What a week it was for the Kansas City Chiefs. There were a few big signings, a few surprising cuts, and even some injury news.
The biggest signing to hit Kansas City this week was the move to bring in former Arizona Cardinal Steve Breaston on a five-year deal. Breaston quickly let us know he was happy to be back with head coach Todd Haley, who isn’t always a butthead.
Breaston had a breakout season in 2008 under then offensive coordinator Todd Haley, catching 77 balls for 1,003 yards and three scores for the Arizona Cardinals. Breaston did not do much in Arizona the last two seasons, but outside of Larry Fitzgerald, no wide receiver is going to perform well with Matt Leinart and Max Hall passing the ball.
Not only will Breaston be a reliable slot receiver for the Chiefs in 2011, but he could potentially start in if needed. Due to the lockout, first round pick Jonathan Baldwin is experiencing an abbreviated rookie offseason, which will leave him with very limited experience with Haley and the offense. Breaston will be able to step in with his experience in Haley’s offense and give Baldwin time to watch and develop.
Then late Thursday evening came news that the Chiefs released former Man of the Year recipient Brian Waters. Waters had been a crucial part of the Chiefs offensive line for the most of the 2000’s. Besides being a great player, Waters was a pillar in the Kansas City community, running multiple charity organizations.
The release of Waters, while rumored for awhile, came as a huge shock to me. While Waters is getting up there in age, he was still a very productive player in 2010 and one of the vocal leaders in the locker room.
There have been rumblings for awhile that the Scott Pioli and Haley were very high on 2010 draft pick Jon Asamoah and he would be in an open competition with Waters during training camp. Apparently that competition will not happen, and Asamoah will be the guy at right guard this season.
There was also news this week that the Chiefs, who were already short on NT, lost both Ron Edwards and Shaun “Perv” Smith. Edwards left for to sign a three year deal with the Carolina Panthers and Perv left to play for the Tennessee Titans.
These two departures leave a huge hole in the middle of the Chiefs defensive line. Without Ron or Shaun, the Chiefs had Anthony Toribio and rookie Jerrell Powe left on the roster.
To attempt to address this hole, the Chiefs brought in ten-year veteran Kelly Gregg. Gregg, who is out of Oklahoma, played nine years with Baltimore, compiling 124 games started and recording 19.5 sacks. While this was a step in the right direction, the Chiefs need to continue to try and improve this position.
Enter Aubrayo Franklin, former San Francisco 49er. Franklin would be a great replacement at NT.
Franklin, who has played for the 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens, is by far the best available NT. Franklin has had three great seasons in a row, averaging around 60 tackles per season as a NT. In contrast, Edwards has only average 22 tackles per season over the last three years. The problem with Franklin is that there have been no rumors connecting him to the Chiefs.
Last Friday, while it seemed pretty quiet, Josh Looney confirmed that TE Tony Moeki will be on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list heading into training camp. It appears from Haley’s comments that this is more of a precautionary move by the Chiefs, but anytime a player is put on the PUP, it has to be of some concern.
With Moeki out and Leonard Pope yet to re-sign, the Chiefs are left with one TE (Jake O’Connell) on the active roster who has experience with the Chiefs. Even if Moeki is removed from the PUP list, which he can be at any time before the regular season starts, the Chiefs should still look at bringing in some veteran help.
It is apparent that the Chiefs have a few holes left to fill. If general manager Scott Pioli can make a few moves to bring in another talented nose tackle and a veteran tight end, I would be happy. There are still more holes to fill, but in my mind, these are the most important.
Let me hear your thoughts Chiefs Nation!!