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I mentioned this in my recent article following Stanford Routt's signing, but it bears repeating.
While Scott Pioli came out saying the Chiefs would like to bring back both Brandon Carr and Dwayne Bowe, the truth of the matter is that Kansas City's secondary would be very crowded.
Keeping Carr would edge Javier Arenas to the fourth cornerback position and severely limit his playing time. Plus, even with their reported $37 million in cap room prior to signing Routt, the Chiefs can't afford to invest that heavily in their secondary long-term. Carr will command at least $7 million per year on his new contract, and likely much more.
Meanwhile, Bowe is the top unrestricted free agent option at wide receiver; Pioli's efforts to upgrade the wideout position last year with Jonathan Baldwin and Steve Breaston would take a major step back were Bowe and Kansas City to part ways.
The solution starts out simply enough: franchise Bowe and Carr gets a large contract with a new team.
But what if the Chiefs can hammer out a contract with Bowe before the franchise tag deadline? Kansas City can then franchise Carr and trade him to a team hungry for a serious upgrade to their secondary.
The best situation here would be to trade Carr for one of New England's late first-round picks, though Dallas could be another interested party with at least the mid-second-round pick.
If Kansas City could land the Patriots' first-rounder, they could jump into the game of trading down each year. A team like the Redskins or Dolphins could be interested in trading back into the first round for a quarterback and be willing to trade off their second-round pick this year and a first next year to make it happen.
Banking picks like this is a key reason New England stayed competitive for so long; it's one part of the Patriots model the Chiefs have yet to adopt but very much need to.