The Kansas City Chiefs have a lot of impending free agents. Much of them are on the defensive side of the ball, including crucial players like Sean Smith, Eric Berry and Derrick Johnson. However, one free agent who could be set to leave on the offensive side of the ball is as important as any of them. That man is Jeff Allen, and his re-signing should be prioritized by John Dorsey and the Chiefs.
I, like many others, have been banging on about the importance of a good offensive line. It was a huge weakness two seasons ago when Mike McGlynn performed so impressively badly, and this season, while it was much improved from a year previous, it wasn’t exactly a strength. The line improved as the year progressed with train wrecks such as Donald Stephenson departing and other players in the form of Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Allen.
The improvement was one of the joys of the season, especially in the 11-game winning streak without star man Jamaal Charles. Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware deserve great credit for their performances in the latter half of the year. However, the offensive line were excellent in the run game during that span.
Ware and West enjoyed much of their success through some wonderful holes being opened up by the likes of Eric Fisher, LDT and Allen. For this Chiefs’ offense, the run game is absolutely vital. This all starts up front. It is also where Allen really comes into his own. When at tackle, his feet are too slow and he struggles to contain quicker pass rushers.
However, inside at guard, he is able to utilize his upper-body strength, demonstrating considerable power in opening up running holes. This is crucial for Kansas City’s offense and is why Jeff Allen should be prioritized this off season.
Once again, the offensive line needs to be bolstered over the next few months. That may come through free agency, that may come through the draft (look at Lyle Graveson’s excellent write up from Monday morning on possible offensive line draft options). What it definitely does not mean, though, is losing one of your better performers.
Allen is certainly one of those better performers. He brings a nastiness to the line that is most necessary. He is a bully in the run game, sufficient in pass protection and also brings a versatility that Andy Reid is clearly a fan of.
Having said this, he is clearly looking to be paid. His performances this past half a year merit a good pay day, and whether Dorsey is willing to do so is yet to be seen. I am saying that not only does Allen deserve to be paid, but the Chiefs should be the team to do so.
Over the next few months many Chiefs’ writers, me included, will be focusing in on the offensive line and the needed improvements for the coming season if Kansas City are going to elevate themselves to legit Super Bowl contenders. Letting Allen go would be the exact opposite of what needs to happen. He should be re-signed to a long term deal. Whether Dorsey agrees or not is a different question altogether.
Do you agree, Addicts? Let me know in the comments below, and as always… GO CHIEFS!!