Free Agency Forthcoming For Kansas City (Part 1)


Mark March 12th on your calendars, Addicts.

It’s the first day of free agency for the Kansas City Chiefs and the rest of the NFL. Our illustrious staff here at AA has spent the past few weeks talking about the 2013 NFL Draft (mostly in a vacuum though). Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but what happens in late-April is dependent upon what transpires in the six weeks leading up to the draft. The Chiefs have some in-house business to attend to, but may also look for outside help to solidify their roster.

With a solid FA haul, the Chiefs can de-pressurize their draft situation. There’s a wide range of opinions about the positional problem areas the Kansas City Chiefs have. Some think this team is devoid of talent (notwithstanding six players being named to Sunday’s Pro Bowl). I believe that there are only five positions that need to be addressed through free agency and the draft (QB, WR, DE, S, and LB). Let’s take a closer look, shall we? I’ll only list the offensive options I consider to be viable. We’ll explore defensive options next Tuesday.

Quarterback

It’s no secret that quarterback is the one position that needs the most attention this offseason. Quite a few people are convinced we’ll fill the position in April. It’s just as reasonable to think they could find Matt Cassel’s replacement through free agency though. There aren’t many attractive options, but consider the following:

1. Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers

The former #1 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft is still under contract with the Niners, but he’s likely to be moved off of their roster shortly after the 2013 league year begins. Three days into the new league year, Smith will be due a $1 million dollar roster bonus. San Francisco will want to trade him, but most suspect he’ll be cut. Alex Smith revived his career over the past two seasons by completing 64% of his passes and throwing 30 touchdowns to only 10 interceptions. He was supplanted by Colin Kaepernick mid-season, but that decision was scrutinized for almost three months (until Kaepernick led San Francisco to Super Bowl XLVII).

2. Matt Moore, Miami Dolphins

Moore took his “talents to South Beach” when he was signed to be Chad Henne’s backup in the summer of 2011. Henne went down with a shoulder injury in an early-October game with the San Diego Chargers. Matt Moore would step in and post an 87.1 passer rating in 12 starts for Miami. Unfortunately, that 2011 performance wasn’t enough to earn him the starting job. Ryan Tannehill was drafted 8th overall in the 2012 NFL Draft and went on to become their Day 1 starter. Matt Moore is the only quarterback on this list who’ll actually be unrestricted once the free agency period starts. He’s in little danger of being retained by Miami and will be free and clear for any interested team to sign.

3. Matt Flynn, Seattle Seahawks

Flynn, like Smith, is under contract for the upcoming season. He was brought in last year and expected to be the starter. That was until Russell Wilson rode in a white horse and had a historical rookie campaign. He’s now entrenched in the starting role for the foreseeable future. Matt Flynn, on the other hand, is scheduled to make $5.25 million for 2013 season. That’s a pretty penny for a backup, but the Seahawks could retain him as an expensive insurance policy. They can also put Flynn on the block and see what teams might be interested in acquiring his services. Flynn was available a year ago, but only Seattle and Miami courted him. There figure to be a few more teams in the market for a quarterback this offseason. That should help Flynn’s cause, as the options in free agency and the draft are inferior to those available this time last year. He’s done little to warrant a starting job in the NFL, but he did play for the same Green Bay Packers that Kansas City’s newly hired general manager worked for.

Wide Receiver

1. Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs

Thanks to another looming contract situation with Branden Albert, the Chiefs have a dilemma on their hands. More than likely one of the two will be franchised. The tag for wide receiver is $10.3 million in 2013, but Bowe would be due $11.1 million since he was tagged in 2012. The rule is, a franchise player receives either the franchise number for the current year or 120% of his salary the previous year (whichever is higher). Kansas City would save money franchising Branden Albert instead. He’s only due $9.6 million as an offensive linemen. Bowe will have company in free agency though. Mike Wallace, Wes Welker, and Greg Jennings will also be vying for big contracts. That only helps Kansas City if they’re serious about retaining him.

2. Mike Wallace, Pittsburgh Steelers

If Kansas City decides to let Bowe hit the open market, they could pursue 26-year old Wallace. He’s two years younger than Bowe and should be the odd man out in the Steel City. Pittsburgh has an unfavorable cap situation staring them in the face. Wallace is more of a downfield threat than Bowe, averaging nearly 4 more career yards per catch, but he comes with some of the same problems (see: drops). Mike Wallace regressed in 2012 under new offensive coordinator Todd Haley, but some of that can be attributed to offensive changes. A new team, looking to utilize his speed and stretch the field vertically, will present an opportunity for Wallace to get his career back on track.

Runningback

1. Peyton Hillis, Kansas City Chiefs

I’ll probably be one of a select few people who’ll publicly express a desire to bring Hillis back for another season. He was pretty underwhelming as the Chiefs’ #2 runningback. Take away the 101-yard performance in the Week 16 game against Indianapolis and Hillis averaged just 16 yards per game (compose yourself). That’s a compelling case for re-signing him I know, but I’m not convinced that he was healthy for any extended period of time last season. For most of the season, Shaun Draughn outperformed Peyton Hillis, but he’s not the big, physical presence they need in the backfield.

