2011 NFL Free Agency: 5 Targets to Keep Kansas City Chiefs Atop the AFC West

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2011 NFL Free Agency: 5 Targets to Keep Kansas City Chiefs Atop the AFC West
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
From now on, the only times Steve Breaston will be tackled by a Chief is on the practice field.

In any other year the Kansas City Chiefs would be considered to have been mildly active in this year's free agency. Already the Chiefs have locked down a respected veteran receiver in Steve Breaston and a promising reserve inside linebacker in Brandon Siler.

They also addressed the losses of defenders Shaun Smith and Ron Edwards by signing Baltimore's Kelly Gregg.

But this is no ordinary year, and with a flooded market of players every team is expected to act like it's Black Friday. So while teams like Philadelphia and Carolina swap, sign, and sweet-talk players for their respective teams, Kansas City appears to be sitting on their hands.

Fans expecting blockbuster signings are likely to be largely disappointed. That's not the way teams are run in Boston and Pittsburgh. These two teams are currently the most successful business model in the NFL, and the Chiefs have bought into it completely. These teams have been built on shrewd draft selections and developing those players into a cohesive team; free agent signings are few and far between, except for those players already with the team who are retained.

In fact, Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli knows how these moves can go poorly. During his tenure in New England, Pioli made one major free agent signing, Adalius Thomas. The Patriots didn't do poorly, but Thomas never made near the impact on the field that he made on New England's pocketbook.

That's not to say there isn't anything to be gained through free agents. The Chiefs scored big last year as bargain shoppers, signing veterans Casey Wiegmann, Ryan Lilja, and Thomas Jones. And that's where Kansas City will likely focus again.

Here are ten players the Chiefs can (and should) look at to tweak their rosters and improve their chances of taking the next step towards the Lombardi Trophy.

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