When I first started this series looking at potential gaps in Kansas City’s lineup and how to fill them in free agency, I didn’t expect to have quite so much to write about in this second piece.
It’s amazing how a couple days can change the landscape. In the span of three days, the Chiefs have lost as many players on their offensive and defensive lines. First Ron Edwards left on a three-year contract to Carolina. Then today, Kansas City’s other nose tackle/defensive end, Shaun Smith, packed his bags for Memphis, tweeting that he’s signed with Tennessee.
Then on the other side of the ball, the Chiefs released All-Pro guard Brian Waters in a move called “mutually beneficial.”
How releasing a team icon in a position already on the thin side is beneficial for the Chiefs is beyond me, unless it involves freeing up cap space for more free agents—which is a little hard to believe considering Kansas City was already an estimated $30 million under the salary cap.
The defensive line is likewise thinning out, particularly at the nose tackle position.
As Kansas City prepares for next season, it’ll now have to pay considerably more attention to its personnel in the trenches.
Yeah, I wasn’t going to be able to write this without using that phrase at least once.
Fortunately, there are still players on the market who can fill Kansas City’s needs.