Jan 14, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey (left), chairman Clark Hunt (middle) and coach Andy Reid pose for photos during the press conference at the University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

2014 Kansas City Chiefs: The First Free Agency Outlook

Dec 1, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; General view of the Arrowhead Stadium before the NFL game between the Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 1, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; General view of the Arrowhead Stadium before the NFL game between the Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As the 2013 Kansas City Chiefs’ season is now fully in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to look at what comes next. While the NFL is still in the middle of the post season and the Superbowl is yet to be played out, you can bet that Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey are in full scouting mode and taking a look at who they would like to add to their roster next season.

Generally, this time of year Addicts are looking forward to the NFL Draft and all the fanfare that comes with that. However, one of my favorite times of the offseason is the NFL Free Agent Frenzy.

In regards to free agency, there are a couple of important dates to remember:

February 17 is the first day that teams can designate a player their “franchise player” and thus saddle him with the “franchise tag.”

March 8-11 teams can begin to negotiate with the agent of any player who will become an unrestritced free agent on when their contract expires at the end of the league year at 4:00 PM EST on March 11.

March 11 Free Agency begins. All unrestricted free agents are allowed to sign with any club.

Free agency one of two ways to fill needs on a football team. I love it because of all the “breaking news” and “this player is signing with this team” and so on that goes with the time. I am literally glued to my Twitter feed for the first two or three days, getting the latest and greatest.

After the turnaround that was the 2013 season — where the Chiefs went 11-5 with a playoff appearance after posting only two wins in 2012 — there are still some very evident holes to fill. Some of those will be addressed in the NFL Draft with a new crop of rookies, but some of those holes will be filled using free agency.

These are the three biggest needs I see for the Chiefs heading into the offseason:

1. Wide Receiver

The Chiefs are in desparate need of a legitimate wide out that can start opposite of Dwayne Bowe, stretch the field and take some pressure off of the Chiefs #1 WR. During this past preseason, the former Chief, now San Francisco 49er Jon Baldwin got all the WR2 reps only to be replaced by Donnie Avery. Avery shined in places, but never really caught on as the “go-to” guy. Inconsistency at the wide receiver position was evident all year, and accounted for much of the reason the offense was slow to start the 2013 season.

My #1 Free Agent Target: Jeremy Maclin, Philadelpia Eagles

2. Free Safety

Kendrick Lewis and Dunta Robinson will likely not be re-signed to this football team. If they are, there may be an out-and-out riot. That will leave a gaping hole at the free safety position next to Eric Berry. The Chiefs would be smart to look at safeties from both positions — strong and free — to sign in the offseason. This is a huge need for the Chiefs unless they truly think Sanders Commings is the answer at this spot.

My #1: Free Agent Target: Jarius Byrd, Buffalo Bills

3. Defensive Line

With Tyson Jackson potentially leaving in free agency, this could be a position of need. The Chiefs would do well to find a guy that can help Mike Devito and Dontari Poe shore up the run defense of the Chiefs front seven.

My #1 Target: Tyson Jackson, Kansas City Chiefs

4. Tight End

It seems that along with a playoff curse, there is also a curse involving the tight end position. The Chiefs have drafted tight ends before the fourth round twice in the last three years and brought in others via free agency, and still there is no help in sight. Former Chiefs tight end Tony Moeaki was thought to be the future, as was Travis Kelce, drafted this year. Both players spent significant time on injured reserve and were no help to the Chiefs. Anthony Fasano while showing flashes, spent time on the injury report as well. The Chiefs need to get a pass-catching tight end who can aid in Reid’s offense.

My #1 Target: Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens

5. Offensive Line

I think the Chiefs will likely allow Branden Albert to walk. If that happens, most likely, Donald Stephenson and Eric Fisher will bookend as starting tackles. The Chiefs are going to need to bring in more depth to plug in behind them as well as likely guards Jeff Allen and Geoff Schwartz.

