2012 Chiefs Free Agency Preview: Why KC Must Aggressively Pursue These 8 Players
The 2012 NFL free agency period is almost here.
It is less than two days away, which means that it's time to preview who the Kansas City Chiefs must pursue this year.
With roughly $37 million of cap room at their disposal, the Chiefs will have more than enough money to spend when free agency begins on Tuesday.
RB Mike Tolbert
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One of the biggest needs for the Chiefs heading into this offseason is at backup running back.
San Diego's Mike Tolbert could be that man for KC in 2012.
Last season, he had over 900 yards from scrimmage, including 10 touchdowns, with eight of those being rushing TDs for the Chargers offense.
He would be able to spell Pro Bowl RB Jamaal Charles in not only short yardage, but goal-line situations as well.
RB Michael Bush
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Another free-agent RB target that the Chiefs need to target is Oakland's Michael Bush.
Bush enjoyed a career-year last season when he rushed for nearly 1,000 yards and scored eight touchdowns after starting running back Darren McFadden went down with a foot injury.
Similar to Tolbert, he is solid in short-yardage situations and near the goal line, which is exactly the type of back that KC needs in their offense right now.
If Kansas City can land him, they would have one of the best one-two punches in the league at running back with Charles and Bush.
TE Dallas Clark
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When the Indianapolis Colts decided to cut ties with veteran tight end Dallas Clark last Friday, he suddenly became the newest FA target for the Chiefs this offseason.
Adding Clark to this team would bring a new dimension to this offense that hasn't existed in the past.
KC would then have two reliable pass-catching TEs in Clark and second-year man Tony Moeaki for next season.
Especially with the injury concerns that Moeaki brings to the table, it wouldn't hurt for Kansas City to bring in another weapon for their passing game.
LG Carl Nicks
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Recently, I did a piece on why FA Carl Nicks would look good in Kansas City.
Nicks is arguably the best guard on the free-agent market this year.
He is solid in both run blocking and pass protection as he has used his 6'5", 343-pound frame very well to shield off defenders during his pro career.
In order to land Nicks, the Chiefs need to be willing to shell out some big bucks for the talented 26-year-old guard.
LG Ben Grubbs
If KC can't afford Nicks, ex-Ravens guard Ben Grubbs would be a great option for left guard as well.
The Columbus, Ga. native would be a great addition to this offensive line, as he would really improving the Chiefs ground game with his excellent run-blocking skills.
After being named to his first Pro Bowl last season, he will likely be looking for a bigger payday somewhere other than Baltimore, assuming that they won't be able to retain his services.
I expect to see Kansas City make a strong push for Grubbs in free agency this year.
DT Paul Soliai
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With the cupboard looking pretty bare for free agent 3-4 defensive tackles, former Dolphin Paul Soliai should stick out to the Chiefs the most this offseason.
Soliai could come in and start right way for this KC defense in 2012.
However, like many of the FAs on this list, he could come at a high cost.
With nose tackle being such a premium position in this league today, the Chiefs must do everything they can to acquire Soliai once the free-agent period begins on March 13th.
DT Shaun Rogers
Former Lion and Saint Shaun Rogers will be hitting the open market once again this year.
This will be the second straight year that Rogers will be a free agent, but will Kansas City be able to reel him in this time?
New Orleans was able to sign him for $4 million last season, which might be too much money in 2012 for a 32-year-old DT who will be entering his 12th year in the league.
Either way, he knows head coach Romeo Crennel's defensive system after playing for him in Cleveland and is someone that the Chiefs need to strongly consider this offseason because of the veteran experience that he brings at that spot on the field.
ILB Jameel McClain
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Inside linebacker Jameel McClain is the second and final Ravens free agent that I think the Chiefs must aggressively pursue this offseason.
He would be an upgrade over current KC starting ILB Jovan Belcher, and is the thumper that Kansas City's linebacking corps needs right now.
Last year, he made $1.9 million and the Chiefs would have to be willing to pay at least that much if they want him to be in the Red and Gold next season.