Either the Kansas City Chiefs will be running a lot of two tight end sets or someone is going to be very unhappy with their role during the 2012 season.
Tony Moeaki missed all of last year after tearing his ACL in the preseason, magnifying concerns that he was injury-prone coming out of college.
Although Moeaki expects to be ready for camp, the Chiefs have been very proactive in adding depth to the tight end position.
Having already signed Kevin Boss and Martin Rucker—and with Jake O’Connell and Moeaki as roster holdovers—the Chiefs also are said to be the favorites to sign former Indianapolis Colt Dallas Clark after a visit with the team.
It isn’t uncommon for organizations to bring in multiple players at a position. Healthy competition anywhere on the field is good for any team or player to better prepare for the season. Certain players battling for one spot usually bring something different to the table.
But in the case of Moeaki, Boss and potentially Clark, these players couldn’t be more similar—pass-catching threats with blocking ability that is average at best.
Clark is the more accomplished throughout his career, but neither of these three would see time on special times, where the second- and third-string tight ends usually get most of their playing time. This is why it seems a lock that O’Connell retains his spot, and a guy like Rucker could also elbow his way onto the roster.
Scott Pioli should be applauded for being proactive in adding depth this offseason. The lack thereof ruined the Chiefs’ 2011 season, and a repeat of that would cripple the organization and its fanbase.
However, unless there is worry that Moeaki might not be able to hold up to the rigors of the NFL, it seems the extra money would be better spent on a position with less depth or greater impact to the outcome of games.
If the Chiefs don’t end up signing Clark, all of this concern is for naught. But even bringing him in for a visit after having already signed Boss and showing added interest in other players at the position is reason to raise questions about Moeaki’s availability for the 2012 season.