Who’s safe on the Chiefs roster? Is there anyone on the roster who Scott Pioli wouldn’t replace or trade?
The answer is, not quite yet.
15 years ago there was LB Derrick Thomas. There’s no way the Chiefs would have ever thought about moving him. He may be the last player the Chiefs, and their fans, considered “untouchable.”
In the league, there are not that many real untouchables. Tom Brady. Peyton Manning. Ed Reed and Ray Lewis in Baltimore. They have each reached an iconic and unmovable status and their fans would revolt if they were moved.
Three years ago many fans were shocked when the Chiefs traded Jared Allen, considered the best DE and sacker in the business.
Are there any current Chiefs players who could possibly reach such “untouchable” status?
The first one who comes to mind is Eric Berry. After only his first season he has become noticed as one of he best Safety’s in the NFL and was voted onto the top 100 players list by his peers. The reason Berry could reach the untradeable status with the Chiefs is that he has a chance to be the best Safety that has played that position in a Chiefs uniform. Ever.
Still, knowing what we know about Scott Pioli’s history with the New England Patriots we can assume the same rules apply. Over the years the Pats have allowed players like Randy Moss, Ty Law, Asante Samuels and Richard Seymour, all thought to be among the best at their positions, to go to other teams.
So, I’m assuming Eric Berry would likely fall into their category. For now.
However, since Pioli has left the Patriots, they have changed their ways a bit. Matt Light and Logan Mankins have been signed to deals that would indicate they have reached “Tom Brady” status in that they will most certainly be finishing their careers there. New England has also changed their habits by abandoning the “draft and develop your own players” system and started bringing in multiple veteran free agents. It signals a win-now mentality and some have hinted Coach Belichick may be wanting to win one more Super Bowl, now, so he can retire.
Enough for the news break… back to the Chiefs potential untouchables.
How about Tamba Hali? He just signed the biggest deal in Chiefs linebacker history. However, as is the case with any current player playing for a Scott Pioli team, everyone is a chip to be bargained with.
Two years ago when Pioli traded away Tony Gonzalez, the best TE of all time, he created a lot of haters or at the very least, doubters. What they ended up with, as a result, was Javier Arenas.
If Scott Pioli is willing to trade away “the greatest TE of all time”, Len Dawson’s words, who had 3-5 productive years left in his career… for a kick returner/DB who is not projected to HOF status… then… no one on the roster should consider themselves safe.
What about protecting Matt Cassel? Cassel shouldn’t be ruled out. However, at this point in his career, if a team came along offering a deal that was too good for Mr. Scott “Max-My-Leverage-Wheeler-Dealer” Pioli to pass up, then Cassel would be history faster than you can say, “Come at me bro.”
Look at the Chiefs roster and ask the question, who has really nailed down their position as a starter? It’s from that group that you have to consider whether they would ever develop into an untouchable. Those player include: Eric Berry, Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson on defense. Matt Cassel, Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles on offense. Yes, Brandon Flowers is excellent. I’m just not using him as an example for this post.
Considering that Eric Berry is just a sophomore for the Chiefs. He has a ways to go before he reaches an iconic and irreplaceable standing.
There’s no way Tamba Hali can be seen with the same reverence as Derrick Thomas. Not yet anyway. But, four more years at his current pace and… who knows?
Derrick Johnson was considered just a backup at the beginning of last season. Whether or not that was a ploy, on Haley’s part, or not, to get DJ to perform up to his standards, just proves the Chiefs would devalue him if they decided to move him, to get better.
Matt Cassel is a good, good QB but, he’s not reached Lenny Dawson status in Kansas City yet. But, if he takes us to a couple of Super Bowls, like Lenny did, then all bets are off.
I know many fans who might actually applaud the trading of Dwayne Bowe… or at least they would have just 12 months ago.
Jamaal Charles is an interesting case. There’s a great possibility he’s not reached his full potential yet and if he does reach that potential, and then sustains it, he could become the best back in the history of the Kansas City Chiefs. Then, with the signing of his next contract, he might be considered an untouchable.
Six players all having potential for greatness. Potential to be, untouchable, irreplaceable gridiron gods in Kansas City Chiefs lore. They are each on the verge of such an uncommon distinction.
Just… not… quite… yet.
It’s a glorious time to be a Chiefs fan and with the emerging careers of these players ripening in front of us, this will be a tasty and momentous year in their maturation. And, we are here to sample the fruits of their labor.
They’re right on the brink.
Bring it on.