2. Danny Woodhead, New England Patriots

I’ll give you two reasons why Woodhead may soon be out of work: Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen. Those two backs are four and five years younger than Woodhead, respectively. Woodhead, at this point, is more dependable than Vereen, but his time may still be up in Foxboro. His pass-catching abilities should intrigue new head coach Andy Reid. Woodhead could be a bit like Brian Westbrook in Reid’s offensive system. Danny Woodhead’s as reliable as they come on third down, both as an option out of the backfield and in pass protection.

Tight End

1. Martellus Bennett, New York Giants

The former 2nd round draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys, languished in Dallas and never made good on their investment. The New York Giants took a chance on Bennett in 2012, signing him to a one-year deal. Bennett rewarded them with over 600 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns. Bennett told the Giants he’s wanted to stay with the team, but the Giants never spoke with him about an extension. I think Big Blue will make an honest effort to keep Bennett in the Big Apple, but as with anything else, money talks. Martellus Bennett is just 25 years old and he’s ascending.

Offensive Linemen

1. Branden Albert, Kansas City Chiefs

I mentioned this earlier, but I think Albert’s the player Kansas City should use their franchise tag on. Doing so, will be the best way to avoid Luke Joeckel being the first player to greet commissioner Roger Goodell in the NFL Draft. There are better left tackles in the NFL, but Albert has been one of the few constants on the offensive side of the ball in Kansas City. He’s played well consistently, but there are concerns about his ability to stay healthy. Branden Albert’s back spasms are something the organization should think carefully about. His play is much less of a concern for them though. In pass protection in 2012, Albert surrendered just one sack in 11 games.

If Kansas City can retain Albert and Bowe, they’ll be well on their way to a successful offseason campaign offensively. Adding a few of the other names would help round out a solid offensive core. When we reconvene next week, I’ll explore options for both the defense and special teams units. You can debate amongst yourselves about offensive options in the interim.

Until then, Addicts!

 

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Kansas City Chiefs

  • Jeff Suther

    Resign bowe and Albert, get Flynn and Wallace, then draft all defense. Playoff contenders in one season!

    • Stacy D. Smith

      No way all of that happens.

      • Michael Shaw

        Why not? If Clark, Dorsey and Reid are as committed to winning as they say, then why not pull the trigger? Though i think I would rather have Alex Smith or Matt Moore over Flynn.

        • Stacy D. Smith

          That’s a lot of jack. Wallace is going to fetch a pretty big contract. They won’t sign him and Bowe. They still have a #1 invested in Baldwin AND Breaston’s still under contract.

          • sidibeke

            Agreed, nor does any O need that crowd at WR, esp considering we have JC at RB and Wylie and McCluster in a Reid O. I’d like to keep Bowe, but if it’s Albert or Bowe, I’d go with Albert.

          • Darkwolf1414

            I love Bowe and I think he deserves to get paid by KC. He’s also said he wants to stay. Having said that, I agree that if we got Wallace then it makes losing Bowe palatable. I don’t see Bowe and Wallace on the same team as that’s TWO top WR FA’s paid in the same year. If Albert wasn’t having back spasms then I’d say keep him for sure. I think he’s a top tier LT but if he’s not on the field then he doesn’t help you much. I know how much back spasms hurt, too so I know it’s a real issue. Overall, I would like to keep our homegrown talent in Bowe, Albert and Colquit. As I said, Albert is a top tier LT when he’s on the field, Bowe will benefit from having a non-hack QB with some accuracy (Geno) and hell, every team punts (even with much improved offense) sometimes so why not have a boomer back there.

  • NicholasAlanClayton

    Flynn is like Cassel 2.0 — I’m not saying he will be as bad as Cassel was last year or as good as he was in 2010, simply that his background is the same and that causes me to question the pickup. Both were 7th-round picks for a reason and both were impressive on high-flying offenses on established contenders. In a sense, Flynn has a weaker argument to make than Cassel because he only started two games, although he was spectacular in them. Still, like Kirk Cousins in Washington and Jay Feeley with Philly, the backup always looks good until opponents have any tape on him. Then, once others know how to gameplan against them and they’re throwing to unfamiliar targets, etc., they fall back to Earth. Schaub has been an exception, but there really aren’t many.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      Flynn actually got to play in college though (his senior season at LSU).

      • NicholasAlanClayton

        Good point. But two pro-games + one college season is still probably less of a barometer of NFL value than Cassel’s full season starting at New England in 2008.

        • Michael Shaw

          On a team that went 16-0 in the regular season the previous year, lets not forget that major point!!! Which is why I did NOT want him when we traded for him. I am thinking my short ass could have gone 11-5 at QB with that team!! Ok, not really, but it sounded good.

          • Stacy D. Smith

            In fairness to Cassel, that team would’ve come back to earth anyway. No where to go but down when you go undefeated in the regular season.

          • KCMikeG

            In fact they went 10-6 under Brady in 2009 – one game worse than Cassel’s 11-5 with virtually the same team.

