Good Tuesday morning, Addicts! I’d like to welcome you to my new weekly column — “The Red Files with Reach.” Aside from the nifty column graphic, not much is changing. You can expect the same quality of work from me every Tuesday. I’m sure that’ll be reassuring to some, but mortifying to others. If nothing else, I’ll be consistent (you be the judge of whether that’s good or bad).
Eight games into the NFL season, your Kansas City Chiefs are still unblemished. Andy Reid and company won another game, over the Cleveland Browns, 23-17 last Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. Some say the Chiefs are living dangerously. The offense was impressive in the first half, scoring on four of six possessions. They disappeared in the final two quarters, coming away with only 3 second half points. There’s raucous debate around the NFL about whether or not the Chiefs can continue to win this way. Kansas City got away with it again in Week 8, I’ll spare you my personal spiel on the subject.
What can be done about the Chiefs’ offense right now? Certainly they’re still gelling and maturing as a unit, but are there any external options available to help Andy Reid’s inconsistent West Coast offense? The NFL’s deadline for player trades is in exactly five hours (4 p.m. EST). Let’s take a look at a few players who might be able to help this offensive unit improve. Pay close attention, Mr. John Dorsey!
1. TE Tony Gonzalez (Atlanta Falcons)
This is clearly the move that Chiefs Kingdom is the highest on. The former Chief, in his 17th year, is languishing on a 3rd place Falcons team currently sitting at 2-5. With injuries to key offensive players Steven Jackson and Julio Jones, the “Dirty Birds” appear to be cooked. Gonzalez is in the final year of his contract with the team. No GM wants to concede an NFL season in the month of October, but it would behoove Thomas Dimitroff to get something for him.
Tony Gonzalez still has value in this league. He currently has 38 receptions, 395 yards, and 3 touchdowns in a mediocre Atlanta offense. He’s 37 years old and in the twilight of his career, but he’s still an offensive skillplayer that opposing defenses have to account for. Smith’s reliance upon tight ends over the years makes Gonzalez an intriguing option for Kansas City. I’ve not been in favor of Gonzalez coming back to the Chiefs, but it’s the kind of move that could galvanize this team. It’s highly possible that the Chiefs would get an emotional lift from re-uniting with one of the greatest players in franchise history.
2. WR Josh Gordon (Cleveland Browns)
There’s been rampant speculation about Cleveland Browns wideout Josh Gordon over the past several weeks. The rumor mill would have you to believe that Gordon’s been on the trading block for most of the season. About five weeks ago, Cleveland’s CEO Joe Banner said the team had no intention of trading him. Gordon, himself, is weary of the rumors. He had this to say in the week leading up to Sunday’s game with the Chiefs:
I’m tired of it. I honestly wish if it was going to happen it would have happened already, instead of dragging on. If a trade offer came in and that’s what they wanted to do, so be it. If not, then just let it be known that this is where I’m gonna be. Honestly, it’s part of the game and I’m dealing with it.
Banner would be a fool not to entertain a reasonable offer for Gordon’s services. He clearly isn’t opposed to dealing key offensive players. Runningback Trent Richardson was traded away to the Indianapolis Colts just last month. Cleveland has a heavy rebuilding project on its hands and could stand to stockpile extra draft picks. Now that the conditional pick we owe San Francisco in next year’s draft has been determined (an R2 as a result of eight wins in 2013), the Chiefs would have only a pick from the middle rounds left to bargain with. A third or fourth round selection might be attractive to a Browns team still trying to sort through its problems at quarterback (Jason Campbell was Cleveland’s 20th different starter at quarterback since 1999). Kansas City now knows what Gordon’s capable of after he caught 5 balls for 132 yards and a touchdown against them on Sunday.
3. WR Greg Little (Cleveland Browns)
On the chance that general manager John Dorsey gets Mike Lombardi on the horn, he might also want to ask about another Browns receiver rumored to be on the block. Greg Little, the third-year man out of North Carolina, could help bolster a weak receiving corps in Kansas City. The Chiefs have only three wide receivers who’ve made any real contribution to the team (Bowe, Avery, and McCluster). He has the ability to play both on the outside and in the slot. Little’s route-running ability and combination of size and speed would provide Smith with a target who can separate in coverage (something his current crop of receivers have struggled with).
Little’s listed as third on the Browns’ depth chart, but he’s performed as well as starter Davone Bess (whose job may seriously be in jeopardy after he made a big contribution to Kansas City’s win on Sunday afternoon). The two receivers have comparable statlines in 2013. Some have even argued that Little should be Cleveland’s No. 2 receiver over Bess. He’s been productive in his short career, but is unlikely to command a top draft pick as compensation. I’d venture to guess he can be had for a lower price than Gordon is slated to go for.
Are these legitimate options for the Kansas City Chiefs? Do you think any of the players on my shortlist can help improve this offense? Use the comment section below to weigh in on the topic. As always, we appreciate your readership and support!
Until next time, Addicts!