Yes, the Kansas City Chiefs are hurting. If Chiefs fans thought the preseason was bad, then the regular season must be brutal to handle. The reality is that week one left the Chiefs looking worse than any other NFL team out there — including the Carolina Panthers, who were the worst team in the NFL in 2010. However, week one is just that and there are 16 more weeks of the regular season to go. For anyone to write off the Chiefs — or any team for that matter — that would be a mistake.
Instead, the Chiefs need to concentrate on filling the holes that have showed themselves either through poor play on the field or due to injuries. The Chiefs certainly have both, but Scott Pioli can take heart knowing there are significant free agents still available for the taking — that is, if he’s willing to move off of that $30 million or so sitting at his disposal. Let’s take a look:
Nick Kaczur – This move seems the most obvious from a player perspective given Pioli’s familiarity with the former New England guard. However, it makes the least sense given what fans believe the Chiefs need most. But the Chiefs must have excellent line play to win — both in establishing a running game and allowing time for Matt Cassel to fire downfield. Kaczur was the third round pick in 2005 of Pioli’s in New England, so he knows him well. And given the lack of depth along this most important position, the Chiefs could certainly use another capable body .
Alge Crumpler – Tony Moeaki is out and the lack of a playmaker at tight end is hurting the Chiefs at this point. Leonard Pope is a nice sized target, but both he and Jake O’Connell do not have the hands that Alge Crumpler has. Crumpler is 33 and only caught six passes last year for New England, but let’s not forget they also added Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez both last year. Crumpler should still have plenty in the tank for another run around the league, and he’d help the Chiefs in a major point of need.
Darren Sharper – The veteran safety has been around the block multiple times, and he missed significant time last year due to injuries. So he’s definitely a shade of his former self, but given the state of the Chiefs safety position, Sharper’s strong veteran presence, keen intelligence and nose for the ball are incredible assets. Remember, just two years ago he had 9 interceptions. This could be the most important signing for the Chiefs if they make it.
Channing Crowder/Lofa Tatupu - At this point, the Chiefs still haven’t addressed the injury to Brandon Siler in the preseason, which was intended to shore up one of the holes they had before the injuries took place. Inside linebacker could still use an upgrade and these guys are both still available on the free agency list. Certainly they’ll both find homes soon enough for this season, but the Chiefs could certainly use help at ILB.