Thanks to the salary capologists over at Arrowhead Pride, we now know that the Chiefs have $57 million in cap space and even more now that the salary cap has jumped up $4 M. In fact, the Chiefs will have to burn at least $30-plus M to make the league minimum for salaries. I think that the Chiefs will bring back Jarrad Page, even though the hour is growing late, so I’m operating under that assumption. Now that we have money we have to burn, let’s get busy spending…
1. Sign ILB Bart Scott - He’s a Pro Bowl-caliber player that I wouldn’t mind seeing us even overpaying for. We are desperate for a leader at linebacker, and he fits the bill. Plus, he’s proven, young, athletic and has a mean streak Derrick Johnson couldn’t even come close to in his dreams.
2. Figure out the quarterback situation – As much as I like Mark Sanchez, I would still rather have Matt Cassel for sure, and probably even Matt Leinart. Hey, just because Aaron Rodgers sat behind Brett Favre for years, does that make him a bust now? I lump Leinart into that same category. If The Pioli Trilogy decides against bringing in either of the Matts, then I’ll be OK with their decision. After all, they know those guys well. But we will still have to bring in another quarterback to compete with Tyler Thigpen (and presumably start) and to allow us to bring along any potential rookie QB we draft slowly. My pick is Byron Leftwich. He’s only 29, and is a tough, gritty leader who has a lot of the tools you want to see in a QB. Hey, the Pittsburgh Steelers bringing him in says a lot. They also didn’t seem too freaked out when Big Ben went down, showing a good deal of faith in Leftwich.
3. Sign RT Stacy Andrews – Since Khalif Barnes is a left tackle who’s likely to get big bucks, I’d go with Stacy Andrews (27), first, or Jon Stinchcomb (29), second, here. Both players play right tackle and won’t likely be re-upped. Branden Albert could stay at LT under this scenario.
4. Sign G/C Jason Brown - Jason Brown would be great, and he’s my top choice, but Derrick Dockery also has to be considered here. Dockery, however, might be out of our price range.
5. Sign DE Antonio Smith – An up-and-coming defensive end who can play in the 3-4 or 4-3. Had two sacks and really made his presence felt during the Cardinals’ Super Bowl run. The obvious Todd Haley connection makes this an ideal fit and something we should be able to get done. I don’t think inking Smith would break the bank either.
6. Sign WR Nate Washington - I prefer Lance Moore as a player, but not by enough to sacrifice a future second-rounder. I really like Washington’s on-field ability to separate, and feel like he could be a breakout player opposite Dwayne Bowe on a team that passes more than the Steelers have during his tenure. He’s also still only 25. Michael Jenkins would be the next guy in line, in my opinion. If we draft Michael Crabtree, hey, we’ve seen Washington excel as that third guy, too.
7. Sign Derrick Ward -I covet this guy, but signing him would tip our hand and absolutely destroy Larry Johnson’s plummeting, but maybe surging again, trade value.
There you have it. Six somewhat major moves. Just six moves for our Chiefs, who have over $50 M in cap space, and only trail the Bucs in that department. If we make these moves, then we can go BPA in almost every round in the draft. Scott and Smith can both play in both the 3-4 or 4-3, so that also gives us flexibility there.
Sure, I heard Clark Hunt’s lip service, but I will be extremely disappointed in The Pioli Trilogy, and especially Hunt, if I don’t hear that we’re working on getting some deals done at the stroke of midnight. None of these guys are going to get Albert Haynesworth-type deals. We could afford to do all of this. Easily.
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