Chiefs Musings: Will KC Be Aggressive in Free Agency?
By Nick Athan
With free agency set to being in six days, the Kansas City Chiefs have little cap space to maneuver many big time free agent moves. However, with some creative bookkeeping, they could clear enough dollars to plug some gaping gaps on the roster. But will they, do it?
After committing over $110 million on Safety, Eric Berry and Guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff, the Chiefs are in a very precarious cap situation. Depending on which cap guru you follow, the Chiefs sit somewhere between $4.5 to $8.5 million in cap space.
Now that could change dramatically should the team cut Guard, Jah Reid ($2.5) and Quarterback, Nick Foles ($6.5). If those moves are made, then Kansas City has a path to sign a pair of marginal impact free agents.
There was a report out today, indicating Chiefs General Manager, John Dorsey stated Kansas City was done spending money after their in-house signings. If that’s the case, the Chiefs fate in 2017 won’t be as AFC West Champion, but more resembling an 8-8 team, that’s lost their path to sustainability.
I’m no fan of Dorsey, but for that rumor to leak out at the NFL combines and be true, would be career suicide. First, I don’t think the Chiefs brass believes standing pat is the right course of action in 2017. Secondly, the Oakland Raiders are the team to beat for the AFC West title this year, and if Denver gets a top shelf quarterback to guide their offense, they could push past the Chiefs in the division race.
At the NFL Combines, both Dorsey and Head Coach, Andy Reid, have been making the rounds with agents. Though the NFL frowns on contact between GM’s and HC’s directly with agents, back room deals begin coming to fruition at the combines. That’s why I give the report little to no creditability.
So, what can the Chiefs do to improve their 2017 chances to win a Super Bowl?
Find a New QB – To compete for a division title, the Chiefs must settle the quarterback issue. There is a growing sentiment the Chiefs love affair with Quarterback, Alex Smith has come to an end. I’ve heard both the New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers, who each have shown interest in adding the veteran to their roster. The 49ers, currently have no quarterbacks on the roster, and the addition of Smith, makes a lot of sense for a franchise in complete rebuild mode.
Should the Chiefs go out of character and admit their mistake with Smith, the Kansas City Chiefs must go all in to sign Quarterback, Tony Romo, or try to deal for New Orleans Saints Quarterback, Drew Brees. Though signing Romo makes the most sense, one would think New Orleans, with the fact they intend to part way Wide Receiver, Brandin Cooks, Brees loses his biggest asset on offense. In fact, I’m told the Saints may already have a deal in place with the Philadelphia Eagles to move the young receiver.
Sign Veteran Wide Receiver – Provided the Chiefs address their quarterback dilemma, the team should make a strong push to sign veteran Wide Receiver, Brandon Marshall, who was released by the Jets. Though he’s an older vet, his presence in the locker room would be impactful. He still has some juice left in his tank, and even if Smith is the Chiefs starting quarterback, would give him a reliable receiver should, Jeremy Maclin’s production continue to fall.
Lock Down Pair of Defensive Free Agents – On the defensive side of the ball, Kansas City must upgrade inside linebacker, cornerback and defensive end but I can’t see them signing three defenders in March. Though the primetime impact players are likely out of reach for Kansas City, there are some solid value bargains available.
One of them is Pittsburgh Steelers, Inside Linebacker, Lawrence Timmons. He was the heart and soul of the Steelers defense last season. Yes, he’s a risk at the ripe old NFL age of 31, but Kansas City needs insurance in the event, Derrick Johnson isn’t ready for opening day.
At cornerback, a name to keep an eye on is former New York Jets defender, Marcus Williams. Though he’s a restricted free agent, perhaps the Jets, already in a cost cutting mode, won’t fight the Chiefs to sign him. Even if the Chiefs draft a cornerback, something they’ve done the last couple of years, Williams might be a bridge guy in the event Terrance Mitchell or DJ White, don’t earn a starting gig in 2017.