January 25, 2014; Honolulu, HI, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Dexter McCluster (22) and linebacker Justin Houston (50) during the 2014 Pro Bowl Ohana Day at Aloha Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Is A Business, And I Don’t Care


This free agency has been action-packed, right?

Not that I am anything more than a casual observer, but the 2014 free agency has seemed more active than any I can recall. Maybe that’s because our neighbors are buying like their quarterback has only one more year left in his middle-aged arm. I could be misinterpreting that situation though …

Anyway, nothing brings the fans and the NFL closer together than Twitter. Games, team practices, free agency: Twitter is the front porch, and we’re all watching the parade from our rocking chairs.

If you can separate yourself from the so-called horror of this free agency, the online outcry was actually quite comical. From the smug (Helloooo, Broncos fans), to the Chicken Littles of the world, (Hello, Addicts, and a big welcome to the 49ers fans who are now the proud backers of the University of Missouri’s greatest NFL contribution, QB Blaine Gabbert*), fans did not disappoint with reactions to their team’s FA moves.

*Here’s a fun little activity: search Blaine Gabbert and let Google fill in the rest of the search. I get “Blaine Gabbert bust” as the first option.

I kid because I care. I think I’ve heard the mantra, “the NFL is a business,” more times over the past week than in my entire lifetime. Look, I get it. The NFL really is a business, er, nonprofit, actually, so decisions are made based on numbers and statistics. There will be blood casualties to The Almighty Salary Cap, which no one truly understands from what I gather. Players will leave their adoring fanbase for money, and front offices won’t re-sign players for the same reason.

Blah blah blah. No one cares. I certainly don’t. I don’t watch the Chiefs or root against the AFC West because it’s a business. I do it because I’m a fan, and as fans, we’re going to be a little irrational at times; yes, even if that means we’re upset because we lost Dexter McCluster.

To recap the obvious, we Chiefs fans quickly lost five players at the beginning of free agency, which was not unlike witnessing the carnage of the Red Wedding for 90 minutes.

But who did we really lose?

Meh.

With time comes some perspective. If those losses hurt, what would we feel like if Justin Houston were to walk because the Chiefs re-signed Branden Albert to a ridiculously expensive contract? There, that loss feels better already, doesn’t it?

Still, while cooler heads may prevail, I say it’s OK and even justifiable to be upset when Denver has purchased every player on the market, and the Chiefs get Joe Mays, who plays… oh, who cares? It feels like we’re not doing anything.

We devote so much time and energy to a team and our beloved players, and sometimes even money because those dog jerseys don’t pay for themselves. It’s hard to divorce ourselves from the reality that the players and teams we adore are looking at this “game” as a business, and making decisions thusly. We don’t want that. Fans think with their hearts, businessmen think with their heads. That’s cold, and I don’t like it.

Now that we’ve established we’re in this together, what are our options?

  • Bury our heads in the sand, because historically, that’s worked well.
  • Take to Twitter and announce our dissatisfaction in 140 characters, or perhaps  two tweets, if we are really upset (DENVER!!!).
  • Commiserate and argue with fellow Addicts in the comments section (please do!)

OR, we can swallow that rising panic, remain calm because Reid and Dorsey have got this, and instead laugh at the Atlanta Chiefs and Team Pioli.

I feel better already!

How are you feeling about the Chiefs right now, Addicts?

Tags: 2014 NFL Free Agency Branden Albert Dexter McCluster Featured Geoff Schwartz Jon Asamoah Kansas City Chiefs Popular Tyson Jackson

  • Stan Colbert

    Great article!

    • Natasha Sims

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • Stephen Doroha

    This is a great article!! Losing DMC does still sting something awful!! We really need to pray some of these guys step up!! I hope the Denver Donkeys have a Falcons kinda season LMAO!! Then we have to worry about The Bolts & it looks like the Raiders didn’t just sit back this offseason! Every talking head saying NFC North is the toughest division in the NFL?… Count it 3 playoff teams & one (too bad it was the Donkeys but much props!) went to the Super Bowl WELCOME TO THE WILD WEST!! AFC WEST THAT IS!! Still keeping hopes alive though! GO CHIEFS!!

    • Natasha Sims

      Glad you liked it! I can’t wait to see what the Chiefs do in the draft.

  • CrispySBC

    My opinion of FA, this year, is meh. We have our core players and really didn’t lose anyone who is going to set us back. I hated seeing Dex go cuz he was one tough SOB and Geoff hurt cuz I thought we had the right side locked down with him … but who am I to argue with R&D. So when is the draft ….. I miss football way too much. Great article Natasha … perfect insight.

