Chiefs offseason: Who will return?

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Nov 15, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) fumbles the ball under pressure from Kansas City Chiefs nose tackle Jaye Howard (96) during the first half at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Mike DeVito and Jaye Howard: Their returns will be very much contingent upon what happens to the other player. The Chiefs already have Bailey signed to a nice extension, and Dontari Poe is set to be a free agent after the 2016 season, so the Chiefs plan at defensive line will be dictated, to some degree, by what happens this offseason. Howard is an under-the-radar type guy that could land a big contract this offseason, while DeVito probably comes much cheaper. Of course, there is a difference between the performance and production of both guys.

Eric Berry: Not only is his story great, but his play is at it’s best level in years. However, teams can’t be emotional when it comes to players and contracts. Berry’s contract demands and contract options will play a large part in what his future holds. Would the Chiefs pay Berry big dollars at the expense of bringing back either Smith or Howard?

Jamell Flemming and Marcus Cooper: At one time in the past couple years, both players were considered nice finds by this staff and then immediately their play has dropped off to the point both have spent games as healthy scratches. While neither’s play has shown to be very good defensively, they can play special teams and would likely be cheap to bring back on short-term deals. It would not surprise if one of them comes back, especially with questions with Smith’s contract and Phillip Gaines’ recovery from knee surgery.

Nick Williams/Dezmon Moses/Frank Zombo: All of their futures are dependent to a degree on the decisions made on aforementioned players. Williams is likely back as a valuable role player along the defensive line, Zombo and Moses are valuable linebacker depth and Zombo is a solid special teams player. However, if big contracts are handed out, the Chiefs will have to find cheaper alternatives in terms of depth.

Most likely to return…

Jeff Allen: He’s extremely valuable, able to play any position along the line not known as left tackle. Allen likely won’t be super expensive, and could bring some continuity to the line, something that’s been sorely lacking and has contributed to the lines struggles.