Scott Pioli did not get his first man. John Carlson was the tight end the Chiefs seemed excited to bring to town, yet as he landed at the airport in KC, he never made it to Arrowhead before he was back on a plane to Minnesota to sign a five-year, $25 million deal with the Vikings. However, there was more than enough free agents ahead for Scott Pioli to go about the work of rounding out the offense with the necessary players. If today's visits go as planned, the Chiefs offense could become considerably better.
Eric Winston is the main prize today, a right tackle who surprised everyone by failing a physical with the Houston Texans and was consequently released to create cap room. He had arthroscopic ankle surgery and should be fine in two weeks. For a guy who started every game at right tackle for the Texans from 2007-11.
Alex Marvez of Fox Sports writes, "At that time, Winston had no idea he wouldn’t be playing for the Texans in 2012. He had started every game for the past five seasons and was considered one of the league’s better right tackles. But with a $5.5 million base salary for 2012 and the Texans having salary-cap issues, Winston became expendable."
Given the state of the Chiefs right tackle play for the last two years with Barry Richardson as the starter, the Chiefs have still led the league in rushing one season and could be two-time AFC West champs if not for odd decisions, injuries and drama from last season. The upgrade from Richardson to Winston is significant, however, since many labeled Richardson among the worst starting tackles in the NFL.
Kevin Boss is the other free agent making an appearance today and he's the Plan B for the Chiefs tight end position apparently. But Boss has nice hands and would make a steady complement/insurance for Tony Moeaki, the Chiefs' promising yet injury-prone starter. Boss signed a four-year contract with the Oakland Raiders last season and was just cut recently as the Raiders were well over the cap.
ESPN's Bill Williamson writes, "A Moeaki-Boss combination could be strong for the varied Kansas City offense if both players can stay healthy. Boss was often banged up last season and he only had 28 catches for the Raiders. Yet when healthy he has shown he can be a receiving weapon."
Boss is only 28 and averaged 35-plus catches with the New York Giants in the three seasons before he arrived in Oakland. It's also important to note he won a Super Bowl ring in the process.
With Winston and Boss, the Chiefs offense could become well-rounded and could allow the team to jump around the board for the best value in the upcoming 2012 NFL Draft.