Kansas City Chiefs: 6 Best and Worst Moves of the 2012 Offseason
At face value, Kansas City Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli has done a remarkable job this offseason of adding potential starters, depth and role players at key spots on the roster.
However, while everyone in and around the organization is excited for the upcoming season, some of the Chiefs’ offseason moves left some scratching their heads, while others felt they could have done more to further increase their chances of taking back the AFC West title.
Here are the three best and three worst moves made this offseason by the Chiefs.
Good: Showing Interest in Peyton Manning
This is a make-or-break year for Matt Cassel as the starting quarterback for the Chiefs. If this season ends in failure, the team will need to continue to be proactive in finding its franchise leader.
Showing interest in Manning demonstrated that the organization is willing to go out on a limb and isn't sedentary with any position on the roster.
Bad: Not Making Dwayne Bowe a Priority
While there doesn't seem to be anything irregular about Dwayne Bowe's current contract situation, the Kansas City Chiefs are playing with fire by not making a long-term deal a priority with their No. 1 wide receiver.
The Chiefs seem to have put a premium on bringing in quality receivers over the last few years, either through free agency or the NFL draft, signing Steve Breaston prior to the 2011 season and drafting Jon Baldwin, Devon Wylie and Junior Hemingway in the past two drafts.
However, Bowe gives Kansas City a legitimate receiving threat that opens up more opportunities for others around him.
If this contract situation lingers and Bowe somehow misses part of the 2012 season, opposing defenses will be able to shift their focus towards on stopping the Chiefs' rushing attack.
Better: Signing Romeo Crennel as Head Coach
Todd Haley was fired as head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs prior to Week 15 of last season. Romeo Crennel was tagged as the interim coach and managed to finish the season with a 2-1 record, including a 19-14 victory over the then-undefeated Green Bay Packers in his first game.
Crennel has since been given the full-time post with the Chiefs, a decision that has been embraced by the players.
This signing should indicate a shift in philosophy, putting a premium on running the football and playing defense, something Chiefs' fans saw in the 1990s when the franchise was a more consistent playoff contender.
Worse: Using First-Round Pick on Dontari Poe
The most apparent need for the Kansas City Chiefs heading into the 2012 NFL draft was at defensive tackle. The position wasn't necessarily deep, but one name that continued to show up on draft boards was Dontari Poe.
Poe became known for his amazing showing at the NFL combine, but teams started backing off the initial buzz because he was considered too much of a project. The Chiefs were undeterred by the chatter, selecting Poe with the 11th overall pick.
Kudos to the Chiefs for filling a need, but with them being so close to being a premier team in the NFL, a safer pick might have been the better route to take.
Best: Signing Eric Winston at Right Tackle
The biggest need for the Kansas City Chiefs this offseason was at right tackle. Barry Richardson wasn't providing the consistency needed for the team to excel in the trenches, so Scott Pioli went out and brought in the best available option at the position.
Enter former Houston Texan Eric Winston.
The addition of Winston will provide stability across the offensive line, something the Chiefs haven't had since Will Shields, Willie Roaf and Brian Waters last decade.
The move will help better protect quarterback Matt Cassel and get the rushing attack back to being tops in the league.
Worst: Passing on Offensive Guard David DeCastro
The safer pick referred to in the "worse" slide was former Stanford offensive guard David DeCastro.
While it was a surprise to most that DeCastro fell all the way to the Pittsburgh Steelers at the 24th pick, Chiefs' fans would have been thrilled to hear his named called when their turn came around at pick No. 11.
There may have been greater needs at other positions, but having quite possibly the safest pick in the draft join Branden Albert and Eric Winston across the Chiefs' offensive line could have set this team up for the next decade.
If Dontari Poe turns out to be the answer at nose tackle for the Chiefs, not having DeCastro could be irrelevant. However, the history of this team should have had all signs pointing away from the project defensive tackle and toward the sure thing in the middle of the offensive line.