First, the Chiefs must re-sign Eric Berry. That is a given. However, I’m not even counting that as the Chiefs biggest offseason free agent move. After signing Berry, they should then have room to bring back DJ and Hali. I’d also like to see them bring back Husain Abdullah and Dezman Moses too. It’s time to see if Aaron Murray or Tyler Bray can serve as suitable backups to Alex Smith so Chase Daniel will most likely walk because he’d cost too much to return.
Mike DeVito, Donald Stephenson, Jason Avant, Jamell Fleming, Frank Zombo and Jaye Howard… should all be allowed to walk. That should also net a couple of compensatory picks in the 2017 draft.
S Tyvon Branch is a favorite of mine and I hope they can fit him in under the cap for another year. Last year he cost $870,000 with a $200,000 signing bonus. If he’s willing to redo that deal, I hope it can get done. He was personally motivated to join the Chiefs last year and hopefully he still feels the same way.
That being said, there’s one more giant puzzle piece of a question mark, which is OL Jeff Allen. Up until this season Allen has been ranked in the bottom 4th of all offensive linemen in the league for his play by ProFootballFocus. However, this year, he not only improved dramatically, he played well from different positions. In the game against the Detroit Lions PFF gave Allen a +5.1 rating, which is a huge plus-sized rating for one game. At the end of November, www.TodaysPigskin.com published a piece called, “Jeff Alen is anchoring the Chiefs OL and deserves an extentsion” where author Sam Robinson said,
"“… Allen’s versatility saved a previously inept-looking Kansas City offensive line, and the Chiefs are unbeaten now that he’s in the starting lineup again. The powerful player who’s started at right tackle and left guard this season after overcoming two significant injuries is playing like the best lineman the Chiefs have. Showcasing formidable strength as a run-blocker, Allen has stabilized a guard spot that was the NFL’s worst last season.”"
Jeff Allen’s problem with returning to the Chiefs is that he no longer wants to play musical chairs and you know how coach Reid likes to pull the chairs out from under his OL’s behinds. If Reid and Allen can make sweet music by Reid promising to give him his own chair at the music fest, then Allen could return for an encore.
I believe Allen can develop into one of the league’s best… given a permanent position along the line. The problem is that he may be the odd man out who the Chiefs can’t afford, especially if he decides to go Dabbing for Dollars.
So, the Chiefs 2016 offseason puzzle could end up looking like this:
1. Re-sign S Eric Berry then franchise tag CB Sean Smith and keep him from going to free agency.
2. Draft an OL in the 1st Round- OT Jack Conklin or OT Taylor Decker (trade a 4th or 5th to move up if necessary)
3. Draft a DL in the 2nd Round- DT Sheldon Rankins or DT Sheldon Day or DT Vernon Butler
4. Draft a WR in the 3rd Round- WR Sterling Shepard or WR Leonte Carroo or WR Braxton Miller or WR Roger Lewis (Lewis could also be there in the 4th round)
Then again, if Dorsey wants to re-sign DT Jaye Howard and send CB Sean Smith packing, then maybe the first round pick is all about a cornerback. The problem then becomes the availability of a high quality offensive linemen outside of the first round. That’s why the scenario above is my first choice.
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Here’s Miami (FL) prospect
CB Artie Burns’ Interception Highlights (1:25)
. Burns is 6-foot-0, 193 lbs.. He had 6 interceptions in 12 games in 2015. He likes to play off man coverage while peeking at the QB, perhpas a little too often. He’s an athletic corner with long arms who could help the Chiefs if they decide to allow Sean Smith to moonwalk. For more on Artie
There you have it Addict fans: John Dorsey’s puzzle solved… well, kind of. So, tell me, who would be in your fab four? And don’t say John, Paul, George and Ringo!