long-term deal could be tough to put together quickly. A one-year contract will give Bowe motivation to play his best again in 2012; motivation has been an issue at times during his career.
On Twitter, Chiefs players and writers agreed with Rosenthal's conclusion:
Yeah i agree RT @SteveOReilly: Carr is going to test FA, I'd bank on it. Bowe will get tagged.— Le'Ron McClain (@LeRon_McClain44) February 20, 2012
This means Bowe will be franchised (the right move), but Carr will return only if he's naively willing to give a massive hometown discount.— Kent Babb (@kentbabb) February 20, 2012
Now that the Kansas City Chiefs have made it official that they’ve signed Stanford Routt to a three-year contract, some official statements are making their way out. Predictably, they are all glowing in their praise for the former Raiders cornerback.
“We are excited that we were able to come to terms with Stanford,” General Manager Scott Pioli said. “He is a talented player, and as we have said in the past, we are always looking to add competition at every position year-round. Stanford’s experience and level of play will make him a solid addition to our defense.”
“Stanford has a proven record of success in the NFL,” Head Coach Romeo Crennel said. “He’s a talented player that has spent seven seasons in the AFC West, so he is familiar with us and our division opponents. We are excited to have Stanford join the team, and we are looking forward to getting started.”
Routt is a seven year NFL veteran who had four interceptions last season, but was surprisingly let go by the Raiders just weeks ago. Because of the timing, he was eligible to sign right away rather than wait for the NFL free agency period to begin on March 13.
The Kansas City Chiefs had the "toughest decision" of any NFL franchise this offseason when it came to the franchise tag scenario that most teams will face over the next week or more. As teams consider who to keep and who to let go, the Chiefs faced the quandary of having two impact players in their prime hitting the market at the same time. With only one franchise tag, the Chiefs had to hope that both Dwayne Bowe and Brandon Carr were going to want to re-sign with the team rather than hit the open market. Alas, that was not the case.
The Chiefs reportedly reached a three-year, $20 million agreement with free agent cornerback Stanford Routt today, a sign that Carr is headed out of Kansas City. Given such a deal opposite the extension signed by Brandon Flowers last September, it's highly unlikely that the Chiefs can afford to sink such high amounts into three cornerbacks (especially since they also have Javier Arenas and Jalil Brown among others).
Taken all together, it's easy to see that Carr likely told Scott Pioli and the rest of the Chiefs front office that he was going to at least weigh all of his options. That's understandable after putting in four full seasons as a starter after being the Chiefs' fifth-round choice back in 2008. He's earned his big paycheck and the open market will bring the most rewards. Like it or not, this is Carr's chance to set himself and his family for life.
But the Chiefs could not afford to wait it out. Prime cornerbacks rarely hit the market and when they do they earn their millions. Someone will likely overpay for Carr, as they will for the Ravens' Lardarius Webb. If the Chiefs waited to see what Carr would do, they would just be one of several suitors for the cornerbacks available.
It's possible, in other words, that they could have signed Carr once again. It's also possible that the Chiefs could have been the last team standing after others like Carlos Rogers and Cortland Finnegan were gone. Imagine if Pioli had missed out on every solid cornerback option and either had to overpay someone or went into the draft down one of his starting cornerbacks. That's the worst-case scenario.
Thus, the signing of Stanford Routt signals a very strong start to the Chiefs offseason. Ideally, of course, Carr would be re-signing with the team that drafted him and settle in for another few years opposite Flowers as one of the greatest KC secondary duos of all time. But that's a dream world in which other teams don't exist and personal goals don't get in the way. The reality is that Carr wants to get paid, knows he is a prime free agent this offseason and that another team will gladly pay more than the rest to shore up its defense.
In the meantime, the signing of Routt puts salve on a wound before it got any worse. Routt himself is a solid cornerback who knows the AFC West very well. He also is only 28 and should be very capable in KC's man coverage.
