December 18, 2011; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Brandon Carr (39) nearly intercepts a pass in the first half of the game against the Green Bay Packers at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 19-14. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

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There’s no way Hunt and Pioli are going to dive head first into the deep end of unrestricted free agency. That’s not how these guys are built and that type of behavior would go against almost everything they’ve laid out as the foundation for how they want to build the team. Signing Routt is the best player they’ve picked up off-the-street free agency in four off-seasons under Pioli’s personnel direction. That’s a good sign. However, it’s going to take more than signing Routt to prove they are working every angle in the personnel department to improve the team with talent and use some of the salary cap space they have built up.

“Stanford has a proven record of success in the NFL,” Crennel said. “He’s a talented player that has spent seven seasons in the AFC West, so he is familiar with us and our division opponents. We are excited to have Stanford join the team and we are looking forward to getting started.”

Pioli said, “He is a talented player, and as we have said in the past, we are always looking to add competition at every position year-round. Stanford’s experience and level of play will make him a solid addition to our defense.”

With Routt and Brandon Flowers, the Chiefs have two of the better man-to-man press corners in the AFC. Flowers signed a five-year, $52.5 million contract extension last year. With more than $71 million tied up in contracts for two cornerbacks, the Chiefs may not be able to keep Brandon Carr, who is an unrestricted free agent.

The Chiefs have paid handsomely the past couple of years in the defensive backfield. Safety Eric Berry is also signed to a $60 million, five-year deal that includes $34 million guaranteed.

Carr, 25, had a career-high four interceptions in 2011. He has started all 64 games in four seasons with the Chiefs, making 237 tackles and eight picks.

In other words, the Chiefs can keep Carr if they want him. We’ll soon find out if they do. If he reaches the open market, however, Carr will be an attractive option for the Minnesota Vikings, who need multiple layers of help at the position, and the Chicago Bears, who might be looking for an upgrade alongside Charles Tillman. It’s hard to imagine the Detroit Lions finding the salary-cap space to sign Carr, assuming they retain defensive end Cliff Avril in one way or another, but stranger things have happened.

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