Kansas City Chiefs Free Agency 2012: Why the Chiefs Need RT Eric Winston

Bill RobbinsCorrespondent IMarch 14, 2012

HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 26:  Tackle Eric Winston #73 of the Houston Texans locks up with defensive end Jason Hatcher #97 of the Dallas Cowboys during the fourth quarter at Reliant Stadium on September 26, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

When the Houston Texans released starting right tackle Eric Winston earlier this week, it came as a shock to everyone around the league.

Although his release still seems puzzling to many, he was likely let go to help clear up some cap room for the Texans this year.

With several teams lacking solid right tackles to anchor their OL, Winston has become one of the hottest free-agent names over the past few days.

One of those teams that has already shown interest in him is the Kansas City Chiefs.

In fact, KC has already invited the ex-Texan in for a visit on Wednesday, in hope of signing the talented tackle.

This just happens to be a position of need for the Chiefs, as it was arguably their most glaring hole on their entire roster last season.

Adding Winston would be a major upgrade over last year's starter Barry Richardson, which would further solidify the right side of Kansas City's offensive line for next season and beyond.

He is good in pass protection and also excels as a run blocker, which would really help this team out in both areas.

Not only would he give the right side of KC's offensive line some stability, but his addition would also give the Chiefs two legitimate bookend tackles in Winston and left tackle Branden Albert.

KC hasn't had something like this for a long, long time.

Plus, if the Chiefs can land Winston, it would give them more flexibility in the draft, as they wouldn't have to select a RT in the early rounds on draft day.

With the FA market for tackles looking very weak this year, Winston has to be signed by the Chiefs as soon as possible.

If KC can acquire the six-year vet, it could easily wind up being one of their best FA signings that they make this year.