Even more, Routt's signing with Kansas City shows that the team has not been irreparably harmed by the consistently poor PR coming out of Arrowhead. The Bills, Bengals and others were interested in Routt, yet the Chiefs come out on top. Perhaps that's the best news of all.
The reported signing of Stanford Routt to the Kansas City Chiefs speaks volumes not only about the story on the surface but about a player the Chiefs had just weeks before said was their top priority this NFL offseason. So while fans get to know their newest cornerback on the team for Romeo Crennel’s defense, they should also realize they’re likely saying goodbye to Brandon Carr, their starting corner for the last four seasons.
Other free agents are available this offseason like Lardarius Webb of the Ravens and Cortland Finnegan of the Titans at cornerback, but Carr is as good as them all. The four-year starter is only 26 and had a career high 4 interceptions this offseason. The Chiefs had a major decision to make between Carr and Dwayne Bowe for their franchise tag, and now it’s clear the decision has been made.
It’s likely that the Chiefs struck this deal early with Routt because they realized Carr was already out the door. If they spoke with Carr and realized he had his heart set on testing out the free agent market, then the sudden release of Routt from the Raiders, who are making moves to get under the salary cap, gave them a chance to plug an early hole. The team did just that.
Our prediction is that Carr signs rather quickly in the free agent market for big money with the Detroit Lions, his hometown team who also has Gunther Cunningham as the team’s defensive coordinator. The move will definitely help the Lions, but the Chiefs likely made the best possible move here as Plan B with Routt entering the fold. The Chiefs can still move forward as a defensive unit knowing that Routt is still only 28, had 4 interceptions himself last season and knows the AFC West intimately.
Check out Arrowhead Pride for more details on Stanford Routt's signing.
The Kansas City Chiefs are being proactive for sure this offseason with the announcement that Stanford Routt has signed the first major free agent deal of the offseason with the team. His deal is a reported three year deal worth $20 million according to Pro Football Talk.
Scott Pioli is apparently refusing to wait on Brandon Carr to make up his mind one way or the other, or perhaps he already has decided to leave. Either way, it’s very difficult to believe the Chiefs will re-sign Carr and keep him and Flowers and Routt all together. Carr will be more expensive than Routt, so it’s clear the team is likely moving on.
In the meantime, the Chiefs can now focus on retaining Dwayne Bowe in a long-term deal, perhaps using the franchise tag if they have to, while knowing that Routt and Flowers will keep the cornerback position held down for foreseeable future. Carr will certainly be missed, but if he was going to leave, this is a best case scenario for the Chiefs.
For more on the Chiefs, check out Arrowhead Pride.
The Kansas City Chiefs have reportedly reached an agreement on a contract with recently released cornerback Stanford Routt of the Oakland Raiders, making the Chiefs the first team to reach a deal with any free agent of note this offseason. Then again, the main free agent market isn’t open yet. ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that Routt has chosen Kansas City above several other interested teams.
The Chiefs have a major decision to make with Brandon Carr and it’s clear that Carr is likely going to leave given that the team would not make a major financial commitment to Routt along with Brandon Flowers, who received a big extension just last September.
Routt was one of the best corners on the free agent market this winter, but he also was the only one who could negotiate now. His buying power gave him some leverage before the open season began, but the Chiefs also realized that if they were going to lose Carr, they could act now.
Last year, Routt had 49 tackles and 4 interceptions.
The Kansas City Chiefs have been in talks with former Oakland Raiders cornerback Stanford Routt over the past week, as Routt was released from his deal with the Raiders after the Oakland brass balked on paying Routt a $5 million guarantee going into the 2012 season.
Routt has been in discussions with the Bills and Bengals along with Kansas City. Per reports, other teams have apparently shown interest. There are some that believe that if Routt is signed, it could mean the end of Brandon Carr's tenure with the club.
