“John and I knew right away that we’d like to keep Dustin in a Chiefs uniform,” coach Andy Reid said in a statement. “He’s worked hard at his craft and has become one of the best punters in the NFL. He’s got a strong leg and the ability to pin opponents deep in their own territory. We are happy we were able to come to an agreement.”
The Chiefs said they would continue to negotiate on a long-term contract with Albert.
“Today was the league’s deadline to designate a franchise player and we felt it was in the best interest of the Kansas City Chiefs to place the tag on Branden,” general manager John Dorsey said in a statement announcing the move. “We will continue to negotiate with Branden and his agent to reach a deal that is mutually beneficial. We are looking forward to working with Branden in the near future.”
Albert Breer of NFL.com reported, via a source involved in the deal, that Bowe and the Chiefs reached a new five-year contract on Monday. ESPN first reported the news, and the Chiefs later confirmed that Bowe had signed the new contract Monday.
The regime change in Kansas City ultimately helped keep Bowe in town. Signing Bowe long-term also allowed the Chiefs to use the franchise tag on Branden Albert, a move NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reported shortly after the Bowe news. The Chiefs also reached an agreement with punter Dustin Colquitt.
“I had everything packed up and we actually did leave for a little while to try to get away from it all,” Colquitt said.
But long discussions with Dorsey and Reid turned the tide for Colquitt.
“They just said if you’re willing to come back, they would love to have me back,” Colquitt said. “I just tried not to get emotionally tied in but I definitely crossed my fingers and said my prayers hoping I could stick around in Kansas City for a long time.
“I’ve been here eight years now. My kids were born here. My wife and I have made so many great memories here. It’s hard to even imagine wanting to go anywhere else.”
Keep in mind that Bowe’s production — in the last three years he’s ninth in touchdowns and 12th in catches and yards among all NFL receivers — has come with some of the worst quarterbacks in pro football. If you have a weak stomach you might want to skip the rest of this sentence, but here is a list of the starting quarterbacks since Bowe’s arrival in Kansas City: Damon Huard, Brodie Croyle, Tyler Thigpen, Matt Cassel, Tyler Palko, Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn.
They range from decent backups to private-sector employees, and Bowe is still the Chiefs’ only reliable offensive player besides Charles. Alex Smith will be Bowe’s first experience with a good quarterback.
Everyone will now begin to analyze what the Chiefs should do with the first-overall pick.
Should you let the moves you make with the franchise tag dictate the direction of your draft? Of course not. The franchise tag is not a long-term solution, so using the tag on Albert does not immediately erase any chance of the team deciding to draft Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher, but it does open up some different options.
Is it possible that they could take one of the consensus top players on the board in Chance Warmack or Dee Milliner now that they locked up their starting tackle or could the team turn their attention to a star defensive lineman?
The Kansas City Chiefs were one of the teams thought to have put together one of the best free agent classes in 2012 and yet they find themselves entering the 2013 league years as the NFL’s worst team.
Most of KC’s problems in 2012 stemmed from bad coaching and atrocious QB play. Now that it looks as though the team is trading for QB Alex Smith, the areas of need that GM John Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid need to fill are becoming clearer.
Here is a list of positions the Chiefs should target in free agency when it kicks off on March 12th:
Alex Smith or no Alex Smith, the Chiefs still need QB depth. They could opt to draft a developmental guy late but it is clear the new regime is not thrilled with this year’s crop of QBs. Depth at the game’s most important position will be paramount.
San Francisco 49ers (First pick, No. 31 overall): With 15 picks to play with and way too talented a roster to fit that many rookies, the 49ers are in a unique position to gamble should they fall in love with a prospect. A talented defensive lineman to complement Justin Smith would make sense.
St. Louis Rams (First round picks, Nos. 16 & 22): As the only team with two first-round picks in this year’s draft, the Rams are also in position to gamble should they fall in love with a player. General manager Les Snead showed guts a year ago in trading out of the No. 2 overall pick and helped engineer the aggressive trade up a few years ago to land wideout Julio Jones when he worked in Atlanta.
Defensive end: We’re talking five-technique and, yes, we know the Chiefs have been down this road before only to find themselves disappointing in two LSU defensive linemen with doomed futures in K.C. Veteran Glenn Dorsey will become an unrestricted free agent and Tyson Jackson will likely be released — he currently counts over $14 million to the Chiefs cap for 2013. They found a nose tackle last year in Dontari Poe, but he should have two new linemates in the base three-man line.
Inside linebacker: Three of the four linebackers in the Chiefs’ defense went to the Pro Bowl in Tamba Hali and Justin Houston outside and Derrick Johnson inside. But the suicide of Jovan Belcher left the Chiefs without their three-year starter at the other inside spot. Their defense against the run needs a big banger to help Johnson inside.