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.