The Kansas City Chiefs are in the midst of their mandatory three-day mini-camp this week but that doesn’t mean they should stop trying to improve their roster.
Now that most of the major players are set, it is time for Scott Pioli to go bargain hunting for veteran backups. The Chiefs were woefully shallow on depth a season ago and when they were hit with the injury bug their season went down the drain faster than you can say Sabby Piscitelli.
After another period of free agency and drafting, KC is a much deeper team heading into 2012. Still, if Pioli thinks his team is set, he’s fooling himself. Injuries can and likely will strike again. There are still a number of veteran players available that Pioli should be able to scoop up for depth.
Here are five veteran players I think the Chiefs should kick the tires on.
1. Leigh Bodden, CB, 30
Bodden is a former Brown, Lion and Patriot. He landed in New England in 2009 on a a one-year deal and started 14 of 15 games for the Pats. After a brief contract dispute over an extension, New England inked Bodden to a four-year, $22 million deal with $10 million guaranteed. Unfortunately for Bodden, he injured his shoulder in August and the Pats cut him October.
The Chiefs should definitely take a look at Bodden so long is his shoulder is healed. He’s only 30 and has 345 tackles, 18 interceptions and 8 forced fumbles in his career. He also has 0 pass deflections. He’ll be 31 in September.
KC can likely get Bodden on a value one-year deal as he looks to resurrect his career. He’s be playing for one more big contract so the Chiefs would be getting maximum effort. Besides, you can never have enough CBs.
2. Jeff Faine, C 31
Faine hasn’t been very good since he was a Pro Bowl alternate in 2007. He was drafted by the Browns with the 21st overall pick in 2003. He has since played for the Saints and last year he was with the Bucs. His best days are behind him but the Chiefs are pretty shallow at center and could use a veteran backup for Rodney Hudson. Faine isn’t a starter anymore but he is a vet that can help Hudson along and step in if need be.
There just aren’t any centers out there of any real quality. Faine is probably KC’s best bet if they want to add one more lineman. Remember Rudy Niswanger. It is best to have some help.
3. Braylon Edwards, WR 29
The Chiefs have a solid WR group for the first time in a while but I’d like to see them look at bringing a veteran like Edwards to camp. Edwards was cut in December by the 49ers after he was injured most of the season. Still, at only 29, Edwards is a big-bodied receiver who could help out in KC as a #4 option. Braylon was productive in New York on 2010 with 904 receiving yards.
If Edwards had a good camp I could see him replacing Terrance Copper or Junior Hemingway. I say he’s worth a look.
4. Gary Brackett, ILB 32
Brackett was still pretty much on top of his game before he went down with a shoulder injury last year that landed him on IR. The Colts released him after the season.
He’s on the wrong side of 30 and has spend his career playing in the Colts’ 4-3 so it might be a bit late to teach this old dog new tricks but he was too good of a player before his injury for the Chiefs to not check out. They are pretty well set at MLB but what the heck?
5. Travis LaBoy, OLB 30
LaBoy might be the smartest pickup on this list. He is often injured but when he can stay on the field he has been productive, especially when needed to pressure the QB. He played about 650 snaps for the Chargers last season and snagged a sack, 13 pressures and 15 stops. He will be 31 in August but the Chiefs could use some Hali/Houston insurance of the veteran variety. Like all the players on this list, he’d come cheap and could be had for a one-year deal. Why not bring him to camp and see what he has left? PFF graded him -0.8 on the season last year which is just ever so slightly below average. He could present good value.
All right Addicts. Those are my five remaining free agents KC should look at. Who are yours?