Chiefs Free Agency Blog: Radio Silence at Arrowhead
By Nick Athan
With other NFL teams spending money like they have billions to waste in free agency, the Kansas City Chiefs, chose a path less flashy. As the first evening of the new NFL year closed, Kansas City remained on the sidelines in pursuit of building upon their AFC West championship roster. But with the silence, does that mean the free agent glass is half full or half empty?
Quarterback Update – When the Kansas City Chiefs wake up Friday morning, they could still acquire Dallas Cowboys Quarterback, Tony Romo, who remains a hostage of team Owner, Jerry Jones. After flirting ever so briefly regarding Romo Thursday afternoon once the team dumped back-up Nick Foles, it became painfully clear, the Chiefs regime will sink or swim with incumbent, Alex Smith in 2017.
Though quarterbacks with big time resumes are still on the free agent market including, Jay Cutler, Colin Kaepernick and Brock Osweiler, Smith appears slotted to begin the new NFL year as the Chiefs starter.
Free Agent Visits: At press time, the only NFL starter planning to make the rounds at Arrowhead on Friday is San Francisco 49ers Inside Linebacker, Gerald Hodges. This would be a solid signee for the Chiefs defense and one I’d make before Hodges schedules another NFL visit.
The 26-year old defender played in 15 games for the 49ers last season amassing 83 tackles, three sacks and a pair of interceptions. If the Chiefs signed him on Friday, he’d line up as the opening day starter at inside linebacker. He’d also provide insurance in the event both, Derrick Johnson or Justin March, don’t make it back from injuries to open the regular season.
Either way, he would instantly upgrade the weakest part of this football team, outside of quarterback, and would shore up KC’s horrific run defense. After D.J. went down with his season ending injury against the Oakland Raiders, special teams’ standouts, DJ Alexander and Ramik Wilson, struggled to stop the NFL’s premier running backs.
On the Wish List: After his release on Wednesday, former Philadelphia Eagles Defensive End, Connor Barwin, became a top target for the Chiefs. The 30-year old is a terrific defender who could shore up KC’s defensive line. It’s no certainty the Chiefs will hold onto, injured and incumbent starting Defensive End, Allen Bailey. Unlike Bailey, Barwin has better pass rushing skills and is second to only JJ Watt in pass deflections at the line of scrimmage over the past several years.
I’m told the Chiefs were trying to schedule a visit with Barwin for this weekend in Kansas City. However, he’s going to be a hot commodity in the second wave of defensive lineman available via free agency. If the Chiefs are aggressive in trying to sign him, Barwin’s addition would instantly upgrade KC’s defensive line, but more importantly, he’d be a strong locker room influence, that could help some of the Chiefs younger defenders, especially, Chris Jones.
One The Move: Free agent Defensive Tackle, Dontari Poe, will likely visit the Arizona Cardinals this weekend. They remain the front runner for his services. However, I would not rule out a return to the Chiefs under a one-year deal. Former Chiefs Running Back, Jamaal Charles, will visit the Seattle Seahawks Friday morning with the hope to sign a contract. Seattle is searching for another running back and will also invite, Eddie Lacy and Chiefs target, Latavius Murray.