The Chiefs Kingdom was set a blaze on Sunday evening as word spread that Kansas City would be signing free agent wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. As I type this Sunday evening the terms of the deal have yet to be announced. In the interest of full disclosure, this is my second attempt at a column for Monday morning. My first was a piece explaining why Chiefs fans shouldn’t be upset that the Chiefs haven’t made any big splash moves in the first weekend of free agency negotiations. Obviously after the Maclin news broke that piece became obsolete. Those that know my regular Chiefs blogging know that I’m usually a “glass half full” Chiefs fan (or flat out “homer” depending on who you talk to), so most are probably expecting me to be singing from the mountain tops about the Maclin signing. The truth is that I actually have some concerns about if this is the best move for KC.
Let me explain…..
First, let me start by saying that my concerns actually have nothing to do with Jeremy Maclin. I think Maclin is exactly the type of WR that the Chiefs need. He is a proven and highly productive WR that already knows Andy Reid’s system. He has the route running and separation skills that the Chiefs have so desperately needed since they implemented Andy Reid’s west coast offense. It had become crystal clear that Dwayne Bowe was not cut out to be a number one WR in this offense. The Chiefs now have a WR that can fill that role and that is definitely a good thing.
So if I feel that way why do I have concerns about this move?
The answer revolves around the same topic that I’ve been preaching about all offseason, the offensive line.
Those of you that have read my Monday ramblings since the season ended know that I have placed fixing the offensive line as the primary priority, even above upgrading the WR position. My belief continues to be that without a solid offensive line the Chiefs won’t be able to establish a dominant run game (even with the immensely talented Jamaal Charles) and won’t be able to give Alex Smith the time he needs in the pocket to be successful (regardless of who is playing WR). I don’t want to get into another Alex Smith debate, but I do want to make my feeling clear because it is the centerpiece of my belief that the OL is the most important position to address. I believe that the Chiefs can win with Alex Smith if they build a team around him that fits his skill set. Smith is “jumpy” in the pocket and if he doesn’t trust his protection he drops his eyes and scrambles.
Therefore, if the Chiefs want to get the most out of the big dollars they paid Smith they have to provide him with a line that he trusts so that he’ll stay put, keep his eyes downfield, and hit his WRs. Could Jeremy Maclin turn out to be a great target for him to hit? Sure, but if the OL doesn’t get addressed we may never get to find out.
I believe that Alex Smith can QB a playoff caliber team.
I believe that Jeremy Maclin could be a great WR for the Chiefs.
I simply believe that the only way either of those things can happen is if the Chiefs have an OL that can give them both time to do their jobs. That didn’t happen last season and I’m not a believer that all they need is a little more time to develop. They need to upgrade the talent on the offensive line and I worry that between Justin Houston and Jeremy Maclin there may not be enough money left over to add a lot of talent to the offensive line. Just last week I wrote an entire piece about why re-signing Rodney Hudson was essential for KC. I still believe that.
So here’s what it comes down to for me. If John Dorsey can continue to work some magic and is able to bolster the offensive line then I will be 100% on board with the Maclin signing. However, if signing Maclin means that the OL gets patched up with a few veteran minimum signings and a role of duct tape then my feelings will be that this signing may have been a mistake (despite Maclin’s abilities). So for the mean time the Maclin signing gets an incomplete for this Chiefs fan. I like the player, but as long as I have strong concerns about the offensive line I fear that his talents could be wasted.
My fingers are crossed that Monday brings news of a Rodney Hudson deal.
What do you think Addicts? Am I raining on your free agency excitement parade? Am I just being negative? Do you think signing Maclin was more important than addressing the offensive line? Can the Chiefs come up with enough money to do both? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Two other quick thoughts:
1. Tamba Hali restructuring for less money pretty much cements his place as one of my favorite Chiefs players of all time. Hali is a shining example of what hard work and a great attitude look like and as much as I will love seeing him on the field this season, I love that he’ll be around to set an example for younger players even more. You’re the man Tamba!
2. This week’s post is officially my 300th for Arrowhead Addict. I can’t believe it’s been that long and I can’t believe that they keep bringing me back each week to write more. I want to especially thank Patrick Allen for brining me aboard as well as all the other staff here at AA that make this such a fun place for me to spew my Chiefs related thoughts out every week. Most of all, thanks to all of you that actually show up to read it. Here’s hoping I’m around for 300 more!
Sorry this was a little short this week, but I’m worried if I go much longer John Dorsey will make another move that will make this post obsolete as well and I just don’t have it in me to write a third one!
As always, thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!!!!!!!!!!!!!