For the first time in a long time the Kansas City Chiefs have a roster full of young and talented veterans but the realities of today’s NFL means that KC might not be able to keep all of it’s stars.
There are three players, in particular, that need to be re-signed soon. DE Glenn Dorsey, Branden Albert and Dwayne Bowe. Tyson Jackson will also need to be re-signed though he is probably looking at a pretty drastic pay cut if he wants to remain on the team. He is signed through 2013, however he is due over $14 million, a figure the Chiefs will never pay.
The more immediate issue is how KC will retain Dorsey, Albert and Bowe.
Kent Babb of The Kansas City Star, recently wrote an article that claimed that Bowe was too big of a risk to be given a long-term deal.
They admitted they just had no idea which Bowe would arrive at the practice facility, and that unknown is dangerous considering such a financial leap of faith. If the Chiefs extend Bowe and he flops, it’ll put Pioli in a pinch when left tackle Branden Albert and defensive end Glenn Dorsey have expiring contracts. At his best, Bowe is a superb pass-catcher and blocker whose route-running puts him short of only Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald and Houston’s Andre Johnson; at his worst, he has been an undependable wideout known as much for drops and comments about “importing” as breathtaking catches.
Bowe’s potential problems aside (I’ll have more on that later), I find the question brought up here kind of interesting. What if the Chiefs could only keep two of these three players? Which ones should they keep?
The case for Dorsey:
Glenn Dorsey has shown steady improvement since entering the NFL. After a poor rookie season he was then forced to switch defenses to play in the 3-4. Essentially, Sorsey had two rookie seasons in a row. As he settled into Romeo Crennel’s defense, however, Dorsey has improved by leaps and bounds. Is run defense is excellent and he ranks among the best in the league in that category. He could stand to develop a little but more of a pass rush but he has developed into a good player.
But with the NFL becoming more and more a passing league, how valuable will Dorsey and his currently limited skill-set be in the future for the Chiefs? Plus, Allen Bailey is lurking in the shadows, poised to swipe a DE spot from either Dorsey or Jackson should one of them become expendable to GM Scott Pioli.
The question is, how expendable is Dorsey?
The case for Branden Albert:
Albert, like Bowe and Dorsey, came in during the Herm Edwards “Underachievers Era.” Think about it. Other than Brandon Flowers, Brandon Carr and Jared Allen, did any player meet expectations under Herm? Ahhh but I digress. That is another article for another day. And what would a day on AA be like without a shot at Herm? God love em’, he’s good for it.
Anyway, Albert seemed to be leveling off as a solid, average LT but last season he actually showed great improvement in his pass protection. He quietly out together a good season and though he had some struggles in the run blocking department* (which KC offensive lineman didn’t last season) I think he could be poised for his best season ever. He’ll be playing with the best offensive line the Chiefs have had since he’s been in KC and he’ll also have the best stable of running backs he’s ever had. Albert has the potential to make himself an even richer man and to make Scott Pioli’s job just a little bit harder.
*For more on this topic see Jones, Thomas.
The case for Dwayne Bowe:
In his five years with the Chiefs, Bowe has averaged 71 catches for 985.4 yards and 7.2 TD’s per season, including the season he missed multiple games die to a suspension. The closest thing he’s ever had to a #2 WR was a TE (Tony G) and he’s seen two coaches and about 36 different offensive coordinators. Oh and also, other than Trent Green (briefly) he’s had the pleasure of catching passes from Damon Huard, Tyler Thigpen, Brodie Croyle, Matt Cassel, Tyler Freaking Palko and Kyle Orton. Oh, and he even caught a 5-yard pass from some guy named Marques Hagans.
Bowe may have messed up a couple times but the dude has been the only consistent offensive threat the Chiefs have had in the last five years. Not to mention the fact that on his own, Steve Breaston is not a #1 receiver and Jon Baldwin, Dexter McCluster and Devon Wylie are all unproven.
Now I pose the question to you. If the Chiefs could only keep two of these players, who should they keep?