2013 Free Agency Targets: Who Should Be on Kansas City Chiefs' Radar?
The Chiefs fell dramatically short of expectations last season, and they are a team that could be in the hunt for some big-name free agents in 2013.
Kansas City is usually a franchise that shops in the bargain bin, but general manager Scott Pioli proved during this offseason that he is not afraid to make big-money moves to improve his team.
Pioli got one of the premier tackles in football when he signed Eric Winston, and he also added guys like Peyton Hillis and Kevin Boss to the mix as well.
They have been sitting on a decent amount of cap space in recent years, so it wouldn't be shocking to see owner Clark Hunt make a splash next March.
The free-agent market could change remarkably before 2013 depending on what happens in this NFL year, but here are some targets that the Chiefs should go after next offseason.
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Drew Brees in Kansas City is a real pipe dream, but crazier things have happened in NFL free agency.
There is a premium on the quarterback position in the league right now. In order to win, teams need elite signal-callers at the helm.
There is a mild crisis happening in New Orleans, and the Saints are desperate to re-establish their credibility after the bounty scandal rocked their franchise a few months ago.
The question still remains, though, if Brees wants to help rebuild the Saints once again. He already helped revitalize the city after Hurricane Katrina, and brought the Lombardi Trophy to The Big Easy for the first time.
This is not a knock on Cassel, who has dealt with a rash of injuries to key playmakers and multiple offensive coordinators during his tenure as a Chief.
Cassel has a contract that pays him some big dollars in 2013 and 2014. If he falters this year, it would not be entirely unthinkable to see Kansas City cut bait and make a run for Brees.
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An intimidating presence next to Derrick Johnson is one of the last remaining components needed to make the defense in Kansas City elite.
James Laurinaitis would be a welcome addition to any ballclub. Switching to a 3-4 defense is no easy task, but Laurinaitis is a gifted athlete who could make the transition smoothly.
Laurinaitis has been a tackling machine during his three seasons in the league and has yet to miss a game. He is only 25 years old and should be entering his prime years.
Laurinaitis had a stellar year in 2011 when he finished the season with 142 tackles, three sacks and two interceptions.
It not very likely that Laurinaitis will hit the open market, but in the event he does, Scott Pioli should be at his door with a truckload of money as soon as free agency opens.
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Brandon Albert could be gone after this year, and if he leaves, there will be a huge hole on the left side of the Kansas City offensive line.
Getting a cornerstone left tackle like Jake Long would make losing a solid guy like Albert tolerable.
Albert has started to come into his own recently, and during his contract year, he is likely to be on his game.
The Chiefs have done a great job of improving their offensive line since Scott Pioli has taken over, and Albert's steady play has been a big part of that.
Long has been anchoring the Dolphins' offensive line since he was drafted in 2008 out of Michigan.
He played through a tough back injury last season, but when he is healthy, Long is one of the game's best tackles.
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This is a situation where the Chiefs need to take care of their own.
Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe has been designated as the team's franchise player, and a long-term deal would be the best result for everyone involved.
The Chiefs have been in search of a playmaking wideout for years, and Bowe fits the bill perfectly.
He had 15 touchdowns in 2010, and Bowe is starting to form a tight bond with quarterback Matt Cassel.
Other players like DeSean Jackson and Vincent Jackson have signed deals in excess of $55 million. Bowe is certainly worth that money.
Kansas City has decent depth behind Bowe, but losing him would hurt tremendously. Jonathan Baldwin and Steve Breaston are solid options, but having a game breaker like Dwayne Bowe is invaluable.
The prognosis looks promising, so hopefully Bowe and the Chiefs can come to an agreement that keeps him a Chief for a very long time.
Greg Jennings, Mike Wallace
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Signing one of these two studs would be a great fallback plan if Kansas City fails to reach a long-term deal with Dwayne Bowe.
Jennings has thrived as the go-to-guy for the best quarterback in the league, but could be wanting a monster deal next year.
Green Bay has a number of star players who are nearing the end of their contracts, and Jennings might be the odd man out with Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews and Jermichael Finley all due for big paydays relatively soon.
Mike Wallace is also in search of a new deal, and his speed is something that every team could use.
Wallace is reportedly seeking Larry Fitzgerald money, and some team will be giving some huge dollars to the 25-year-old star.
These are some intriguing options, but the best scenario is still for the Chiefs and Bowe to come to some kind of agreement on a deal.