The Raiders had re-signed Routt to a three-year, $31.5 million contract back on February 24, 2011. The contract included a guaranteed $20 million over the first two years of the deal. Routt started 15 games for the Raiders in 2011 and recorded four interceptions.
We’re only weeks away from the NFL’s free agency period, and while it won’t mirror the frenzy of the post-lockout version, the amalgam of rumors and transactions will make for quite a circus. One of the featured players who should generate some of the most attention is Green Bay Packers quarterback Matt Flynn, who if it wasn’t for the potential available of Peyton Manning would be the top FA target for a number of teams.
Even with Manning’s presence, many teams will still be wooing Flynn to take a visit to their franchise. The Packers QB looked good in limited action late in the season, but it’s hard to tell just how he will perform.
The Texans scored big in their deal for Matt Schaub. The Chiefs have had middling results from Matt Cassel. Others teams have completely struck out like the Cardinals with Kevin Kolb, at least to this point. Aiming for a team’s back-up is a shot in the dark many times, and that’s why Jeffrey Chadiha calls Flynn the “scariest” free agent available. He writes:
This is the scariest free agent in this class. He’s the only quarterback with any serious clout — San Francisco already has decided to re-sign Alex Smith after his breakout season — and so much of his promise is based on the two games he’s ever started in the league. Recent history suggests caution is warranted. Cassel did a great job of replacing the injured Tom Brady during New England’s 2008 season, and he’s been only a mediocre starter in three years with the Chiefs. Kevin Kolb should’ve been a great deal for the Arizona Cardinals after his four years in Philadelphia (three behind Donovan McNabb and a fourth that involved his losing his job to Michael Vick), and he’s only generated more skepticism about his future after an inconsistent, injury-marred first season in Arizona. Please spare me all the talk about how well former Packers backups do once they become starters.
Aside from Aaron Rodgers, most of the evidence in that argument came from the 1990s (when old-timers like Mark Brunell, Matt Hasselbeck and Aaron Brooks were backing up Brett Favre). Flynn’s brightest moments came against a New England defense in 2010 that ranked 31st against the pass and a Detroit team this past season with an injury-riddled secondary. This isn’t to say Flynn won’t deliver when all those suitors come looking for a franchise quarterback. It’s just that he may not be the same hot prospect without the supporting cast he’s about to leave.
Flynn is likely to wind up in south Florida where he’ll partner up with a head coach in Joe Philbin who knows him well. However, if he goes to a new system with a new coach, it’s a toss up. Some teams need to do anything, however, to change their luck at the game’s most important position.
Stanford Routt spent the last two days in Kansas City talking to the Chiefs in his tour around the NFL. Apparently he's moved on to Cincinnati in the hopes of finding the next home after the Oakland Raiders released the cornerback. Routt is one of the top players available in the cornerback free agent market this offseason, but he's the only one who can sign right now. That's the reason that so many are paying extra attention to his visits with the Bengals and apparently the Bills are coming up.
Jason LaCanfora says that Routt is continuing his tour, so apparently the Chiefs or Routt didn't like what they saw enough to act on it or else one or both parties are just taking their time. There's no rush for anyone to make a decision, but many times a free agent will end up signing and not make his other appointments on the list (just wait until free agency starts). Perhaps Routt knows that he can afford to take his time knowing that others have to wait to go through the hoops of free agency visits.
For the Chiefs, they have a major decision ahead about how to handle the Brandon Carr negotiations. Routt gives them an opportunity to fill his spot in case the cornerback leaves, but without any official word there, the Chiefs are likely to wait on Routt. There's no telling if he will be there, but at the very least they've spent enough time with him to know what they're getting.
Things are apparently getting serious. Stanford Routt stayed the night in Kansas City yesterday and remained for further talks today with the Kansas City Chiefs. That much time for any free agent is significant, but given that the former Oakland Raiders cornerback is one of the top commodities on a market not yet opened -- that's a major statement.
