The Kansas Chiefs have a lot of work to do this offseason if they hope to return to the playoffs and one way they can get started is by finally spending some dang money in free agency.
I’m not saying that the Chiefs need to go on a crazy spending spree, overpaying for overrated veteran players. I am saying that there are young, quality players to be had for fair prices and that if the Chiefs don’t start being more aggressive, they’re going to be shooting themselves in the foot.
I firmly believe in building through the draft but one of the great things about developing your own players is that if you do it right, you should have more money available to you sign more expensive, veteran players to fill immediate needs. This is especially true if your GM is doing a good job in the later rounds where the contracts are more team-friendly.
The Chiefs are in prime position to take advantage of the system because they have so many talented, low-priced players. KC is not only near the bottom of the NFL in payroll this season, they will be again when the new league year starts. The new CBA allows teams to carry cap dollars they don’t use from one season to the next. That means the two cheapest teams in the NFL, the Chiefs and the Bucs, will have the most flexibility in 2012.
The 2011 Chiefs rookie class, while they contributed, were not needed as much as the 2010 class. That isn’t necessarily because they were not as good as the 2010. What it means is that the Chiefs as a team are getting good enough at enough positions that they do not need to rely on as many rookies to start.
That being the case, the Chiefs need to start looking to fill the holes they do have with quality free agent pickups.
And G Carl Nicks should be at the top of their list.
Nick is almost certain to leave New Orleans in free agency because the team needs to pony up to keep a number of key players, including Drew Brees and Marcus Colston. The Saints will surely try to work something out but it is going to be difficult.
Should Nicks hit the market the Chiefs need to pounce. He is widely believed to be one of the best, if not the best, guard in the NFL. Pro Football Focus graded him as the second best guard in the league last year behind only Evan Mathis of the Eagles. He is a two time All-Pro and Pro Bowler. He has played in and won a Super Bowl.
And he is only 26.
At 346 pounds, Nicks would give the Chiefs some beef up front that they don’t have right now. Ryan Liljas is 290 and stands at 6-2 where Nicks is 6-6. KC has been running a zone blocking scheme which requires lighter, more athletic lineman. Still, Nicks is athletic enough to do some pulling and also strong enough to help the Chiefs open up holes inside for their bigger backs, something the team struggled to do in 2011.
Nicks won’t be cheap but considering how much money they have to spend, that shouldn’t matter. In fact, signing Nicks could pretty much solve all of the team’s interior line problems. Jon Asamoah showed great promise last year starting for the first time at the other guard position. The Chiefs drafted Rodney Hudson to eventually take over at center and Ryan Lilja, who is 30, would suddenly become tremendous depth and injury insurance. Lilja can also play either guard position, making him even more valuable.
Nicks would be a huge upgrade to an offensive line that struggled at times in 2011. It would solidify the guard position and enable the Chiefs to turn their attention to the RT position either by acquiring another free agent or by drafting one.
What do you think Addicts? Do you want to see Nicks in KC next year?