The lists are coming fast and furious with news the the NFL Lockout is going to be lifted soon and transactions can begin again. As each NFL franchise takes their first step and focuses on addressing their perceived weaknesses, ESPN’s Brian McIntyre has made a comprehensive list of what each team should do with their initial move in the new league offseason. For the Chiefs, he has Scott Pioli thinking offensive line.
Specifically, McIntyre writes, “The Chiefs ranked 18th in adjusted sack rate in 2010, and don’t have much depth at the offensive tackle position. With quarterback Matt Cassel due a $7.5 million option bonus this year, the least the Chiefs can do is protect him better. The best tackle on the free-agent market is Bushrod, who has been protecting Brees’ blindside the past two seasons in New Orleans.”
Many people wondered if the Chiefs would address the offensive tackle position in the draft and many mocks had Wisconsin’s Gabe Carimi heading to the Chiefs at No. 21 overall. Even though the Chiefs went a different direction (with Carimi headed to the Chicago Bears), free agency still gives them that chance.
Last year, the Chiefs went with Branden Albert and Barry Richardson at the tackles and neither one has earned the long-term trust of most fans. Haley has been rather mum on the subject (of course, he’s also not seemed frustrated by either player), so it’s difficult to tell what the Chiefs are thinking. But getting the top offensive tackle in an offseason can’t hurt any team — and certainly the Chiefs would open up a starting spot if it was a player they believed would better the chance of success.
Bushrod didn’t become a starter until the last two seasons, but the Saints and Drew Brees have certainly experienced some incredible success in that time. He’s also only 26, which is a bonus. The Chiefs would certainly be a better team if this was their first move of the 2011 offseason.