Thursday, February 10, 2011

An in Depth Look at the Chiefs Free Agents. To Sign or Not to Sign?

The Chiefs have a fairly large group of players they have to make decisions on this offseason. Below I have made a list of offensive free agents and defensive free agents.  Take a look, decide who you would like to stay or go.  Below the lists, I will go into detail as to why each player should stay or go, and what they bring to the team (or don’t bring for that matter).

Offense:                                               Defense:
Brodie Croyle (Quarterback)                   Wallace Gillberry (Defensive End)
Jackie Battle (Running Back)                 Ron Edwards (Defensive Tackle)        
Mike Cox (Full Back)                             Shaun Smith (DE/DT)
Terrence Copper (Wide Receiver)            Tamba Hali (OLB)
Kevin Curtis (Wide Receiver)                  Corey Mays (ILB)
Leonard Pope (Tight End)                      Mike Vrabel (OLB)
Brad Cottam (Tight End)                        Cory Greenwood (ILB)
Rudy Niswanger (C/G)                           Brandon Carr (Corner)
Casey Wiegmann (Center)                     Travis Daniels (Corner)
Ryan O’Callaghan (Tackle)                     Maurice Leggett (Corner)
Barry Richardson (Tackle                       Jon Mcgraw (Safety)

We will start with the Offense…

 Brodie Croyle has two options.  He must either go, or accept being a 3rd string quarterback.  In all honesty a change of scenery would do him good.  He could be a very decent quarterback in this league, just not with the Chiefs.  There is too much mental strain and he knows the fans don’t like him, which makes him over think every call, check, read, and throw.  As for running backs and fullbacks, Jackie Battle deserves to stay and be re-signed.  His yards per carry are a little misleading from 2010 because the majority of his carries were in short yardage situations.  Battle was very impressive anytime he got an opportunity to actually get carries and should steal some of Thomas Jones’s carries in 2011.  As for Tim Castille and Mike Cox, they have to go.  As I’ve said before the Chiefs have got to have a good, hard-nosed, and smart fullback.  Castille is smart, but is terrified of blocking.  He has good hands but how often do we throw to our fullback and does that offset the lack of blocking?  Mike Cox is hard-nosed but occasionally misses his block and looks lost.  
Terrence Copper and Kevin Curtis are interesting cases at wide receiver.  Copper’s number one asset is his special teams play.  He is solid hands and is a very mediocre route runner.  Curtis came to the Chiefs after the regular season, right before the playoff game against the Ravens due to the Dwayne Bowe injury scare.  To most people’s surprise, he ended up starting along side Bowe.  He didn’t have a fantastic game but give the guy credit for going out there on 4 or 5 days of practice.  Curtis has also had success with the Eagles and Rams when healthy.  The final verdict for the receiver: Copper must go, Curtis can stay.  Copper is taking up a roster spot that can go to someone equally as valuable on special teams who can develop into a descent number two or three receiver (Verran Tucker?) while Curtis is worth the gamble for price he will be asking.  Leonard Popes blocking and serviceable hands deserve to stay, and while I have always been a Cottam fan, he must go.  They can’t trust his health, especially with Jake O’Connell showing development.  O’Callaghan is looking for a starting job and too much money, but if he settles for the right price he should stay.  Richardson impressed at tackle and I believe he is going to be our right tackle for many years to come so we should invest in him now before he gets expensive.  Wiegmann, although a fan favorite, must go.  Niswanger was so bad for two years that when they brought Weigmann back he looked like the best center in the league.  Upon further review, Weigmann got beat up frequently and is undersized.  Age is definitely catching up with him.  Unfortunately, he must go.

Now the defense…

             I have a bad feeling that a smart 4-3 defensive team is going to go after Wallace Gillberry.  Why wouldn’t they in all honesty? He doesn’t start,  he is only in on passing downs, and he still managed seven sacks.  If for some crazy reason no one tries to scoop of Gillberry for starter money, we should by all means keep him.  Shaun Smith is a keeper as well, he provides great depth at both Tackle and End, not mention a few laughs and testicle grabs.  Ron Edwards has been keeping the Defensive Tackle seat warm for waaaay too long.  He has been incredibly mediocre in the 3-4 defensive and is getting older; unfortunately it is time to let Big Ron go.  It's been stressed many, many times, and I will say it one more time, Tamba Hali MUST be re-signed if the Chiefs want their defense to run smoothly.  Without Hali’s pressure, the Corners have to cover longer and the Safeties have to more time to get beat deep which sets up the run game for the opposing team.  Do you want that? No.  So re-sign Hali.  Sadly Its time for Mr. Vrabel go unless he would be willing to hang up the pads and take a position with the team coaching the linebackers.  Vrabel’s coverage is shaky and he can no longer rush the quarterback effectively due to his loss of speed.  Corey Mays provides solid depth and special teams play.  He is also a beast against the run in goal line situation.  Not to mention he can be had at a great price.
            If Hali is number one priority to re-sign, then Brandon Carr is number two.  Carr stepped up his game and showed his ability to cover some of the best receivers in the game.  When Brandon Flowers went down, and even when he returned and played hurt, Carr showed that he and Flowers can be one of the best Corner tandems in the league.  Leggett, Daniels, and Greenwood are all in the “if there is room” situation.  They are all solid, but it just depends on if there is anyone better to take their places.  I would assume they get re-signed and if nothing else end up on the practice squad.  And finally, Captain Special Teams himself, Jon Mcgraw.  I don’t see any way he doesn’t stay.  He is a great teacher, provides depth at safety, fantastic special team’s player, and has great character.  Mcgraw is from the area as well, so he has every intention to end his career here from what I’ve heard.

So there you have it.  It will be very interesting to see what Pioli and Haley are thinking about these guys.  I’d like to think they have somewhat of a similar view as me (that’s not biased or anything) but all we can do now is sit and wait...