Dec 22, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Tyson Jackson (94) celebrates after a tackle in the first half against the Indianapolis Colts at Arrowhead Stadium. The Colts won 23-7. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN Gives Chiefs Free Agency Moves A C+

ESPN released their grades for how each individual NFL team did through the first few waves of free agency today and the Chiefs rank in the middle of the pack with a C+ grade. This grade was good enough to rank Kansas City on par with Seattle and above half of the other NFL teams.

Here’s a little bit of what each ESPN analyst had to say about the Chiefs’ moves. (Note: Insider access required to read ESPN’s article.)

The Chiefs look like big losers in free agency, at least on paper. “They lost three starting offensive linemen on a run-first team with a quarterback who isn’t Aaron Rodgers,” Matt Williamson said.

False, the Chiefs lost two starting linemen. Assuming a line of Eric Fisher, Jeff Allen, Rodney Hudson, Rishaw Johnson, and Donald Stephenson, Kansas City will have five offensive linemen who started at least one game for them last season. Four of the five started at least seven games. This isn’t to say losing Brandon Albert, Geoff Schwartz, and Jon Asamoah doesn’t sting, but it isn’t as if the Chiefs lost 52 starts from their offensive line either.


“[Emmanuel] Sanders would have been a perfect complement to Dwayne Bowe,” Louis Riddick said, “but I am good with what they are doing overall. Andy Reid knows what it is like to chase success in free agency and see what happens. They will be methodical. They players they lost, so what? [Dexter] McCluster is good. The other guys they lost aren’t going to hurt them. I like the [Vance] Walker signing, and he will give them much better value than [Tyson] Jackson even if Jackson had signed in Atlanta for the same money, which he did not.”

I’d value Geoff Schwartz over Dexter McCluster but his point still stands. Additionally, his thoughts on Tyson Jackson could not be more accurate. Kansas City’s defensive line should be much better in 2014 against the pass.


Polian, never a fan of profligate free-agent spending during his run as a GM, commended the Chiefs for sound cap management.

“It’s better than you think from a football standpoint,” [Bill] Polian said. “They added role players. They let go some highly paid big-name role players who were underperforming and brought back guys who were correctly paid and no worse than the guys they lost. On balance, pretty good.”

Strong words from Polian on the guys the Chiefs lost. Clearly he does not think much of Albert, McCluster, Schwartz, Asamoah, and Jackson. Doesn’t mean he’s right but maybe there is a chance we were overvaluing some of these guys because we are fans of the team and the players (except for Jackson).

What do you think, Addicts? Is a C+ a fair grade?  Too high or too low?


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Tags: 2014 NFL Free Agency Kansas City Chiefs

  • John Gabbard

    We should get a higher grade because of how well dorse and reid have managed the offseason to this point. We haven’t really lost anyone and the players that have been brought in are great value for the price tag. Keep in mind that other than a few positions we have almost all of our core players and these guys are stop gap players while we build through the draft. At this stage in the game, you have to look big picture. I really feel if reid wanted to keep the guys we lost, they would be in KC still. The coach/gm tandem we have right now are going to do great things for our beloved chiefs. I have a good feeling about that I’ve not had since the great Joe montana was here.

    • Ben Nielsen

      I agree with a lot of this if not all of it.

      • Robert Williams

        How much more would it have cost to sign Schwartz instead of Lingefelter?

        • berttheclock

          If you mean Linkenbach, he signed for a one year $900K with $250 guaranteed.

          Schwartz signed with the Giants for a 4 year $16.8 M, with $1.5 M for 2014 and a guaranteed of $15 M.

  • Austin New

    I think the only thing keeping us from a B, is the Emmanuel Sanders mishap. If we had gotten him, I would have given us a B+.

    • berttheclock

      I would agree with you, but, I await the coming season to see how well his feet hold up.

      • Austin New

        I guarantee his feet will be fine. We have never heard anything about his feet being an issue until he became a FA. If it were that big of an issue, we would have talked about it long ago. Not once he deserves above average money.

        • berttheclock

          His feet were an issue after that Super Bowl. His feet were an issue when problems with them reappeared in the Detroit game. The Steelers were concerned about restructuring his contract to reflect those fears;

  • berttheclock

    Matt Williamson, you say. Isn’t he the former Browns scout who “found” Brady Quinn, Tim Couch and Courtney Brown for them?

    • unclejesse40

      haha, street cred destroyed. But at the same time Cleveland is not a situation that I would have wanted to get drafted into. it amazes me how many young QB’s get destroyed by bad organizations. There was a time that I hated guys like Eli Manning for saying that he would never play in San Diego, but if a team like the Browns wanted to draft me, I think I would make up some lame reason to not sign. And now that a QB’s big payday isn’t until after their rookie contract is over, I would only want to sign with certain teams that knew how to develop young QB’s.

      • Rich Cooper

        Wanting to go somewhere and holding the league hostage are 2 different things. Doing that is a total douche move IMO. Still main reason I hate HORSE FACE #1. The league should have told these jerks to go to Canada and let teams that Draft players retain Draft rights until after rookie contract is signed for up to 5 years. Cleveland had to start from scratch in every way except franchise name and records. I think things there could be on the verge of turning around. If he’s there I’m taking Manziel. Playmaker! Second choice Watkins to pair with Gordon and their stud young TE. They’re in a great position in the Draft to get WR, QB and RB in 2 or 3 along with a Tackle at some point. My opinion is Cleveland could be coming back to relevance after 2 decades of hell and destruction.

        • unclejesse40

          Honestly now, do you hate Elway because he did that or because you are a Chiefs fan?

