The Kansas City Chiefs are expected to address the offensive tackle position this spring in some format or another, but it’s impossible to tell at this point what Scott Pioli and company are thinking. Dwayne Bowe is the first order of business as well as Brandon Carr, so it will be a bit until the team shows its interest in a tackle in free agency or even the NFL Draft. For now we’re left to guess what might unfold.
The team appears set at left tackle with Branden Albert, but then again his name is always brought up as a possibility to move inside or to the right side. Barry Richardson was the team’s other starter and it’s clear that was the weakest link along the line. He’s now a free agent. David Mims is a developmental tackle still on the roster, but he’s obviously raw. Given the change of Steve Maneri to tight end, the Chiefs lack any real back-up at all or starter on the right side.
That makes it possible that the Chiefs will address the situation in both free agency and the draft. If they take a new starter in the draft, then a back-up will still be needed. The Green Bay Packers are reportedly going to release their longtime starter Chad Clifton which adds another veteran option to a list that will grow as the offseason goes on. Matt Light has already been mentioned as a possibility there, and Marcus McNeill of the Chargers has as well.
In short, if the Chiefs want some experience at tackle, they won’t have a problem finding it. With Clifton, they’re getting some older, damaged goods if they sign him. Michael David Smith writes:
Clifton, who has been with the Packers since 2000, started the first five games of last season, then missed 10 before returning to the starting lineup for Week 17 and the playoff loss to the Giants. At age 35, Clifton isn’t quite the stalwart offensive tackle he once was.
The championship experience that Clifton would bring would definitely help, however, and any bodies that provide depth along the line would also be a welcome addition above what the Chiefs have now.