Here’s a concluding look at our week-long series looking at former Kansas City Chiefs still waiting their turn for employment in free agency.
All throughout this week, we’ve been taking a look at some of the remaining free agents on the open market who spent time with the Kansas City Chiefs just last season. Our primary question was simple: is the NFL going to come calling again for any of them?
The question doesn’t have obvious answers for any of the players we looked at. Despite obvious talent, the market hasn’t told any of them that they are valued for what they can bring to the field in the present despite what they’ve showed in the past. They’re still waiting now well into July and the NFL is a young man’s game.
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Still, the NFL season is a long one and many of these players have been here before. They know teams want to get a good long look at young players before giving up on them for a known quantity. They know that injuries and fatigue will take their inevitable toll on each franchise, forcing them to shuffle finances and roster pieces at unexpected moments. They know that if they remain interested in the league, the league could remain interested in them at any given moment.
Here’s a rundown of our coverage this week with links to in-depth profiles and the remaining cases in free agency we didn’t get to dissect.
This is the biggest question of all. Berry has a Hall of Fame case to make even with lost seasons due to injury and he’s one of the NFL’s most recognizable stars even having been largely out of the game for the last two years. Can he get healthy enough to make a real impact? If so, will it be for the Dallas Cowboys?
The wide receiver has never blossomed into a true offensive weapon as anticipated and another leg fracture mixed with a likely suspension coming for a marijuana arrest in January should be enough strikes for players on the fringe. But he’s a coaching favorite as a special teams performer, one Dave Toub said was pound for pound the toughest player on the Chiefs roster. That sort of grit always finds a job.
Speaking of grit and other intangibles that keep a player employed, we took a look at the case of outside linebacker Frank Zombo. Given that he played only a few games last year and that the familiarity of the Chiefs is now completely gone, it might be tough for the veteran linebacker to find meaningful work.
Despite what you might think of how the Scandrick experiment worked out (or did not) last year at cornerback for the Chiefs, Scandrick’s metrics actually showed that there’s enough left in the tank to help a team in pass coverage. In today’s NFL, someone should come calling for the longtime Cowboy for at least one more year, if he’s interested.
The Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons have all been interested at one point or another, and Bailey has visited every team on the list. The Chiefs were also rumored to be interested in potentially bringing him back, although that bridge seems to be burned now with the depth of the position post-draft. That said, it’s an odd case filled with interest for a player still left available.
In a league hurting for offensive line talent, it’s a bit surprising that a still young and versatile product like Jeff Allen is waiting for someone to call his name. Perhaps the Chiefs will be that team depending on how a player like Jimmy Murray looks in the preseason.
Other names who are waiting their turn in free agency include linebacker Terrance Smith, running back Charcandrick West, tight end Alex Ellis, defensive back Step Durham, safety Ron Parker and wide receivers Kelvin Benjamin and Sammie Coates.