Routt has numerous suitors waiting for him, including the Bengals on Friday and the Bills as well, and Routt should find some teams bidding for his services. But the Chiefs already have Brandon Carr to re-sign, and he's a player the team has publicly stated as their top off-season priority to take care of along with Dwayne Bowe. Could the Chiefs really go for three well-paid corners on the roster? Not with Brandon Flowers five-year extension already in play.
This likely means one of three things is going on:
1. The Chiefs are doing their homework and Routt is fine with the procedure:
This is what Joel Thorman over at Arrowhead Pride believes to be the case, and he has a good argument. He writes, "My guess is that this is just some due diligence on the Chiefs part. The Chiefs probably realize they need to have a backup plan ready just in case Carr doesn't sign and, really, that's what's concerning to me." If a team has a chance to scout a player, college or pro, they should take the time to know what's out there.
2. The Chiefs are posturing themselves for negotiations with Carr:
Even though the Chiefs have a lot of money to spend this off-season, it's possible that chatting with one client could affect the negotiations with the other. Of course, these sorts of tactics can quickly become problematic, and this is the least likely of the choices. Still, the Chiefs could make it known via Routt's visit that there are other fish in the sea than just Carr.
The reason this wouldn't work, however, is that Carr is easily the best overall option. He's already started four full seasons in Kansas City. He knows the system. He's a top flight cornerback who is only 26. Everything is in place with Carr and he's a known quantity. Playing with other options wouldn't help the Chiefs' cause. Plus Routt would likely realize that the Chiefs aren't truly interested over the course of two full days.
3. Carr is already out the door:
This is a likely option and the worst for the Chiefs. The Detroit Lions are Carr's hometown team and they have desperate need for help in the secondary. While everyone wants to believe that NFL officials stick to tampering rules and do not pick up a phone to talk to a player or his agent until the correct time, it's hard to believe that people aren't already talking when millions are at stake. Maybe the Chiefs realize that Carr is likely going to be gone.
If that's the case, then it makes sense to get a leg up on the competition by wooing Routt. Once the official bell sounds, the marketplace will be flooded with multiple players going to multiple teams and guys will sign quickly. If the Chiefs want to avoid having to worry about a new need at cornerback, striking a deal with Routt sooner than later will make a big difference.
Carr is not going to say he wants to go to Detroit if that means he leaves money on the table. Instead, he will want the Chiefs to know that he's willing to come back so that multiple teams become involved in the bidding process. And the Chiefs won't want to say they're willing to just let him walk. With so much cap room, fans will cry foul if it looks like they're being cheap.
There's simply so much talk at this point that it's impossible to tell what's good PR and what's actually true. Instead, you have to look at what is factual and Routt's two-day visit is odd for a player who can sign any time that he wants. The Chiefs must have a real interest in bringing Routt to the team or at least they're having a hard time deciding. Either way that doesn't look good for Carr's chances to stay in KC.
The Kansas City Chiefs will reportedly receive a visit from free agent cornerback Stanford Routt on Tuesday according to NFL Network's Jason La Canfora. Routt has also been linked to the Bills, Titans, Cowboys and Texans.
Routt played in all 16 games for the Oakland Raiders this season and recorded 56 tackles and four interceptions on the season. Currently Routt is probably the best free agent corner available before free agency begins on March 13 which could drive up his asking price.
The Chiefs have a similar player in cornerback Brandon Carr who is also a free agent this offseason. If Kansas City is unable to retain Carr then they could potentially turn to Routt or someone like him as a replacement.
The Kansas City Chiefs head into the off-season with upgrading the offensive line as one of their main objectives. Scott Pioli even came out and said publicly that upgrading the offensive line was going to be a priority this off-season, and it's very unlike Pioli to come out and give any indication on what they are trying to do with anything. So the fact that he came out and said as much gives a little insight into what positions/players they could be targeting in free agency or the draft.