    • Natasha Sims

      I will miss Geoff Schwartz and Quintin Demps the most of all the FA we lost. But I feel like this year’s draft could be the excitement we’re missing in free agency. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • KCMikeG

    Excellent work Natasha! Really enjoy the perspective. I would like to see a statistical analysis of the success rate of FA’s cross referenced with how much money they made/cost the team if they were a bust. It has to be pretty low reward vs high financial risk. Schwartz would have been nice but I have faith R&D have a better player in mind at RG. Walker & Grissom don’t roll anybody’s socks up & down but they were brought in because their skills match our system. Smart decisions. I have gone on and on about my disappointment in losing Dexter McCluster. He was my 9 year old’s favorite player and all five us have his jersey. Riddle me this – What other one of our players has contributed as a WR, RB, KR & PR producing an average of over 1,000 total yards every year for four years straight? Letting McCluster go was a mistake and we will look back at that measly million we saved as foolish. I will be sick if he returns a kick against us at Arrowhead next year! Again, R&D must have a plan to replace DMC but I don’t see it.

    • Jason Meyers

      But ou will be ecstatic if he fumbles and cost then the game like he did us

      • KCMikeG

        That would be bitter sweet – but still sweet.

    • Natasha Sims

      Thanks, Mike! I liked Dexter McCluster as well, but have always thought he was a Dante Hall-lite version. It was painful and frustrating to see him get hit and stopped immediately. I certainly won’t miss that. That said, I believe another Addict staffer said somewhere, and I agree, that the success that McCluster (and Demps) had in 2013 was in large part because of Dave Toub. As long as we keep ol’ Dave on the team, we’ll still see some good returns. Long live Dex’s salsa celebration dance!

      • KCMikeG

        Just to set the record straight. Dexter was great before Toub. He had more total return yards in 2010 than 2013. In 2011 he filled in at RB in addition to WR which reduced his returns and chances to score. Still don’t understand why he wasn’t allowed to return kicks in 2012 but nothing about that year makes any sense. So really you can only compare 2010 vs 2013 which shows Dexter performed at the same level w/o Toub. There’s no denying that Toub’s the best ST coach in the business and the blocking & return schemes improved last year. But Toub doesn’t get all of the credit as Dorsey drastically improved the quality of the depth players who executed on the field.

        My heart will heal hopefully during the draft (Beckham) or at least by camp (McNight or Dressler).

    • Josh Landers

      I’m a big DMC fan as well but let’s be honest. He didn’t return a kick since his rookie season until toub got there. He’s an average slot receiver. For the price, I think we made the right move. If we could get cooks to take over for him and another bigger wr like Brandon Coleman later in the draft, I think well all feel a little better about letting him walk. Of all the guys that left I think Schwartz will be the hardest to replace. IMNSHO. GO CHIEFS!!!

  • RepOurChiefs

    Great article Natasha and pretty much sums up my thoughts as well.

  • sidibeke

    Watching Pioli (and Atl) overpay for Jackson again! does make for a good laugh. All the sweeter since I suspect the bastards wouldn’t trade Gonzo to us at the end of the season. May they choke on the tinman.

    • Michael Shaw

      I gotta think that was just as much TG’s fault as the falcons

      • sidibeke

        I’m gonna blame Pioli’s buddy anyway. Makes me feel better. :)

    • micah stephenson

      5 mill a yr for jackson is not that much. He is one of the top run stuffers in the nfl. Atl couldn’t stop the run so the brought in Jackson and 355 lb Solalia. Now noone should b able to run up the middle on them.

      • sidibeke

        Oh, please, Micah. Jackson isn’t top anything in the nfl. He’s a slightly better than average DE. Good against the run and poor against the pass.

        • micah stephenson

          Actually if you check the stats one yr he was ranked #1 at stopping the run from the 3-4 DE spot and another yr he was #5. He can’t pass rush but he can play the run. He better suited to play DT and again 5 mill is not that much.

  • NicholasAlanClayton

    Well, my Twitter therapy is going to be that much harder as Turkey’s prime minister just banned Twitter. He says Facebook and Youtube may go next at the end of the month. Hellooooo proxy servers.

  • antony555

    Very good write Natasha, has it been at any time a team though free agentcy’s players acquired the prior off season to ever make it to the playoffs the following year?
    Also is Elway above the law, are does his team have a salary cap too?,
    I mean where did all the room come from?
    I for one will miss DMC, and wish success to him for the remaining years of his career except when the Titan’s play our Chiefs lol.
    And I think the moves made were necessary because of how the previous front office had run the team. Well now we wait for the draft and more free agency, then OTAs as we mourn the loss of members of our family..
    Go Chiefs Go!!