Chiefs' Stellar Offseason Still 1 Key Player Away from Challenging for AFC West

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Chiefs' Stellar Offseason Still 1 Key Player Away from Challenging for AFC West
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
The Broncos signing of free agent Wes Welker makes it absolutely necessary that the Chiefs find another cornerback if they want to contend in the AFC West

By all accounts, the Chiefs have had one of their most active and successful offseasons in franchise history.

Headlined by the trade for quarterback Alex Smith as well as the deal that kept wide receiver Dwayne Bowe in Kansas City, the team has been extremely aggressive in making moves to make this team a contender in 2013.

The free-agent signings of tight end Anthony Fasano and wide receiver Donnie Avery provide Smith with two more weapons on offense. While on defense, the Chiefs have addressed glaring needs as well by signing defensive end Mike DeVito and cornerback Dunta Robinson.

Unfortunately for the Chiefs, a single free-agent signing by AFC West rival Denver has knocked the Chiefs from potential contender in 2013 to division runner-up at best—unless they make more moves.

The Broncos offense, equipped with future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning at the controls, inflicted plenty of damage on opponents in 2012 with receivers Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker leading the way. 

Thomas and Decker not only combined for 2,498 yards on 179 catches, but the 23 touchdowns between them were also more than 15 other NFL teams, including four against the Chiefs.

 

Which free-agent cornerback should the Chiefs pursue to counter the Broncos' signing of Wes Welker?

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Now, with the signing of former Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker, the Broncos have provided the AFC's best quarterback with the best triumvirate of wide receivers in the NFL.

In his six seasons with New England, all Welker did was average 1,243 yards on 112 catches and six touchdowns. While his production could very well dip a little with such a stellar cast around him, Welker provides Manning with the perfect security blanket in the middle of the field that he lacked last year.

Prior to the Welker signing, the Chiefs' signing of Robinson could at least be seen as a step in the right direction to defending Thomas and Decker twice next season. Now, with the Broncos addition of Welker, it makes it absolutely necessary that Chiefs general manager John Dorsey acquire another quality cornerback in free agency.

The list of available free-agent cornerbacks is long at the moment, with many high-profile players available who were cut by their former teams in an effort to clear cap space.

Likely candidates for the Chiefs should not only include players Reid is familiar with, such as former Eagle Nnamdi Asomugha, but several others, including former Dolphin Sean Smith and the recently released Antoine Winfield.

If the Chiefs don't move quickly in an effort to land another cornerback in free agency, Chiefs fans will be watching Javier Arenas attempt to cover Welker twice next season. 

If that scenario comes to pass, it will undermine much of the efforts made this offseason by the Chiefs. It will also likely end with the Chiefs staring up at the Broncos from the middle of the standings as Denver nails down their third consecutive AFC West title.

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