Dontari Poe – DT: There is no doubt that Poe is a budding superstar in the NFL. However, there are some red flags due to his back problems this early in his career. Back issues are often recurring for linemen, and very difficult to overcome. Let’s face it, that’s a lot of weight to be throwing around. However, the real key here is what the Chiefs think of Jaye Howard. If the team decides to keep Howard, then Poe may be seen as a better bartering chip than producer on the field. It would be a tough decision, but you can be sure the Chiefs would get big value for him.
Replacement: Jaye Howard
Salary Cap Savings: $6.1 million
Value: 1st rd pick
Jamaal Charles – RB: Most of us were pretty convinced the season was over when Jamaal Charles went down. Instead, the Chiefs decided to simply become one of the best running teams in the NFL and rip off 11 straight wins. Sans Charles, the Chiefs finished sixth in rushing, third in yards per attempt, and tied for first in rushing TDs…and with better numbers than last year. On top of that, you have Charles coming off of his second ACL injury, and set to turn the dreaded 30 years old next season.
Replacement: Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware
Salary Cap Savings: $5.3 million
Value: Late 3rd/Early 4th rd pick
Knile Davis – RB: This one should actually be a simple enough move. If the Chiefs get any kind of offer at all, take it. Obviously the big target here is Dallas as Jerry Jones has an affinity for Arkansas Running Backs. The value for Davis isn’t great as a Running Back, but it gets a boost by his ability as a Kick Returner. That is what most teams will be thinking of him as. As far as his value to the Chiefs…it’s largely been replaced already by Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware in the backfield, and Chris Conley has been lined up to return kicks.
Replacement: Charcandrick West/Spencer Ware and Chris Conley
Salary Cap Savings: $700k
Value: 5th/6th rd pick
Anthony Sherman – FB: There were a lot of doubters when the Chiefs traded fan favorite Javier Arenas to the Cardinals for a fullback that most had never even heard of. A couple years later, The Sherman Tank has become a fan favorite in his own right. He is undoubtedly the best lead blocker in the NFL, however that position is quickly dying out. Kansas City is one of the few teams that still even employs a fullback, but even the Chiefs use that player sparingly. Anthony Sherman was generally on the field for only about 25% of the Chiefs offensive snaps. While there is no doubt that he was valuable on those snaps, it does beg the question of whether or not the Chiefs are getting enough out of him.
Replacement: Spencer Ware or None Needed
Salary Cap Savings: $1 million
Value: 6th rd pick
Ben Grubbs – OG: A lot of this may come down to whether or not the Chiefs can re-sign Jeff Allen. There is little doubt that Allen outplayed Grubbs at Left Guard this year. Grubbs is on the wrong side of 30 and now dealing with a neck injury. As for his talent, he’s always been a premier run blocker, but little more than adequate as a pass blocker. The Chiefs are still a running team, but it is clear that they intend to keep developing their passing attack. That’s an area that Grubbs could stunt the growth of the team.
Replacement: Jeff Allen
Salary Cap Savings: $2.1 million
Value: 6th rd pick
There are certainly other possibilities, as the Chiefs often swap around bottom of the roster players. However, it’s far too speculative to even guess what kind of value could be gotten back on those kinds of players. Plus, those kinds of trades generally only happen after the draft during Training Camp. But with an understanding of where the Chiefs currently stand on draft picks, and how they might improve that footing, it’s time to take a look at where to use those picks…
Next: Looking at the Offensive Backfield