NFL Free Agents 2012: Eric Winston and the Chiefs Would Be a Perfect Match

Cian FaheyFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2012

HOUSTON - OCTOBER 09: Tackle Eric Winston #73 of the Houston Texans and dfefensive end Trevor Scott #91 of the Oakland Raiders lockup on the line of scrimmage at Reliant Stadium on October 9, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Kansas City Chiefs fans should be delighted to read that former Houston Texans starting right tackle Eric Winston canceled his visit to the St. Louis Rams on Friday to instead stay in Kansas City.

While the Rams—and every team—would be upgraded by the addition of Winston, who is the best right tackle in the NFL, the Chiefs would be his perfect home.

Winston appears to want to sign for the Chiefs after tweeting an, albeit subtle, hint of his desire to do so:

"Im wearing a Red Polo to my visit in KC today. Is that a little too obvious? "

Even if wearing red doesn't help him, the Chiefs will want Winston for his outstanding play on the field. As a run blocker, Winston was a vital cog of the Texans offensive line over the past few years which excelled for Arian Foster.

The Chiefs also have a star running back who could highlight Winston's level of play with his explosive running. Fortunately for the Chiefs, they were in the market for a new right tackle even prior to Winston's shocking release.

What makes Winston such a valuable target for the Chiefs is not just his run-blocking ability, but his all-around game as a pass protector.

There are plenty of right tackles in the NFL who can blow defenders off the line of scrimmage in the running game or shut down the pass-rushers who look to overwhelm them. However, there are very few who combine both skill-sets.

Unlike Carl Nicks, who is a guard that shares a similar all-around game to Winston, if Winston signs with the Chiefs, he won't be moving into an offense that will fail to highlight all of his skills. With the Chiefs, Winston will be able to show off as a run blocker because defense-inclined head coach Romeo Crennel will obviously understand the value of running the football.

After signing Peyton Hillis and a second tight end, all the tools are in place for the Chiefs to have one of the best rushing attacks in the NFL next year.

Much like the Texans though, the Chiefs will also be more than capable of passing their way to victory. While Matt Cassel may not be on the level of Matt Schaub, the Chiefs' receiving talent surpasses the Texans' as a team while Cassel is good enough to allow them to impact football games on a regular basis.

Winston is a six-year veteran, but is still only 28 years of age. Whether he is motivated by money or by winning a championship, the Chiefs can offer him both. The Chiefs are a talented team missing only a few pieces to move them into Super Bowl contention.

Winston would be the first of those pieces.