One of the top needs for the Kansas City Chiefs this offseason will be at the tackle position. Incumbent right tackle Barry Richardson was one of the worst blockers in the NFL a year ago and he is will likely be allowed to move on in free agency… that is, if anyone wants him.
One intriguing name set to hit the market is Chargers LT Marcus McNeill.
McNiell is expected to be released by the Chargers in March. He is due a 10 million dollar bonus if he can pass his physical, but he is not expected to do so.
McNiell is damaged goods and has problems with his back and neck but word is he wants to continue trying to play. When right, McNiell is a Pro Bowler.
If he hits the market, the Chiefs ought to sniff around and see if they can get him on a one-year contract. He’ll likely come at a bargain because of his injury issues and if he doesn’t shape up by camp, the Chiefs can cut him. If he heals, however, the Chiefs will have hit a home run. This would be a low risk, high reward type of move.
The reason the Chargers are able to part ways with McNeill is because the Chiefs messed up and cut Jared Gaither. Gaither was excellent down the stretch for San Diego and while he is also set to be a free agent, the Chargers will likely do everything they can to re-sign him. Should Gaither hit the free agent market the Chiefs should target him, but I doubt Scott Pioli could convince him to come back.
Every time I think about Gaither I get really angry. He was on the team for months and nobody, neither Todd Haley nor Bill Muir, ever even gave him a whiff of the right tackle position, even though Barry Richardson was making a fool of himself on a down-by-down basis. Then, the Chiefs cut him when he clearly wasn’t even close to a bottom of the roster guy. They still had dead weight like Shabby Sabby Piscitelli and Donald Washington on the squad. For a team as thin at tackle depth as the Chiefs, cutting Gaither was ridiculously irresponsible. That is on Haley and Muir and Scott Pioli.
Now Giather is likely to be playing against the Chiefs with San Diego and the Chiefs will likely have to waste a draft pick on a tackle when they had one on their roster and let him go. Infuriating.