After reviewing the Chiefs' 2012 free agents, it's clear there is some talent on this list. When there's talent, there are also bigger salaries those players will demand from season to season. Wideout Dwayne Bowe is obviously the best player on this list, with CB Brandon Carr and QB Kyle Orton not too far behind him, and they could both get paid handsomely if KC decides to re-sign them this offseason. Many of the other players are either role players and will not demand as much money as the previous three.
I have predicted each of the Chiefs' free agents contract value for the '12-13 season below. Remember, this number is just an estimate.
QB Kyle Orton: $8 million (estimated)
Toward the end of last season, the Chiefs signed Orton off waivers from the Broncos and are trying to retain him this offseason. KC won't want to pay him anywhere near the salary it has given Matt Cassel, so I see $8 million as a strong possibility for him.
TE Leonard Pope: $700,000 (estimated)
Last year, Pope made $630,000 for catching just 24 passes and scoring one touchdown all season. If KC decided to bring him back, I don't see him getting much of a pay increase from the Chiefs to be a backup TE to Tony Moeaki next season.
WR Dwayne Bowe: $10 million (estimated)
Right now, it's hard to tell if Bowe will be franchised by the Chiefs, or if they will be able to re-sign him to a long-term deal. If he is tagged, he will likely make more than my estimate, but if he is signed to a bigger contract, I could see the former LSU star getting a four-year deal around $40 million from GM Scott Pioli and Co.
OT Barry Richardson: $1.5 million (estimated)
I see Richardson taking a pay cut this year mainly because he will likely be a backup on this team. Heck, $1.5 million isn't a bad salary for a non-starter.
DE Wallace Gilberry: $1.5 million (estimated)
Gilberry took a big step back last season when he only produced 2.5 sacks from his defensive end position. Suddenly, he is staring at a pay decrease rather than a big payday this offseason if the Chiefs elect to hang on to him.
RB Thomas Jones: $1 million (estimated)
The 33-year-old running back had one of the worst seasons of his NFL career last year and is hardly a serviceable backup these days. If KC retains him, it will be because of his influence in the locker room and he will likely get the ball in only short-yardage situations.
TE Anthony Becht: $925,000 (estimated)
Two years ago, Becht had a salary of nearly $1 million as a member of the Arizona Cardinals. Sadly, he will likely never reach that salary again in the NFL, even if the Chiefs re-sign him and expect him to contribute to their offense next season.
DT Kelly Gregg: $1.5 million (estimated)
Gregg played sparingly as the team's starting defensive tackle last season, but his days as an NFL starter might be over. If KC were to re-sign him, it would be in more of a backup/mentor role.
FB Le'Ron McClain: $2.5 million (estimated)
Last offseason, the Chiefs signed former Baltimore Raven Le'Ron McClain to be their starting fullback. After a solid first year with the team, he is due a bigger payday in 2012, especially since Pro Bowl FBs are at a premium in today's NFL.
WR Jerheme Urban: $810,000 (estimated)
Last year, wideout Jerheme Urban made $640,000 for keeping the bench warm for most of the season. He has never been able to find much playing time as a member of the Chiefs, and his future with this team and as an NFL receiver in severely in jeopardy right now.
S Jon McGraw: $825,000 (estimated)
The former second-round pick made just $810,000 last year as a Chief. With Eric Berry making his return this season, I look for the Chiefs to elect to bring back McGraw, since he will provide depth at the safety position and is still a solid special teams player.
CB Brandon Carr: $10 million (estimated)
Carr is one of the more underrated cornerbacks in the league and has stepped up his overall level of play in each of the past two seasons for KC. Since he plays at a premium position on defense, he could easily be making $10 million next season.
C Casey Wiegmann: $1 million (estimated)
At this point, all signs point to Weigmann retiring later this offseason. If he decides to come back for his 18th NFL season, there's a good chance he would serve as second-year center Rodney Hudson's backup.
RB Jackie Battle: $700,000 (estimated)
Battle got his chance to show the Chiefs that he could be their featured back last season and he didn't deliver. KC could bring him back to use him on special teams and in a limited role on offense for the '12 season if Battle agrees to it.
CB Reshard Langford: $625,000 (estimated)
Langford did not earn much of his $480,000 salary last season when he was getting beat in coverage and not making any plays on defense for the Chiefs. If KC were to bring him back, it would certainly be for around the league minimum.
LB Jovan Belcher: $700,000 (estimated)
Similar to other Chiefs' free agents on this list, I believe Belcher will be brought back for depth purposes. The only reason why I see his contract amount going up is because he had one of the smallest salaries on Kansas City's roster last season, and I still see him contributing to the team in some capacity in 2012.