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Kansas City Chiefs Free Agency Hype Falls Short

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Kansas City Chiefs Free Agency Hype Falls Short
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The saying about March is "In like a lion, out like a lamb."

That may be true for the weather in some places, but if we were instead talking about free agency in Kansas City, most fans would already be set to sue general manager Scott Pioli for false advertising.

"We’re going to try to improve our team and supplement our team with free agents this year, as we did last year. We’ll be involved with free-agency. Absolutely.”

That was Pioli, as reported by the Kansas City Star on February 25.

All the clues pointed in the right direction. Pioli's quote. A 4-12 record for 2009, preceded by two similarly abysmal seasons. Millions in cap room which doesn't even matter now except as a measuring stick showing Kansas City spending less than most on their players.

Finally, a free agent class which received an infusion of talent near the end; not just a handful of long-in-the-tooth veterans, but quality players who can make a difference for a team in the long term. And with a number of those players coming from Arizona and New England, everything seemed bright when it came to Kansas City enticing a couple to don Chiefs red for 2010.

That hasn't been the case, though. Already some of the highest-profile players are wrapped up in contracts while Kansas City has only re-signed a couple of their own.  Their biggest signing has been Mike Vrabel, who has decided to come back for another year.

What's more, one of the best for the Chiefs last year, Chris Chambers, remains on the market.

Now, Pioli has a long and storied history—first in New England and now in Kansas City—of playing everything close to the vest.  And while it gets a tad frustrating for sportswriters looking for copy, I'm one that applauds him for it.

It's very Sun Tzu of him to keep that going, especially in a city that pounces on any Chiefs news like Uncle Scrooge on a 20 spot (for those of you who still remember Duck Tales—and yes, I did just reference Sun Tzu and Duck Tales in the same sentence. Sue me).

The quiet right now, though, is unnerving. While there's something to be said for fiscal responsibility as players like Antrel Rolle and Karlos Dansby (who just signed for a combined $80 million over the next five years) find homes elsewhere, the complete lack of visible action almost feels like a minuteman who answered the call for Lexington and Concord, only to realize he took a wrong turn and ended up in Duluth.

As free agency moves past the initial flurry of activity, Chiefs fans still sit with breath held and fingers crossed. But with most of the biggest names already off the board, the die-hards might not have much to get excited over when Kansas City finally makes their move in the market.

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