Kansas City Chiefs: 6 Things They Must Do This Offseason
When new GM John Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid arrived in Kansas City last year, the pair knew that they had a difficult task ahead of them.
The task was rebuilding a once proud NFL franchise in their own way.
By all accounts, the duo accomplished as much as anyone could have asked of them in their first year together, leading KC to an 11-6 record, including the postseason, and its first playoff birth since 2010.
Now, in their second offseason at the helm of the Chiefs, there is still much work to be done with this franchise.
Strengthen the WR Position
Kansas City has struggled at the wide receiver position for quite some time now.
Pro Bowl WR Dwayne Bowe has been one of the only reliable players at this position from year to year over the course of the last decade.
Although the addition of free-agent wideout Donnie Avery helped the team in this area last year, it remains a glaring a weakness on this roster.
Don't be surprised if Andy Reid drafts one or two receivers in May's draft, in addition to pursuing some free-agent receivers in this year's class, including the likes of Philadelphia's Jeremy Maclin.
Strengthen Their Secondary
KC's secondary was arguably the weakest unit on defense last season.
They gave up big play after big play through the air, and the tackling from this position group was lackluster at best for part of the season.
One big way to improve this unit for next year would be to cut ties with starter Kendrick Lewis, as he has proven to be a liability in both coverage and tackling .
Whether the Chiefs decide to go with a talented, young free safety such as former Louisville star Calvin Pryor or even ex-Stanford safety Ed Reynolds, there needs to be a new starter paired with Pro Bowler Eric Berry next season.
Lock Up Alex Smith to a Long-Term Deal
Quarterback Alex Smith is coming off of a brilliant first campaign with the Chiefs in 2013.
He threw for 3,313 yards while completing nearly 61 percent of his passes to go along with a solid 23-7 touchdown-to-interception ratio for the season.
The former first overall pick proved that he can succeed outside of Jim Harbaugh's system, and he should be getting a multi-year extension from the Chiefs for his efforts.
The Chiefs brass would be out of their minds if they didn't extend the veteran signal-caller this offseason.
In fact, a deal might already be in the works, according to Josh Katzowitz from CBS Sports.
Add a Legitimate Pass-Rusher on Their Defensive Line
Pro Bowl linebackers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali combined for 22 sacks last year for KC's defense, but they are the only pass-rushing threats currently on this Kansas City defense.
There are many solid sack masters that will be available in free agency next month, including former Chief Jared Allen.
Ironically, the team hasn't had a real pass-rushing threat along its defensive line since Allen was in Kansas City from 2004-07.
If this defense plans to make the jump from being good to great, they will need to add a pass-rusher along the defensive line sooner rather than later.
Let Branden Albert Walk in Free Agency
It seems that the Chiefs have been going back and forth on whether or not they should re-sign LT Branden Albert to a long-term deal over the past few years.
It's time that they fully address the issue with Albert this offseason and let him walk in free agency.
He has been getting injured more frequently over the past couple of seasons and is simply too expensive to franchise again, not to mention that KC likely won't have nearly enough money to give the former first-round pick a long-term deal in the near future.
It's time to see what last year's first overall pick, Eric Fisher, can do on that side of the line for KC, as it's time to move on from Albert once and for all.
Continue to Build Overall Depth on the Roster
During the Scott Pioli era, KC never appeared to have much depth throughout its roster.
However, John Dorsey did a marvelous job of strengthening the depth at several positions in his first full season at 1 Arrowhead Drive.
Adding players like seventh-round pick Marcus Cooper and veteran kick returner/defensive back Quintin Demps were just a couple of the decent under-the-radar moves that Dorsey made for this organization in 2013.
Now, he must build on the roster that he has already helped shape in Kansas City.