If you follow the Kansas City Chiefs, you’re hearing about all the moves they should be making in free agency. Many say they should get a wide receiver like Mike Wallace or Greg Jennings. Others want the team to pursue a powerful offensive lineman like Jake Long. It seems the only thing people are not talking about is what the Chiefs should avoid in the free-agent market. This could prove equally or even more important.
Sometimes the most important move you can make is re-signing your own players. No, this is not Scott Pioli writing. Free agency is not solely about the players you do not let reach it as Pioli seemed to think, but that is a big part of it.
A lot of fans don’t like Dwayne Bowe because he drops passes, has an attitude and seems to be in it for himself. All of these are valid criticisms, but consider this: If Bowe leaves, who is there to replace him?
It is not a fun thing to think about, especially with Steve Breaston recently released. Besides Bowe, the only receivers of significance on the Chiefs roster right now are Jon Baldwin and Dexter McCluster.
Baldwin showed last season that he cannot be depended on, while McCluster was just OK—granted, he may do better in Andy Reid’s scheme.
Without Bowe, the Chiefs would need to draft a receiver—likely on Day 2—who can start immediately, and hit on a major free agent. It is not impossible, but it cannot be depended on to happen.
Sometimes the evil you know is better than the one you do not. For the well-being of whichever quarterback starts of Kansas City next year the team needs to bring back Bowe.
Finley would fill a major need for the Chiefs, especially with Kevin Boss gone and Tony Moeaki now a question mark.
Finley would be the top tight end on the market this offseason and has the physical tools to be the top tight end in the league. It seems like a match made in heaven. The price likely would not be.
Finley has yet to turn his physical abilities into production. In his five-year career he has yet to have more than 767 receiving yards and 61 receptions in one season. It is not bad production for a tight end, but almost certainly not worth the top-dollar contract Finley would be asking for.
This is not to say that Jake Long is a bad player. Long had been one of the better tackles before the past couple seasons. Unfortunately, nagging injuries have taken their toll on Long. He was even placed on IR with a torn tricep to end this season.
His play has taken quite a dip in quality as well. He may no longer be the elite tackle he once was. The problem is that he will still want to be paid like he is. He might be worth that overpay to some teams, but the Chiefs already have a relationship with Branden Albert.
Albert has been a better tackle the last few years; and while he has injury concerns as well, he would come much cheaper. More importantly, Albert could move to guard if the Chiefs choose to draft a tackle high, or he could stay at tackle and allow the Chiefs to go another direction with their first pick. Either it is sliced, Long would be an expensive drop in quality.
The Peyton Hillis experiment failed last year, so many will be pining for another power back to work in combination with Jamaal Charles. Steven Jackson is much better than Hillis was, but the problem is that Kansas City’s blocking schemes is not made for power runners. It is setup for quick one-cut runners like Charles.
A power runner like Hillis was not quick enough to make the cutbacks when necessary. The offensive line was not built to run a power run game when Hillis came in. This is what accounted for much of his ineffectiveness.
While Jackson is quicker than Hillis and has better vision, he would fall into the same trap. Kansas City should give up on looking for a power back and get another good one-cut runner to spell Charles.
This is kind of cheating since this is mostly about moves the Chiefs should be avoiding. That being said, overlooking Matt Moore is an action to be avoided.
Excluding his time on a putrid 2010 Panthers team, Moore has a 25:11 touchdown to interception ratio in his past three campaigns. He has consistently put up solid numbers, despite a poor supporting cast. Compare this to Matt Flynn, who has put together one good game; and Alex Smith, who has only succeeded under Jim Harbaugh.
The three quarterbacks are very similar, though. An argument can be made for any one of them. The biggest upside to Moore is that he will not require a pick to be given up in a trade. For a team like the Chiefs that has so many holes to fill that could end up being the biggest benefit.