About this time last year Mr. Scott Pioli had a tough decision to make with regards to FS Jarrad Page. The decision was at what level would the Chiefs tender the restricted free agent. He ultimately received the second round tender of 1.54 million. Now, one year later, Mr. Pioli has an even tougher decision and now must decide whether to sign Mr. Jarrad Page to a long term contract, or let him go.
We all know that Jarrad was a steal when he was taken in the 7th Round of the 2006 draft (the production from this 7th round starter is undeniable). Nicknamed “The Raider Killer” by Chiefs fans, Page has intercepted four balls against the Oakland Raiders dating back to his 2006 rookie season. Three of them have been in the red zone, and three of them have been game-winners, saving the Chiefs from a potential game-winning/tying drive.
His stats were quite impressive for a seventh rounder:
2006 Tackles: 35 Ints 3 Games Played: 16
2007 Tackles: 59 Ints 3 Games Played: 16
2008 Tackles: 85 Ints 4 Games Played: 16
2009 Tackles: 19 Ints 0 Games Played: 5
As you can see 2009 was a very down year for the young free safety. His season was cut short by injury and at one point he lost his starting job to Jon McGraw (He was a healthy scratch against the Chargers). So apparently he was in someone’s dog house for whatever reason. (There were rumors that Haley was unhappy with the fact that Page was “doggin it” or would not play through injury, actually Haley said so after the Chargers game when speaking about Jon McGraw starting the Chargers game. Page may have even been placed on IR as a result. It is a safe assumption considering he was listed as a healthy scratch and then on IR soon thereafter).
In any event, Jarrad Page has shown some glimpses of greatness (ie.. against the Raiders) and some glimpses of badness (ie… missing tackles, blowing coverage, being out of position.) He has been the starting FS on a team that has ranked next to dead last in the NFL for his entire stay in Kansas City. Which begs the questions, should Scott Pioli sign Jarrad Page to a long term contract? What is he worth? Should he be our starting FS? Does Jarrad Page even want to stay in KC?
Jarrad Page places Scott Pioli in a precarious position. Jarrad is young at 26 years old. As a GM, you hate to let young starters go to another team and become great. However, even though the talent of Page flashes brightly, it doesn’t flash more than his inconsistency. If you do sign him; at what price do you pay? How long? Could you spend the same money on another free agent who has performed better or who you believe will play better. Would you be better off drafting a FS or signing a college free agent? How much more does/did Jarrad Page add to the Chiefs defense? Are the rumors true that was Jarrad “doggin it”?
Personally, if we can sign him for cheap then do so. Offer him no guarantee, and find him some stiff starting competition. One thing is for sure, there are only 32 starting free safety jobs in the NFL and yet there are literally thousands of players seeking one. If I was Jarrad Page I would let Mr. Pioli know that I am on board 100% for the upcoming year, and get into a new contract as soon as possible. Why? What team in the NFL is going to sign Jarrad Page and make him a starter? Just one right now: The Chiefs and I would bet that Scott Pioli is not too enamored with Jarrad Page. What do you think?