Schefter’s word in the NFL is just about gold, so when he reports the Kansas City Chiefs are preparing for an interesting offseason rather than lying low, you can just start adjusting your expectations now.
If so, as I’ve argued countless times on AA, I pray it’s not through free agency. Free agency will drown you this year, as the impending 2011 holdout means that more teams can hold onto their free agents in 2010, and the few that do reach free agency will have every team in the NFL bidding with no cap on what they can pay. This is not a good offseason to go fishing there.
However, let there be no doubt that the Chiefs are definitely in the hunt for trades, per Shefter, which right now is actually pretty genius. This is an offseason where most teams are wary of free agency to stockpile their teams with talent, and thus will be looking to throw tons of Draft picks at potential teams who are looking to stockpile picks. Teams like us.
In short, Pioli has decided to capitalize on the fact that (a.) he has no allegiance to most of the talent of the team from previous regimes, and (b.) everybody’s looking to trade for talent. Of course, this means virtually every GM in the NFL has Pioli on speed dial–because the Chiefs could potentially be trading away tons of young, promising talent, which makes us the most attractive trade partners in the league this year. No team can match the quantity of talent Pioli is prepared to put on the block.
That could make this offseason downright explosive for the Chiefs franchise, while blowing a few minds along the way. Like I said, set your expectations to the fact that some players on this roster will be gone.
After the jump, I speculate as to who those players are. I doubt any of the names on that list will surprise you. But how much could the Chiefs net for each player?
From most to least likely to be on the trade block:
1. OLB Derrick Johnson
The pitch: Are you a contender that runs the 4-3 looking to improve your outside linebacker position? If so, this is your first stop. There are not a lot of pure 4-3 outside linebackers in the NFL Draft this year, especially ones with the strongside talents of Derrick Johnson (MU’s Weatherspoon is probably better — after that it’s a straight drop down). If you need a playmaker and overall ability in your linebacking corps, you’ll be picking up a player who will likely be out to prove the NFL wrong for at least a year.
His value: A really good OLB in his prime with at least five years left. But an awkward contract scenario that will have to match the pick you spend on him. I say he’s worth a 3rd plus a low rounder.
2. FS Jarrod Page
The pitch: Though he may be a slight headcase, Page is a player on the field who has great hands and a solid nose for the ball. He’s not a fit for a situation where he has to cover vast areas of land, but if you like bigger safeties who can cover pretty well, and guarantee you a number of interceptions every year, there aren’t a lot of better safeties on your board. Page has three full years of starting experience, and has made any number of plays throughout his career when it counted most. Like when the Chiefs discarded Bernard Pollard, he simply needs the right system to be effective.
His value: A former 7th round pick, he has definitely increased his stock with his play. His play never even dropped off, he just wasn’t a fit with Haley. Teams may be wary of his IR status in 2010, but teams know Pioli likes to use IR liberally. I say he’s a 4th, maybe even a 4th plus low rounders.
3. DT Glenn Dorsey
The pitch: What he have here is the ability to potentially transform a defense. Glenn Dorsey is a high-character workaholic that Chiefs diehards love despite his struggles as a rookie and as an awkward fit in the 3-4. Nonetheless, Dorsey is a potential beast just waiting to burst. Complimented with decent teammates, he has the potential to wreak so much havoc. His progression has actually been normal by NFL standards. This could be the year he lights up, and if not, you have 10 more years to try.
His value: Man, it depends who’s picking. A low first by a team that has talent to spare would be surprising. A 2nd plus midrounders could be a lot of fun to entertain.
4. QB Brodie Croyle
The pitch: This is where Pioli can use the market to his advantage — backup QBs are rarely traded (even though he dealt Thiggy for a 5th), but the free agent QB crop is pathetic. Croyle has come along, and rumors are emerging that Charlie Weis isn’t digging him for his system. Teams needing a reliable backup will be in the hunt, especially since he is so young and has some starting experience.
His value: I think you’d be surprised. He played pretty tough in limited action but you simply cannot ignore the injury history. Unlike Thigpen, he cannot be a starter. But a solid backup in a hot market could be worth a 5th right now.
5. OG Brian Waters
The pitch: Man of the Year is also Teammate Of Every Year. You’re not going to find hardly any lineman with Waters’ nasty attitude and sheer outspoken leadership. While he is not the Destructo he used to be, he is still good for a great run if given proper placement on a team that needs a short term fix.
His value: Probably not worth what he means to us. The best I could possibly think is a 5th for a team that sees him as a valuable addition. I think he’s worth a little more than that to us.
6. WR Dwayne Bowe
The pitch: A true #1 receiver is one of the hardest things to come by in this league. Bowe has the tools to be exactly that, but his style has collided with Haley’s. Still, this is a receiver-weak Draft, so Pioli would be foolish not to put him on the trade block to see some team desperate for a weapon (Ravens? Titans? Bears? oh my!) might offer for him.
His value: I’m betting we go at least another year before we seriously entertain trading Bowe. If we do trade him this season, it’s going to be for something ridiculous because there’s zero receiving talent to replace him (maybe Pioli makes a run for Boldin…). It’d have to be a 1st rounder, plus picks.
7. CB Brandon Carr
The pitch: Another victim of circumstance, Carr is a prototypical Cover 2 corner, but may not be a fit for Haley’s more coverage-oriented approach in the secondary. Carr does have the tools to be good in this league, and is so young he’s good for another 8-10 years. You’re getting a guy with two years starting experience, and a good degree of upside, especially if you put him in the right system.
His value: A team with the right system could drop as much as a third for him. A 4th seems reasonable. I’d say no to a 5th.
What say ye, Addicts?