An Open Letter To Two Chiefs On The Bubble

Tony… Kendrick…

I hope this letter finds you in good spirits.

As much as I intend to support the players originally drafted by this franchise, I understand sometimes those players don’t work out. I’m beginning to think that will be the case with both of your respective careers. There’s really no nice way for me to say what I’m about to say, but I’ll be as considerate as I can be. The two of you are on borrowed time in Kansas City if there isn’t significant improvement over the next four months. Your careers have been marred by injuries and inconsistencies. This is a courtesy, gentlemen. A fair warning (if you will). The new administration won’t be hesitant to part ways with the underachieving players from regimes past.

Anthony Fasano and Travis Kelce potentially spell the end of your tenure here in Kansas City, Tony. Fasano is a reliable veteran who’s been the picture of health his last five seasons in the NFL. Over that stretch, Fasano has missed just four games. He provides the kind of stability and productivity that will make him a favorite in the race to become the Chiefs’ #1 tight end. Kelce’s a hungry, physical young player who is gifted both as a blocker and as a pass-catcher. He’s easily the most athletic player on the team at the tight end position. He’s going to give you a serious run for the #2 tight end spot. You’re perilously close to being pushed out the door if you can’t shake the injury bug.

Sanders Commings could turn out to be the thorn in your side, Kendrick. Andy Reid has already told members of the Kansas City media that he got looks at free safety in the Chiefs’ rookie minicamp earlier this month. Commings is bigger, stronger, faster and has comparable ball skills. He was drafted as an outfielder by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2008. He has lots of ball-tracking experience, Mr. Lewis. I’ve defended you on a number of occasions, but loyalty is a curious thing in professional football. If you can’t stay on the field and out of the tub, you’re going to be on the bench by Labor Day (oh the irony).

When the team gets to St. Joseph for training camp, blood should be drawn for a chance to bunk with head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder. He’s been heralded as one of the best athletic trainers in the NFL. His work is very well documented. Burkholder’s rehab program in 1995 helped Rod Woodson return from a torn ACL in about five months. In 2004, he helped wide receiver Terrell Owens return from a severely sprained ankle and fractured fibula in time enough to play in Super Bowl XXIX. The guy knows his way around an NFL injury. Do yourself a favor and get to know him on the right side of the training table.

Finally getting that issue with your shoulder resolved might actually kill two birds with one stone, KL. You’ve been a poor tackler throughout your stay in Kansas City. That’s a weakness your unit can’t afford, seeing as how you’re the last line of defense. Your one good shoulder won’t be enough to bring most ballcarriers down in this league. I tend to think if you were healthier, had better tackling form, and technique, you’d keep your job. Ballhawking safeties are coveted around the league, but ballhawking safeties who can tackle get new deals a little faster.

With you Tony, it’s more of an durability issue. You’ve already missed the team’s first OTAs of the offseason (back in April). In fairness to you, I know you had your knee scoped at the end of last season. Thing is, every opportunity you miss on the practice field, gets Kelce one step closer to pushing you to the bottom of the depth chart at your position. If that happens, I’d be shocked if you were re-signed.

The two of you are good football players who I’m sure most of the Kingdom would like to see earn second contracts with Kansas City. It’s going to be an uphill battle, but I’m sure you’re up for the challenge. As these position battles heat up, along with the summer weather, the pressure will be on. R&D will have a watchful eye on the tight end and safety positions. The best are going to play. Good luck to you, gents!

Until next time, addicts!

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