Yesterday was the day of Scott Pioli and for Kansas City Chiefs fans sick of hearing from the team’s former GM that was fired just weeks ago following a 2-14 season, his latests predictions for the team may not sit well.
Since leaving the Chiefs, Pioli has been working as a draft analyst. He has appeared on NFL Network a couple of times and was reportedly recently hired by Sirius Radio as an analyst.
Yesterday, Pioli was on NFL Network for most of the afternoon and evening. First he sat next to new Chiefs head coach Andy Reid on Path to the Draft. Then later, he made an appearance on NFL Total Access. It was on the latter show that Pioli made his prediction for the Chiefs this offseason.
The team currently has three important players about to become free agents in LT Branden Albert, WR Dwayne Bowe and P Dustin Colquitt. While most Chiefs fans are likely hoping the team retains all three players, Pioli thinks new GM John Dosey will let Albert walk.
NFL Network’s Scott Pioli predicted on Total Access Thursday night that the Chiefs will use the franchise tag to retain Dwayne Bowe and let Branden Albert walk in free agency.
Pioli has special insight because he was Kansas City’s GM from 2009-2012. He also noted the “buyer’s market” at offensive tackle; both the draft and free agency are stocked with starting-caliber left tackles. Should Albert hit free agency, look for the Bears to show interest. Chicago is tackle needy, and GM Phil Emery was Kansas City’s scouting director when the Chiefs drafted Albert.
It is true that there will be more tackles available in this offseason than there normally is this time of year. Albert has gone on the record as saying he wants to be paid like a top-five NFL tackle. If Albert’s asking price is too high, the Chiefs could allow him to leave.
If Albert is allowed to walk, the Chiefs could select tackle Luke Joeckel with the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. The risk, of course, would be that the Chiefs are giving up a proven NFL starter for a rookie. While the team would save money by picking Joeckel over Albert, they still wouldn’t be any closer to solving their issues at QB.
As for Bowe, if the Chiefs simply franchise him again, they will only be delaying his eventual departure. There have been reports that the Chiefs want to retain Bowe but we still aren’t sure if they want to commit to him long-term.
The Chiefs will have to act soon. Teams have until March 4th to use the franchise tag. If KC wants to keep both Albert and Bowe, they will have to sign at least one of them long-term.