        • Stacy D. Smith

          Touche.

  • Michael Shaw

    Nice write up Stacy.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      Thank you, sir.

  • Arrowhead Greg

    Get Alex Smith for 3 years take BPA with the first pick, QB with second pick. Then we need to go db in the third, wr/lb 4th and 5th. Let rookie QB learn for a couple years or until he’s ready to take over. I like a QB who we know can WIN! I’m tired of taking risks at QB!

    • Stacy D. Smith

      Any QB drafted after Geno Smith will be an even bigger risk. He’s by far and away the best QB coming out this year. 2013 is NOT the year to get the 2nd or 3rd best QB in the draft class.

      I could live with Alex Smith at QB if they truly don’t see anyone they like in this draft. it’s a new regime though and they almost always start by taking a QB in the draft.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.aldridge.73 Jonathan Aldridge

        about time someone understood. 1st qb in draft or none

        • Stacy D. Smith

          I won’t cry in my beer if they draft Tyler Wilson, but it better be because they traded down and gained an extra pick.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.aldridge.73 Jonathan Aldridge

    We need to keep Bowe, Albert, and of course Colquitt. Either play it safe and get the short-term solution at QB Alex Smith, or take a gamble and draft a long-term QB Geno Smith. I’d like to see the Chiefs take a gamble.

  • kyle mangione

    Retain Bowe and Albert add Wallace and Greg Jennings to the offense drop Kevin boss add Bennett to fight with moeaki for the #1 TE spot .GOLDEN defense we need dominique rodgers cromartie from the eagles cornerback or grab Brent grimes both good cornerbacks and grab dash on goldson for safety and BOOM WINNING pick up ALEX SMITH and DRAFT GENO SMITH !!!!!!!!!!!!! If u add up all the players we should drop we have a huge pot of cash to dish out for good talent

    • http://www.facebook.com/AmericanWolfx Michael Tavis

      If we did all the things you just suggested we would have -9999999999999 cap. I think you forgot we have to pay these guys.

    • Sandman

      Easy Rod! Boss will be boss. 6’7″ AND a SB ring? I’m w/you on the Jennings deal (if Bowe doesn’t sign), but Boss has shown as much/more than TM. Even after only playing 3 games.

      • Stacy D. Smith

        Boss can’t stay healthy though. Neither can Moeaki.

        • Danny W

          Agreed. I’m not impressed by Tony Moe and his paltry play thus far. Boss would be great if he didn’t have a year ending concussion. I personally would rather have Bennett than either of these two right now. If nothing else for Boss’s safety he needs to retire.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AmericanWolfx Michael Tavis

    Reading through the comments I think people forget we have to pay these guys. If we get a WR in FA that means Bowe is gone. We cant keep Bowe and pick up a WR.

  • Doc

    Go get Alex Smith from SF, AND draft G-spot #1. G-spot gets one year to learn the NFL behind Alex. If G-spot can beat out Alex for the starting position like Colin did in SF, then that is good too. Either QB is better than Cassel or Quinn. Bite the bullet and release Cassel so he can go follow Pioli. Eat the cost of the release instead of the cost of him asking a roster spot.

    • sidibeke

      I might be on board with you here (except we should wait for SF to cut him and then get him). We’re going to need 3 new QBs in some way, shape or form, and I don’t want Flynn. Moore I’d have to think about.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      That’d be a waste. We only need one of them. Each of them would probably be afforded a three-year window to prove they were a long-term answer. You can’t allow your #1 to waste away for a year or two behind a QB you just made a big investment in.

  • Richard Funk

    Why would the Chiefs want to franchise a LT with back spasms and is a health concern? So he can play only 11 games per year? A QB is only as good as his OL (see 49ers this year and the explosive Chiefs offenses of the Willie Roaf, Will Shields, Tony G, Brian Waters days….pay attention, people. OLs make everyone better, including QBs

    • Danny W

      Aaron Rodgers is the most sacked quarterback in 2012. We could get a quarterback and then get Albert, Long, or a second rounder. Pretty deep class of lineman.

  • ArrowFan

    If Albert is healthy then he needs to be signed to a long term deal not the tag. Tagging Albert will only push the problem down the road. I don’t want to tag Bowe just for the cost. However if we do tag Bowe and are able to trade him then we are talking. The best spot for the tag is most likely our punter, I think I just got a little light headed typing that.

  • Danny W

    The homer in me loves me some Bowe. I wouldn’t be upset if he were replaced by Wallace. Free agent quarterbacks would be fine but I’d rather them draft one. Or get a free agent like Moore who would come cheaper than Cassel then we could cut his sorry bones. Draft Geno Smith with Moore backing him up. Bennett would push Moe right away for starting TE and I don’t think Boss comes back. Albert will probably get the tag so I highly doubt they draft Luke Joe..Would like to see them go after Jake Long instead of Albert though. When healthy he’s a top three LT. Albert just cracks top twelve. I wouldn’t mind Hillis going else where. I would like to draft Lattimore in the later rounds and steal him. I would let Colquitt walk if I could get Shane Lechler.