Never let it be said I'm above eating my own words.
Three days after I laid into the Chiefs for their lack of activity in free agency's opening days, Kansas City launched into a spending spree both sensible and aggressive.
The eerie quiet at Arrowhead while other teams entertained high profile unrestricted players (and a few restricted as well) caused some unease among fans and left at least this sports columnist doubting the plan to rebuild one of the most moribund NFL franchises in recent history—and the people behind said plan.
General manager Scott Pioli, throughout this entire offseason, has demonstrated the football savvy and business acumen which helped craft a championship dynasty in New England.
Now he's looking to do it again in Kansas City.
Super Bowls are never won in the offseason, but the Chiefs are winning fans over now. And considering the similarly "eerie quiet" that reigned inside Arrowhead Stadium last year, the return of that passionate "Sea of Red" which rattled walls and opposing teams alike could be the biggest acquisition of all.
Pioli didn't waste much time once he assumed control of the Chiefs, quickly ushering out incumbent head coach Herman Edwards to bring in his own man, Todd Haley.
Then, a mixture of past relationships and opportunistic moves led to the mother of all coaching staffs.
Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel was a year removed from heart surgery and ready to get back into the game. A week prior, offensive coordinator Charlie Weis joined following his release from the head coach position at Notre Dame.
Then they completed their coaching staff with secondary coach Emmitt Thomas. A Hall of Fame cornerback for the Chiefs, Thomas has come home to bring back Kansas City's success of 40 years ago. Once Atlanta decided to not renew his contract, it took less than three weeks to bring in the capstone on an already stellar group.
Together, these three men hold 12 Super Bowl rings, and they only account for half the rings owned by the Chiefs coaching and personnel staff.
Kansas City has never seen such an accomplished coaching staff, and one would be hard-pressed to name another team with such credentials.
Great teams make a point to hold on to their in-house talent, and Kansas City is finally putting that plan into action.
First, they locked up seven of their nine restricted free agents, all with no less than a second-round pick. Some players such as Ikechuku Ndukwe and Brodie Croyle have been locked in to provide continuity and depth.
Others like Jarrad Page, Corey Mays, Rudy Niswanger, and Ryan O'Callaghan are expected to compete for the starting positions they held down for most if not all of last season.
The most intriguing is talented but inconsistent Derrick Johnson, who received a first-round tender. Johnson showed a few flashes of the player Kansas City hoped he'd be last year, particularly in the season finale against Denver. It makes sense the Chiefs would protect him in case it's a sign he's turned the corner.
As for their unrestricted free agents, Pioli quickly locked in Mike Vrabel, their most experienced defender in the 3-4 scheme. Special teams standout Terrance Copper soon followed.
The last piece was Chris Chambers. A mid-season pickup off of waivers, Chambers was the veteran performer Kansas City hoped to find in Amani Toomer, Bobbie Engram, and Ashley Lelie. Despite only playing half the season for Kansas City, his 608 receiving yards led the team and provided a reliable option for quarterback Matt Cassel.
Negotiations over a trade for Anquan Boldin stalled Chambers’ deal. But with Chambers waiting in the wings for a new deal, the Chiefs had little motivation to trade a pair of mid-round picks in exchange for Boldin's services.
The Ravens had no such option and picked up Boldin for a third and fourth rounder. Two days later, Chambers had his new deal and Kansas City kept the best of their talent on board.
Sometimes the best deals are the ones you don't make.
Each year, a handful of unrestricted free agents cash in big as teams look for the difference-maker they've been missing, making someone the new highest-paid player at their position.
What has it done for those teams, though? What kind of impact did Albert Haynesworth, Nate Clements, or any big-name free agent outside of Drew Brees have that brought home a Lombardi Trophy in recent years?
More often, those players have come in and underwhelmed. What's more, with the salary cap in place it hamstrung organizations as those contracts ate up space and took away from a team's ability to bring in more players or secure the services of their own free agents.
Even without a salary cap in place, these ball clubs are not made of money. And unless your name is Dan Snyder, you can't hope to make ends meet when you're throwing around the kind of money players like Julius Peppers, Karlos Dansby, and Antrel Rolle are now bringing in.
And that's what it all comes down to. Dansby and Rolle should have both factored into the Chiefs' free agency plans, but both commanded much higher prices than what they probably merited ($80 million between the two of them).
If the Chiefs are going to spend $37 million on a safety, his name had better be Ed Reed...or Eric Berry.
Rather than spending big on one or two players, Kansas City has been shrewd in augmenting their team with role players and potential starters.
What's more, they've done it at a fraction of even what one of the major free agent contracts have cost other teams.
Thomas Jones sits at the top of the Chiefs' free agent class. A solid north-south rusher, Jones became the odd man out in New York with a recovering Leon Washington and emerging star Shonn Greene.
Jones provides a great change of pace to the speed rushing skills of Jamaal Charles, and despite turning 32 this year should still provide a secondary threat in Kansas City's run offense.
The Chiefs also made a pair of solid moves to improve their offensive line, bringing back a pair of known commodities in Casey Weigmann and Ryan Lilja.
Weigmann has been an excellent pulling center for years who was a poor fit in Herman Edwards' power running scheme. He found continued success in Denver, though, earning a Pro Bowl spot in 2008.
Lilja, meanwhile, was the odd man out in 2004 when Kansas City fielded one of the best offensive lines of all time. The Colts picked him up off of waivers before Kansas City could sign him to their practice squad. Since then, he's held down the starting left guard position for Indianapolis, earning a Super Bowl ring in the process.
Kansas City still has a number of moves ahead before it can make a legitimate claim at being a playoff-capable team.
Fortunately, this year's draft should hold a number of options to strengthen their team—particularly on defense. With the recent projections of the Rams, Redskins or both moving on a quarterback in the first round, Kansas City should be in a prime position for Eric Berry, if not one of the top two defensive tackles: Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy.
If all three happen to be off the board, however, teams like Cleveland, Jacksonville or Buffalo could be potential trade partners looking to draft a quarterback. They would be able to pick up additional picks and still land a player like Rolando McClain.
Outside of the first round, players whose stock has dropped like Terrance Cody or Myron Rolle would be a considerable upgrade at minimal cost.
Offensive options are similarly plentiful, particularly in the middle rounds. Odds are good to see at least two of the top five offensive tackle prospects drop into the second round. Even more so, it could leave talented interior linemen such as Mike Johnson, Maurkice Pouncey or even Mike Iupati available when the Chiefs make the 36th pick.
An interesting prospect in the later rounds would be Jordan Shipley. He might not compare with Wes Welker where agility is concerned, but he demonstrated some of the best hands in college last year. This was especially true in the BCS Championship, where he had 10 receptions for 122 yards on the largest stage college football has to offer.
His talents would be perfect for the Chiefs' slot position, and an excellent compliment to incumbents Chambers and Dwayne Bowe. Not only that, but his receiving ability should provide incentive for Bowe to cut down on his dropped passes.
The Chiefs still have a ways to go as they look to emerge from the basement of the AFC West. And while Kansas City fans saw little improvement on the stat lines last year, Pioli and his staff are certainly in position to make the turn around we're all hoping to see.
And hopefully won't leave me having to eat my words on this article.