Last night, the question marks were almost visible above the heads of several local KC area sportswriters or broadcasters given the response on Twitter. They wondered why the Kansas City Chiefs would sign Keary Colbert. It’s not that Colbert hasn’t been productive in the NFL the last two years; he hasn’t even been with a team. In fact, just two months ago, he signed with the UFL’s Sacramento franchise. So what is the reason?
At the same time, the Chiefs brought in Todd Carter, an extra kicker into camp who provides an extra leg in team scrimmages, a back-up for preseason games and some help for special teams drills. It’s a long, hot camp and adding a kicker makes sense. Perhaps the same rationale could be used to describe Scott Pioli’s reasons for signing Colbert, but that’s not the case — the Chiefs already have several young receivers in house vying for end of roster slots on special teams or even hopes for the practice squad.
So the signing of Colbert must say something more about the state of the Chiefs receivers. The Chiefs know what they have (or hope they know) with Steve Breaston, Dwayne Bowe, Jonathan Baldwin, Dexter McCluster, Jerheme Urban and Terrance Copper. But perhaps even those aren’t as reassuring as what Haley and Pioli would like, and Colbert had something they liked — even from his NFL playing days a few years ago. Or maybe he found a spark in the UFL.
That’s a bit scary if you think about it. There’s no reason to bring in Colbert to just compete for a special teams role when players like Copper or cornerback Jalil Brown will be taking those slots with experience and talent. Other than that, could Colbert have been brought in because promising players like McCluster or Urban (and definitely the rest) haven’t been up to par? Even Baldwin to this point?
There’s no way the Chiefs are “giving up” on any of those guys, so this isn’t about that. But perhaps the Chiefs want a certain veteran level of performance early, and they realize those guys will need some time to get there. If so, that’s frustrating since a player like Braylon Edwards was signed for $1 million plus incentives for only one year. If the Chiefs needed to bring in veteran help, it’s been sitting there for some time — guys who have played in the NFL recently.
So the question marks are still out there, wondering what Colbert has left and what place he takes on the Chiefs as the team moves toward it’s first preseason game. The way Todd Haley uses him and what happens in upcoming practices may give us an idea of what the front office has in mind.