While most of the discussion has been revolving around the right tackle position in the Chiefs attempt to upgrade the offensive line, there hasn't been a lot of discussion about the center position. Most people would assume that 2011 2nd round draft pick Rodney Hudson would take over the position. But last years' starter Casey Wiegmann, who will most likely retire, got all of the snaps at center last year as Hudson only filled in at guard on a couple of occasions. It's not that Hudson still couldn't be the guy to take over at center, but with Ryan Lilja struggling at left guard for much of last season it's just as likely that Hudson could be in the mix to compete with Lilja for the starting spot at left guard. Which still leaves a hole at center.
There are two veteran centers that might hit free agency that the Chiefs could have some interest in come March. The first is New England Patriots center Dan Connolly, and the second is Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday. Connolly has youth on his side as the 29-year old center has played with the Patriots since 2007, while Saturday has been a steady rock at center for the Colts since 1999.
Connolly obviously brings with him his ties to Scott Pioli and the New England Patriots, which puts him at a major advantage in relation to other available players. He spent his first couple of years with the Patriots rotating between the 53-man roster and the practice squad before landing a contract extension in 2009 to keep him with the Pats through this last season. He has spent time at both guard spots as well as center with the Pats so that adds to his value. He grew up just a few hours from Arrowhead in St. Louis, Missouri and spent four years at Southeast Missouri State.
Saturday brings a wealth of experience and a resume that should have him bound for the Hall of Fame one day. He's been named to the Pro Bowl five times in his career ('05,'06,'07,'09,'10) and four times been named All Pro ('05,'06,'07,'09). He was also named the NFL Alumni Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2007. His 12 years with the Colts have made him and soon-to-be ex-Colts starting quarterback Peyton Manning very close friends. Who knows if Saturday signing with the Chiefs would have any influence on Mannings' decision on possibly coming to Kansas City. In any case, Saturday would obviously not be a long-term solution, but a veteran leader on the offensive line at the most important spot on the offensive line would be a upgrade for the Chiefs at this point. Wiegmann doesn't appear to be an option heading into next season. Saturday could also team back up with former Colts guard Ryan Lilja, who spent six years with the Colts from 2004-2009.
There are both positives and negatives to signing either of these players. Connolly would hopefully be a more long-term solution to the offensive line and his versatility would put him a notch higher in my book, but if Saturday had any influence on Peyton Manning coming to Kansas City than he should be priority No. 1 for the Chiefs right now. Even above Brandon Carr and Dwayne Bowe.
Several NFL teams are planning their roster moves for the 2012 NFL offseason as they scout various players at Pro Days and exhibition games. They're also sizing up player costs and figuring out the free agency market. Specifically, several teams are considering what to do at the most important position on the field: quarterback. Some hope to lock in on Robert Griffin III or Andrew Luck in the draft, while others are curious about Matt Flynn or even Peyton Manning as current player options. Should be interesting to say the least.
Walter Football is predicting just which team will do what in the offseason and they believe the Kansas City Chiefs will go with a veteran arm to come in and compete with Matt Cassel. Unfortunately fans will not likely enjoy their choice of Jason Campbell, although we've also mentioned here that it's likely an option.
WalterFootball has the following on the Chiefs, "The Chiefs aren't really in a position to do anything with the quarterback position this offseason. Scott Pioli will give Matt Cassel another year, as his options are very limited right now. I do think Kansas City will sign Jason Campbell to be a solid backup in the event of another Cassel injury. Jim Zorn, the team's current quarterbacks coach, worked with Campbell when the two were in Washington."
Campbell would team with Cassel in training camp to compete for the top spot. At the very least the move would also mean a complete avoidance of the Tyler Palko experiment from last year. The Chiefs likely lost the division because of the decision to play Palko as the starter for four consecutive games. In a division won by just one game, that's a major factor.
Hiring after hiring shows that the Kansas City front office is committed to doing what they believe to be right despite public perception.
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