  • Roger Mihalko

    On free agents we lossed… its a forced F. We didn’t have the money, period.

    On the current signings… I would go C-….the focus was a little in the wrong place. The second half of the season they went 2-5….but raised the bar on Offense to 35+ points per game with Receiving corps we have right now.

    The defense is what lost the games… fraking pass rush, safety and cornerback play that was terrible, our strong safety was playing inside linebacker because no one could step up and be a stud across from DJ!

    Going after Sanders made no sense to me, we needed an average to above average starting veteran Free Safety to make this defense whole. At the start of free agency there were in the ballpark of 16 veterans Free safety’s of varying degrees of skill available. We had enough to cap space to target off the bat a decent mid level safety, and we did not do that. We resigned Abdullah and that is fine but he is a backup safety and more inclined to strong safety than free safety. I understand they hope Commings can become the starter but a he is injury prone, and just no guarantee’s.

    After getting a safety and resigning Abdullah, we would have had plenty of cap to fill the DE spot and linebacker.

    We have two seriously talented defenders in DJ and Tamba, but they are long in the tooth. We need both OLB and ILB to work in and get them up to speed for replacement.

    you take F and C- minus and that pulls to a D-, and thats about right. Again over half the grade is forced, had no choice because of cap space.

    The way things sit now, they are goign with hoping commings and abdullah can compete for spot… so might as well focus on O-line and D-line in draft.

    • Daniel Mayfield

      There’s negative crap again! What is it with you “fans” thinking/doubting like that?
      They signed Mays and he was a pretty descent LB. Walker is good, there’s 2 ➕ players. A question for you Roger about Safety position.
      Didn’t Lewis have his injury problems earlier?? So can you see Commings future? Muscle and mind will help him with it….with the way ESPN, and others, say about Dorsey and Reid….they are smart and can BUILD. Which is what Reid likes to do.

      About the OL. They need a different kind of space, besides cap, to protect the QB and make room for the RBs. They started getting higher points later in the league but how can they do that without trying to get a solid OL 1st? If no OL, it’s gonna be 3 and out, like 2 seasons ago, and even if they have the greatest defense….their players are gonna start running on an empty tank.

      OL 1st. They have 1 great WR and few good ones. 1 of the best RB and, IMO, a great backup RB. Most of all, the best QB since they had Montana. Smith is smart and mobile.

      After that, build a solid DL. They already have 3 great LB, 2 high ranked(or use to be)CBs, and 2 great Safetys(free or strong) with Berry and Abdullah. Now with Walker as a DE, thats a ➕ on the DL.

      Losing the OL that we had was a big hit, or it looks that way.
      But enough of the sagging crap. Take it to toilet and flush it! Have FAITH. Reid builds players! That’s what he did with WR Jackson and QB McNabb!! Look how far they went! How long has it been since KC went that far?

      Oh, about Sanders….I think he’s a great player and had great skills. I’m a fan of pittsburgh too. Sanders usually didn’t stay/keep his routes. Since Ben had to be so mobile, Sanders always had to find an open spot. If KC wants the solid OL so Smith don’t have to be to mobile, who says he can keep his routes? Besides, he might have wanted to much.

      I say at least a C➕ or B➖

  • Lyle Graversen

    In terms of “flash” and “media hype” we would get an “F”. Thankfully, that doesn’t mean diddily poo when the games start this fall. I believe we’ll see that Walker was a great signing. I think while Mays may not be any better than Akeem Jordan that his physical nature will add an element of nastiness that was lacking at times since Shaun Smith (DL) left. I think that even if KC starts Abdullah at FS and doesn’t draft anyone at that position that it will still be an upgrade over Lewis. So the question just becomes if the Chiefs can enter camp with a legit #2 WR and a stable offensive line. If KC does all that while having very little cap room to work with I think you have to give Dorsey an “A” based on what he had to work with. It’s hard to compare grades to other teams that had different levels of need and varying amounts of cap space to work with.

    • Ben Nielsen

      “Diddily poo.” Well said, Jim Mora.

  • Robert Williams

    Just my humble opinion but I would have liked to keep Schwartz and make room for it by extending Alex Smith. Otherwise, I trust Dorsey / Reid completely. That Sanders thing stings but getting Lee, Cooks, our Beckham Jr will help. Need a FS.

  • imajayhawker63

    I would say the only of the group that hurt us is Schwartz. There are other fast guys out there other than McCluster. Walker is better than over payed Jackson. Asamoah, either he was hurt or just didn’t play. After the Draft teams will release wide receivers that are better than we have.

  • Ed

    I don’t understand the cap. Some teams are taking a high salary and for example reducing their salary cap and converting it to a bonus. We know Flowers, Berry and Tamba’s salary cap is killing us. Why can we convert some of this pay to bonuses therefore reducing our cap space. Lastly we have to draft a DE with pass rush abilities .

  •'defer='defer upperturion

    The real key to our grade is how well Kush, Commings, Cooper, and Kelce perform. Apparently we have not aggressively pursued certain position players — namely the safeties — b/c mgmt feels like there’s hope on the horizon w/ our current roster… IMO we have broke even at this point; the Jackson, McCluster, and Albert losses will not hurt as much as it would appear on paper. However, losing Jeff Schwartz may. What we do in the draft will ultimately determine this off-season’s success. Barring a scenario where a prized player falls right in our lap at #23 (or wherever we are), I’d prefer we trade-down and attain more picks — this is a very talented draft!

    Also: What may ultimately get us an “A” grade, is picking-up DeSean Jackson. We so desperately need a deep threat WHO CAN CATCH BALLS!!!