Grading Chiefs GM John Dorsey in His First Off Season Part 1

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As the Kansas City Chiefs prepare to fully engage in their second off season under general manager John Dorsey, a lot of questions remain about the first go ’round from the head personnel man with the organization.

Last week we took a look at how Dorsey did in his first draft as the Chiefs’ GM. If you missed, you can check it out here. While he didn’t grade out well, I did say that it takes awhile to really judge a draft class, and thus it would be tough to say how he did one way or another.

However, with free agency and trades, that’s a bit of a different story. Generally when trades are made or free agents are signed, there’s more of a “truth in advertising” that goes along with that. Players who are signed or traded for generally have some playing time behind them, and are a little easier to judge.

That being said, I will not rate every single move that Dorsey made last off season. If I did, that would be three pages of Chad Hall being signed and released over and over again. Because of that, I’ve divided this piece into three major areas: trades, free agent signings and undrafted rookie free agents/waiver wire signings. This will allow us to only concentrate on the “major moves” and grade the off season — not counting the draft — as a whole.

I originally intended this to be one post, but it got entirely too long. So, part one will be trades and in-house free agents and part two will be open market free agents and waiver-wire acquisitions.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

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Topics: A.J. Jenkins, Alex Smith, Anthony Sherman, Branden Albert, Dustin Colquitt, Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs

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  • toperspective

    Nice write-up. I don’t agree with the Bowe grade but I understand the options were limited. It’s just hard to give that performance and the amount of cap space anything higher than a C. But of course that’s hindsight and I doubt any Chiefs fans were terribly upset after word came out about the Bowe signing last year. He also had a new QB who is very conservative with his throws into tight coverage.

    • Jason Seibel

      Keep in mind I’m not grading Bowe’s performance but the signing at the time.

      • KCMikeG

        Good because that should have been in the D+ to C- range for ROI vs results.

    • michael carey

      Hopefully, Bowe’s production for 2014 will mirror what we saw in the playoff loss in Indy. It looked like Smith and Bowe were finally getting chemistry at the end of last season…

      • michael carey

        What do you guys think about the Joe McKnight signing?

        • toperspective

          I see it as a low risk protection if Dexter isn’t resigned.

      • toperspective

        I think Bowe’s numbers will improve next year. Just getting comfortable with AS will help and if they get a decent #2 they should improve things even more.

  • berttheclock

    I thoroughly disagree with the negative comments from some posters as to Bowe being vastly over paid and, one of that thought Dorsey should have been fired. Look at the situation in front of Dorsey at the time. He had just arrived to rebuild the team. Yes, he made a huge addition to bringing in a leader at QB in Alex Smith, but, the Chiefs faced a situation of beginning a new program under a new HC with the possibility the team would not have a legitimate receiver. Bowe’s agent knew the parameters of wide receivers on the market and he was not going to take a back seat with his demands. So, Dorsey settled the issue by finding money for Bowe which was just a little more than what Vincent Jackson had received the year before, but, less than the overpayment by Ireland to Mike Wallace. Is that too much for Bowe? Possibly in relation to his overall 2013 production, but, that is really 20/20 hindsight. Had that agreement not been made, the Chiefs would have begun with no true Number 1 at wide out. If one googles the salaries of wide receivers in the current NFL, one will find a wide range of salaries. Some are over paid, whereas, others are under paid. I would imagine many agents for many different receivers would love to be able to ask for more money for their clients, whereas, many GMs would love to be able to cut salaries. Salaries for many were set by the year they were drafted or the year they were traded or were set by conditions of Free Agency which had just gone a little crazy. All of the complaining about the money paid to Bowe is based purely on hindsight.

    I do not fault Mr Dorsey one bit about his work. I agree with the grades assigned by Jason.

    • Troy Utt

      Bert, Not only do I agree with the grade I agree there was no other option, Dorsey stood tall & handled business. Bowe has had many productive, & some (by what we expect) less than productive years in KC! This just happened to be one of the lesser…
      I have made comments in regards to Bowes performance this last season, mostly out of frustration or arguing my position on Smith. I am however hoping 2014 proves to be more of the “post’ season Bowe than the “regular” season Bowe!

    • KCMikeG

      Dorsey being fired after one year on one player decision is ridiculous. My complaints of Bowe’s over payment are only partially based on hindsight. None of us expected Bowe to perform so poorly this year and showing up in camp in less than ideal shape is inexcusable after getting his big $$$ LTC. That’s on Bowe not Dorsey. My question that wasn’t hindsight was why would Dorsey pay a WR so much money when Reid’s WCO focuses so much on the RB & TE over the WR? I know that Bowe has been the show in KC and we really didn’t have anyone else close to being a #1 WR. IF Bowe shows up in shape and plays like he did in 2010 then all will be well and these conversations will fade away.

  • berttheclock

    One other point about the work of John Dorsey. I have followed the work done by both John Schneider of the Seahawks and Trent Baalke of the Niners, for some time. The trade of Baldwin to the Niners for Jenkins may well go down as John Dorsey owning Mr Baalke. Jenkins looks as though he may, finally, reach his potential in the NFL, whereas, Baldwin appears to be heading back to an early retirement in Pittsburgh.

    • KCMikeG

      Good point on the Jenkins trade. Baldwin didn’t even play while Jenkins was trending upward. Smith obviously thought Jenkins and Williams too had potential or why else would he want them here? He knew he had to make a good impression his first year – which he did – and that more will be expected next year. He certainly wouldn’t want roster spots being filled with guys he had worked with before unless he knew they could help him succeed. Jenkins may well be up there as one of Dorsey’s best but IMO Alex Smith is going to be Dorsey’s crowning achievement in the near future. I believe Dorsey’s best is yet to come.

  • Josh Landers

    Good article. I think Dorsey will end up restructuring some contracts and a few will end up with paycuts by the time it’s all said and done. Plus, from the way it seems, he has pretty strong talent evaluators, as shown by coop, Knile Davis, McGrath, Parker, etc. We’ll probably be losing some fan favorites like DEX this year but in another year or two I think we’ll be competing for a championship. Especially with the talent in this draft. I have faith that Dorsey and his crew will get the job done. GO CHIEFS!!!

  • Stacy D. Smith

    Overall, I think Dorsey’s first season as GM was generally successful. He had a few misses, but he brought the team a few major contributors in year one.

  • andy

    What Dorsey did with signing Bowe, Colquitt and Albert was to keep some core talent and stability. I did not really want to keep Albert at the time since he wanted too much money and it was clear he was not going to be our future LT. The one caveat to Bowes contract is that there should be a”good boy” claus included,

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