Now, it’s obvious who the top Chief free agents are. I’m not talking about them.
Resigning Tamba Hali is the no-brainer of the offseason. The guy is our only real playmaker in the front seven and the best player on this defense. I know it’s not Pioli’s style, but I hope the Chiefs shower him with cash, lock him up until his mid-thirties and watch him become a hall-of-famer in red. Then, when we think he’s starting to decline, we’ll trade him to the Raiders for a 1st round pick a few years down the road so they can replace Richard Seymour. And they’ll still suck.
The other no-brain resign is Brandon Carr. This guy is a star that no one outside the AFC West seems to be talking about. And he can flat out play — a master at the crazy deflection. There were games where he actually looked like the best Brandon on the field (Albert is a distant third). I hope he also gets a payday from the Chiefs, he’s earned it.
Still there’s a guy up for free agency that I think could be surprisingly useful to the Chiefs this year, and one other free agent who won’t be too expensive (nor too crazy like my previous suggestions) and I’d frankly be surprised if he doesn’t end up here.
See my selections after the jump.
Five Reasons to Resign Leonard Pope:
1.) He knows Haley’s system – in fact it’s the only one he knows. He will come back from a possibly shortened offseason fresh, comfortable and knowledgeable. Making him more valuable to us than anyone else.
2.) Although his production hasn’t been huge, there are certain things he gives us no one else in the roster can. First off, he’s 6’ friggin’ 8”. Anyone who dropped in to training camp the last few years saw just how massive and threatening he is in the red zone. Against the average third-string corners (which is the kind of attention he will bring in the game) he literally has close to a foot over them if you include his major ups. Plus he is below the radar. After the 2010 season, everyone is worried about Moeaki becoming the next Gonzo, and with good reason. The kid lit it up. Granted, Pope is a bit of a specialist due to his size and hasn’t really shown that he has what it takes to be an all-purpose TE. But that’s ok. Now that we have Baldwin on the roster, we can make for lineups like the following – A singleback formation with Charles (or a bruiser-runner) in the backfield plus Bowe (6’2”), Baldwin (6’5”), Moeaki (6’3”) and Pope (6’8”) on the field. You can even split out the TEs for some quick over-the-tops and it’ll be insanely hard to beat it, because as long as Cassel can keep the ball from getting deflected by the opponent’s D-line, all of his targets are guys who can jump over the next-level guys and catch it in the air.
3.) Connected with #1 – he will be cheap. He hasn’t churned out great production and he has followed Haley everywhere he has coached. He’s comfortable here, he isn’t likely to be heavily sought-after, and we can tell him that we have a role for him.
4.) He saves children from drowning. True story.
5.) We are simply in desperate need for ulterior options for Bowe. Again, as I have expressed in this space before, much as I would like to believe that Bowe/Baldwin are going to become the new Fitzgerald/Boldin, I just don’t see it happening this season. Baldwin is going to be thrown into a serious learning curve, and teams are likely to adjust to Bowe this coming year after his phenomenal 2010 outing.
Five Reasons We Should Sign Matt Light (OT, Patriots):
1.) The Patriot Way- if the Chiefs are going to become the Patriots West, they might as well embrace the fact that they are looking for the same kinds of players – or, at times, the same players. This is the new identity of the team, and this is consistent with that reconstruction.
2.) The Patriots aren’t going to try hard to resign him. The Pats drafted Nate Solder in the first round this year to replace Light. Granted, with the uncertainty surrounding the level of preparation rookies are going to get, Foxborough may be tempted to bring him back, but a.) That’s not really their style to shell out big for a guy who is going to be a transitional player (look at their D-backs last year, they’re fine with throwing youngin’s into the fire) and b.) Matt Light is going to get some legit offers, and probably is not going to want to be a 1-year mentor for his replacement, he still wants to play, and where better than the place that is installing the same mentality that he shares?
3.) Additions of older veterans like Light, Lilja and Wiegemann give the Chiefs time to coach up their prospects taken in the mid rounds to eventually take over for them, keeping them from having to go O-line early in the draft, and still producing quality talent and play.
4.) Bringing Light on would likely move Brandon Albert to his more natural position – guard. I know it’s an old argument, but I hear scouts saying over and over that Albert is a decent tackle and a potentially dominant guard. Sounds good to me.
5.) Adding one more lineman to this mix gives us a legit unit. With LT- Light, RG – Albert, C – Wiegmann (also FA)/Hudson, LG- Lilja/Asamoah, RT- Richardson/O’Callahan (also FA), we can really pound people.
So basically, what we need is a PopeLight.