My #1 Target: Michael Oher, Baltimore Ravens

Below I’ve taken every team in the league and listed their “Key Free Agents.” Keep in mind, these don’t include every player that will hit free agency this year, just the players I consider “key” to the team.

As you look through the list, I’d love to hear your comments on who may or may not fill some of these voids.

AFC WEST

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 Key Free Agents:

Branden Albert – LT, Tyson Jackson – DE, Jon Asamoah – G, Dexter McCluster – WR, Kendrick Lewis – FS, Geoff Schwartz – OL, Frank Zombo – OLB, Akeem Jordan – ILB, Thomas Gafford – LS, Hussain Abdullah – S, Quintin Demps – S, Anthony Toribio – DE, Kyle Williams – WR

 

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Key Free Agents:

Knowshon Moreno – RB, Wesley Woodyard – OLB, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie – CB, Robert Ayers – DE, Eric Decker – WR, Andre Caldwell – WR, Chris Harris – CB, Trindon Holliday – KR

 

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Key Free Agents:

Seji Ajirotutu – WR, Ronnie Brown – RB, Larry English – OLB, Chad Rinehart – G, Cam Thomas – DT, Charlie Whitehurst – QB

 

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Key Free Agents:

Darren McFadden – RB, Vance Walker – DT, Charles Woodson – S, Jared Veldheer – LT, Mike Jenkins – CB, Jacoby Ford – WR, Tracy Porter – CB, Lamarr Houston – DE, Rashad Jennings – RB

 

AFC EAST

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Key Free Agents:

Aqib Talib – CB, Ryan Wendell – C, Will Svitek – LT, LeGarrette Blount – RB, Julian Edelman – WR, Austin Collie – WR

 

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Key Free Agents:

Austin Howard – RT, Jueff Cumberland – TE, Willie Colon – G, Nick Folk – K, Kellen Winslow – TE, Ed Reed – S

 

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Key Free Agents:

Randy Starks – DT, Paul Soliai – DT, Brent Grimes – CB, Richie Incognito – G, Dustin Keller – TE, Tyson Clabo – RT, Chris Clemons – S, John Jerry – G, Christopher Owens – CB

 

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Key Free Agents:

Jairus Byrd – S, Scott Chandler – TE, Arthur Moats – ILB, Jim Leonhard – S

 

AFC NORTH

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Key Free Agents:

Michael Johnson – DE, Tank Johnson – DT, Anthony Collins – LT, Alex Smith – TE, Brandon Ghee – CB

 

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Key Free Agents:

Brett Keisel – DE, Ryan Clark – S, Evander Hood – DE, Emmanuel Sanders – WR, Jerricho Cotchery – WR

 

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Key Free Agents:

Michael Oher – RT, Jacoby Jones – WR, Corey Graham – CB, Dennis Pitta – TE, Arthur Jones – DE, Ed Dickson – TE, Daryl Smith – ILB, Jeromy Miles – S

 

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Key Free Agents:

Alex Mack – C, Shawn Lauvao – G, T.J. Ward – S, Billy Cundiff – K

 

AFC SOUTH

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Key Free Agents:

Antoine Bethea – S, Adam Vinatieri – K, Pat McAfee – P, Donald Brown – RB, Darrius Heyward-Bey – WR, Mike McGlynn – G, Ahmad Bradshaw – RB, Vontae Davis – CB, Jeff Linkenbach – G, Cassius Vaughn – CB, Patrick Angerer – ILB

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Key Free Agents:

Michael Otto – LT, Bernard Pollard – S, Kenny Britt – WR, Damian Williams – WR, Robert Turner – C, Ropati Pitoitua – DE, Marc Mariani – WR

 

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Key Free Agents:

Maurice Jones-Drew – RB, Chad Henne – QB, Brad Meester – C

 

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Key Free Agents:

Antonio Smith – DE, Wade Smith – G, Joe Mays – ILB, Greg Jones – FB, Ben Tate – RB, Garrett Graham – TE

 

NFC WEST

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Key Free Agents:

