Dec 7, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Donald Stephenson (79) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Chiefs 17-14. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Allen, offensive lineman: Andy Reid stated earlier this offseason that Allen would be “in the mix” at guard and tackle. Thus far that has held true, but you have to wonder what Kansas City will do with Allen if he can’t earn a starting spot. Does Allen offer more value as a backup, in the compensatory pick formula, or as a trade piece? Two years of starting experience makes Allen tradeable to a team that doesn’t like its own options.
Donald Stephenson, offensive lineman: Like Allen, Stephenson could find himself on the outside looking in when it comes to a starting position. Stephenson and Allen are the last holdovers from the offensive line that Scott Pioli brought to Kansas City, so there aren’t any strong ties with the current regime. And after a stint in the doghouse last year, it’s not hard to imagine that the Chiefs would be willing to deal Stephenson.
Knile Davis, running back: Having a running back like Jamaal Charles doesn’t open up many opportunities for the guys on the depth chart. Davis has flashed some big-play potential, though mostly on special teams, which may make him an attractive addition for a team looking for help in the running game.
Cyrus Gray, running back: Gray doesn’t have the same trade weight that Davis would, but he could certainly be an attractive option for any team looking for special teams help. The fourth-year running back has never made much of a splash on offense, so ultimately his value to the Chiefs is fairly limited and should be replaceable.
Junior Hemingway, wide receiver: Much like Cyrus Gray, Hemingway offers value as a special teams player. His offensive value is limited, at best, but he’s been one of the better punt-coverage players in the league. A team that has been getting crushed in the field-position battle will certainly appreciate that.
Frankie Hammond, wide receiver: Hammond flashed early on last year as a punt returner, but eventually lost the job to De’Anthony Thomas. It was an expected change, but it still leaves Hammond on the roster bubble and unlikely to make the team this year. His return ability could attract a team that is uncertain about what they have in that department.
Chase Daniel, quarterback: It is looking more and more like the Chiefs intend to keep Daniel for the 2015 season. The quarterback situation behind Alex Smith is…murky. Kansas City drafted the once highly-regarded Aaron Murray in 2014, but as of yet he has not been able to supplant Daniel as the primary backup. If Murray can take that role this year, Daniel becomes trade bait.
Josh Martin, linebacker: The Chiefs are stacked at outside linebacker. To the point that at a quality veteran like Frank Zombo might not even make the team. And Martin, who has flashed talent, may never get a chance to show what he can do. If Kansas City can find a team needing a pass rush, they can sell Martin as untapped potential. That could net a late-round pick or a depth option at a position where we need more help. Martin is also considered a top special teams player, which adds to his value.
Justin Houston, pass rusher: Well, here is the elephant in the room. While I fully expect the Chiefs to sign Justin Houston by the July 15th deadline, there is still the slight possibility that a contract is impossible, and the Kansas City front office has to explore its trade options. Houston would obviously net a huge haul for the Chiefs, but it’s hard to imagine that anything they could acquire in a trade would be worth more than the league’s top pass rusher coming into his prime.
Kansas City definitely has pieces they can move, as this doesn’t even include draft picks. But as the saying goes: “It takes two to tango.” None of the Chiefs’ trade options matter unless there is a team willing to go along with it. So who might those teams be?
Next: Potential trading partners...