The Kansas City Chiefs have done it.
After a great season in 2010, Kansas City improved a good offense with the additions of two talented wide receivers in Steve Breaston and Jonathan Baldwin, as well as the signing of a great fullback in Le’Ron McClain. This, along with an improved defense, shows that the Chiefs do not plan on being the same team as last year, but building on it.
With mere weeks before the regular season starts, there is still time for the Chiefs to hone their roster even more. The Chiefs will be forced to cut talented players and make roster decisions that, while difficult, will bump Kansas City up to the next level.
These are four roster moves that the Chiefs will have to make over the next few weeks.
After last season’s craptacular performance by the Chiefs’ wide receiving corps, Kansas City’s front office came into the offseason primed for rebuilding at this position. After the draft, free agency and re-signing, the Chiefs arrived at training camp with 12 wide receivers. Despite the success of the running game, the Chiefs still brought three more running backs to the camp.
Many cuts will have to be made here to get the roster down to 53. There are no guarantees for anybody besides Dwayne Bowe, Jonathan Baldwin and Steve Breaston at wide receiver. The running backs most likely to be left off the final roster are Tervaris Jackson, Jackie Battle and Mike Cox.
The nose tackle position has been a questionable area. With the departure of Ron Edwards, the Chiefs were left with one player who had any NFL experience. The signing of Kelly Gregg brought more dependability to the position, but may leave the Chiefs suffering there this season, depending on an aging player and a sixth-round draft pick to fill the hole.
After signing Amon Gordon just two days ago, the Chiefs have shown they are still looking for talent here. While there are not any major players left on the free-agent market, Kansas City could find a talented player who has a bit of experience or possibly look to make a trade for another solid player.
With nine defensive ends signed and only four or five likely to make the team, there is a chance that other players could see some time here during the preseason, hoping to win a spot on the final roster.
A lot of Kansas City fans, whether right or not, began comparing tight end Tony Moeaki to future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez last season, and with good reason. Moeaki finished his rookie season with nearly 200 more receiving yards than Gonzalez had in his rookie campaign.
When news came out that Moeaki came into training camp injured, he was immediately placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list, causing Chiefs fans to worry. Moeaki had suffered injuries in college and this seemed like a bad sign for a second-year player who was coming off such a promising rookie campaign.
The Chiefs will, without a doubt, pull Moeaki off of the PUP list before the season starts. His injury is said to not be serious and, even if Moeaki is less than 100 percent when the season starts, keeping him on the list will mean he must miss the first six games of the season. The Chiefs are definitely not willing to have that happen.
As long as Moeaki’s injury is not more serious than is being let on, he should be off of the PUP list shortly.
Arguments in Kansas City abound over the talent of Matt Cassel. Yes, he was a Pro Bowler last year. Still, many say he overrated while others say he is on the verge of becoming one of the top quarterbacks in the league.
No matter your point of view on this, it is impossible to deny that the Chiefs were terrible without Cassel last season. The Chiefs were embarrassed in San Diego while Cassel was forced to sit on the sidelines. This is something that cannot be risked with a schedule as difficult as the Chiefs’ this season.
Kansas City will be unlikely to want to depend on a rookie or a quarterback with only six career pass attempts to back up Cassel. A veteran quarterback would be ideal, and the Chiefs should, at least, look at these options.