7 Early Winners and Losers from Kansas City's Offseason
The Kansas City Chiefs had a very busy offseason, and it is no surprise that they made so many moves after a two-win 2012 campaign.
From re-signing players to personnel moves and offseason activities, the Chiefs' front office had a successful offseason. On the other hand, some players were not able to accomplish everything they wanted to and finished organized team activities and minicamp with some question marks.
In this slideshow, I will go over the list of players who had a very good offseason, as well as those who did face challenges since the arrival of the new regime.
Winner: QB Alex Smith
While the San Francisco 49ers hoisted the NFC Championship trophy, Alex Smith was a spectator. The 49ers decided to go in a different direction and part ways with Smith while keeping Colin Kaepernick.
Now, Smith is with Kansas City and working on his new opportunity. With all that went down for Smith in San Francisco, joining a new team and being given the new opportunity to prove himself was the best thing that could have happened to him.
Even before the team has taken the gridiron for a real game, Smith has already established himself as one of its leaders.
Loser: RB Shaun Draughn
A quiet offseason is not always a bad sign.
However, Shaun Draughn's quiet offseason, plus other activities that have gone down, could affect his future in Kansas City.
Draughn didn't draw any attention from the media nor the new coaching staff in Kansas City. On top of that, Knile Davis was taken in the third round of this year's draft. Davis and second-year running back Cyrus Gray got a lot of repetitions this offseason while Draughn missed some practices.
Draughn struggled in 2012, and there may not be room for him on the roster this year. There is still time for Draughn to make a case for himself by outperforming other backup running backs in training camp later this summer.
Winner: Dwayne Bowe
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Even though Dwayne Bowe's career has been a roller-coaster ride, the Chiefs' standout wide receiver has had quite the offseason and feels good about his situation in Kansas City.
Bowe, who was hit with the franchise tag the season before, earned a long-term deal with the Chiefs, signing for five years and $56 million with the team earlier this offseason.
Since signing his name on the dotted lined, Bowe has revealed a very optimistic side.
During OTAs, Bowe expressed optimism about 2013, predicting that he will lead the league in catches and touchdowns. On the second day of the team's three-day minicamp, Bowe said the team is "ahead of the curve" and clicking well.
His career with the Chiefs hasn't been perfect, so to see him so optimistic is a good sign. If there were any concerns about whether or not Bowe wanted to be in Kansas City, he is trying to put them to rest.
Loser: WR Donnie Avery
If Jon Baldwin does not emerge as a No. 2 wide receiver this year, the Chiefs will need Donnie Avery to step up.
But Avery missed some time this offseason due to an ankle injury and watched from the sidelines.
The Chiefs know Avery can make an impact this season. He had a personal single-season highs in receptions and yards with the Indianapolis Colts last year.
As of now, it's unknown whether Avery will be ready for training camp. The Chiefs' receiving corps is thin—as it was last year—and they'll need Avery to try and get the wide receivers going in 2013.
Winner: DE Tyson Jackson
Tyson Jackson was drafted by the previous Chiefs' front office. With Jackson not performing as well as most No. 3 overall picks do, the thought of the new regime letting him go was a possibility.
But instead, Jackson has had a really strong offseason.
Even Andy Reid was vocal about how impressed he has been with Jackson this offseason. Despite learning a new position and playing under multiple head coaches and defensive coordinators in just four years, Jackson has adapted well under his new defensive coordinator, Bob Sutton.
Loser: TE Tony Moeaki
Since being drafted out of Iowa in 2010, Tony Moeaki has missed a total of 18 games in his career, including the entire 2011 season.
This offseason, Moeaki dealt with a knee injury that kept him out of OTAs and minicamp and is expected to have his first practices under Reid when training camp begins in late July. With the additions of free agent Anthony Fasano and draft pick Travis Kelce, Moeaki is falling behind in a new offense.
Moeaki proved during his rookie year that he has a lot of potential and can become one of the top tight ends in the league. But an injury-plagued career has prevented him from becoming a pertinent part of the offense.
Winner: LT Branden Albert
Branden Albert could have easily been listed as a "loser," but he's handled his offseason situation better than expected.
Albert received the franchise tag while Bowe and punter Dustin Colquitt landed new contracts.
Since Kansas City owned the No. 1 pick, it was expected the Chiefs would draft an offensive tackle (they took Eric Fisher). Reacting to rumors that he might be traded, Albert expressed his frustration via Twitter. But that only triggered a fan and media backlash, and in response to the criticism, Albert shut down his Twitter.
Albert's addressed all of this negativity by attending offseason practices, which proves he still wants to be with the team.
He is still under the franchise tag, but the warning flags can be put away for now.