Michael Bennett – DE, Breno Giacomini – RT, Paul McQuistan – LT, Golden Tate – WR, Tavaris Jackson – QB, Kellen Davis – TE, Steven Hauschka – K, Doug Baldwin – WR

 

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Key Free Agents:

Anquan Boldin – WR, Donte Whitner – S, Jonathan Goodwin – C, Mario Manningham – WR, Phil Dawson – K, Tarell Brown – CB, Colt McCoy – QB

 

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Key Free Agents:

Rashard Mendenhall – RB, Karlos Dansby – ILB, Jay Feely – K, Eric Winston – RT, Jeff King – TE, Dave Zastudil – P, Andre Roberts – WR, Antoine Cason – CB, Matt Shaughnessy – OLB

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Key Free Agents:

Rodger Saffold – RT, Chris Williams – G, Darian Stewart – S, Kellen Clemens – QB

 

NFC EAST

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Key Free Agents:

Michael Vick – QB, Jeremy Maclin – WR, Nate Allen – S, Kurt Coleman – S, Colt Anderson – S, Riley Cooper – WR

 

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Key Free Agents:

Anthony Spencer – DE, Jason Hatcher – DT, Brian Waters – G, Ryan Cook – C, Dan Bailey – K

 

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Key Free Agents:

Justin Tuck – DE, Hakeem Nicks – WR, David Diehl – RT, Stevie Brown – S, Andre Brown – RB, Terrell Thomas – CB, Brandon Myers – TE, Linval Jospeh – DT, Jon Beason – OLB

 

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Key Free Agents:

Brian Orakpo – OLB, Josh Morgan – WR, Santana Moss – WR, Josh Wilson – CB, Fred Davis – TE, E.J. Biggers – CB, Reed Doughty – S, Perry Riley – S, Chris Baker – DE, DeAngelo Hall – CB

 

NFC NORTH

 

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Key Free Agents:

Jermichael Finley – TE, Ryan Pickett – DT, B.J. Raji – DE, James Jones – WR, John Kuhn – FB, Sam Shields – CB, Andrew Quarless – TE, Marshall Newhouse – RT, Evan Dietrich-Smith – C, James Starks – RB, Matt Flynn – QB

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Key Free Agents:

Henry Melton – DT, Charles Tillman – CB, Devin Hester – WR, Roberto Garza – C, Major Wright – S, Corey Wootton – DT, D.J. Williams – ILB, James Anderson – OLB, Blake Costanzo – OLB

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Key Free Agents:

Brandon Pettigrew – TE, Shaun Hill – QB, Dominic Faiola – C, Willie Young – DE, Jason Fox – RT, Rashean Mathis – CB, Kevin Ogletree – WR

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Key Free Agents:

Jared Allen – DE, Kevin Williams – DT, Charlie Johnson – G, Matt Cassel – QB, Jerome Simpson – WR, Josh Freeman – QB, Fred Evans – DT, Chris Cook – CB, Toby Gerhart – RB, Desmond Bishop – OLB

NFC SOUTH

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Key Free Agents:

Jordan Gross – LT, Brandon LaFell – WR, Greg Hardy – DE, Garry Williams – G, Domenik Hixon – WR, Travelle Wharton – G, Ted Ginn Jr. – WR, Captain Munnerlyn – CB, Jimmy Clausen – QB, Graham Gano – K, Quintin Mikell – S, Derek Anderson – QB

 

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Key Free Agents:

Malcolm Jenkins – S, Jonathan Vilma – ILB, Zch Strief – RT, Brian De La Puente – C, Jimmy Graham – TE, Parys Haralson – OLB, Robert Meachem – WR

 

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Key Free Agents:

Jonathan Casillas – OLB, Ted Larsen – C, Daniel Te’o-Nesheim – DE, Adam Hayward – OLB, Rian Lindell – K, Gary Gibson – DT, Erik Lorig – FB, Lawrence Tynes – K

 

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Key Free Agents:

Jonathan Babineaux – DT, Peria Jerry – DT, Corey Peters – DT

 

***All free agents were verified via Spotrac.

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