clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Kansas City Chiefs--Monitoring Team Needs--Free Agency to the 2009 Draft

 Keeping track of a team's dynamic roster gain/loss throughout the offseason is one of the keys to understanding their draft day moves and choices.  Enter Monitoring Team Needs, an at-a-glance way of checking up on your team's latest roster flux, as we count down through Free Agency, and into the days before the 2009 Draft.

Below is a table that breaks down this roster flux, showing who has come and gone, as well as updating the neediest areas of the team and some of the top names that have a good chance of being available when they pick in the Draft.  Draft prospects are linked to their Mocking the Draft Profiles and any names or positions highlighted in bold should be considered either to be positions of particular need and emphasis, or players of particular relevance and interest to the team's situation.  Below the chart we will discuss some of the names and situations described, and as always, you can join in on the discussion in the comments.

See you below the fold!


2008 Record and Rank:  2-14

4th place

Team Needs Likely Draft Targets (rd)
 DE, RT, C, WR, LB, CB, FS, K, DT  DE, Brian Orakpo, Texas(1st)
Free Agents Acquired Current Free Agents Free Agents/Players Lost

QB Ingle Martin (res/fut)

FB Jed Collins (res/fut)

LB Mike Vrabel (trade) 

QB Matt Cassell (trade) 


WR Jeff Webb RFA*(tendered)

OG Adrian Jones UFA

C Rudy Niswanger RFA*(tendered)

DE Jason Babbin UFA

LB Pat Thomas UFA

LB Rocky Boiman UFA

CB Tyron Brackenridge RFA

CB Dimitri Patterson RFA

SS Jon McGraw UFA

S Oliver Celestin UFA

FS Jarrad Page RFA*(tendered)

TE Mike Merrit (cut)

QB Damon Huard (cut)

LB Donnie Edwards (cut)

CB Patrick Surtain (cut)


  • Probably the biggest move by the Chiefs, anticipated since Pioli's arrival in Kansas City, is the trade of the 34th pick in the draft to the Patriots for QB Matt Cassel and LB Mike Vrabel.  Cassel will no doubt be inked in as the starter, and Vrabel adds much needed experience and a transitionary piece to the 3-4.  This is a huge move that amounts to a significant step forward in competing for the division.  While Cassel has only limited experience, starting 15 games for the Patriots, he improved significantly down the stretch.  His fans and detractors alike will be watching closely to see if he is able to step into a leadership role, or if he is limited to a 'system-quarterback' role.  But for a second round pick, either option is acceptable...
  • The Chiefs have a lot of money to spend and a lot of areas to address, but with GM Scott Pioli at the helm, don't expect them to be throwing around their expected $50mil+ of cap space.  Pioli has said explicitly that they will let the dust settle before jumping into the ring, but with a goal of eventually switiching to a 3-4 defense, they may want to get involved targetting DE Chris Canty from Dallas, or DE Mike Wright, from NE, a player that Pioli is already familiar with.
  • Smart roster cuts, parting with some Herm Edward faves and a fan favorite, ended up clearing nearly $13 million additional dollars under the cap for the Chiefs.  Just the beginning of  a consistent cap approach that should help get the organization healthy in the coming years.
  • FS Jarrad Page shouldn't expect to get a lucrative long term contract yet, but he is still a key piece of the overall puzzle in KC.  They will probably give him a high, if not the highest, tender available under Restricted Free Agency, up to $2.562 million and a first and third round pick in compensation.  Is he that valuable?  Not really, but this is the kind of leverage that Pioli specializes in.  [note, the tender has been made, but terms are not disclosed yet.]
  • Don't look for RB Larry Johnson to be released.  I'm no expert on these things, but this really looks like a sweep-it-under-the-rug approach.  With LJ's off the field antics, and his lack of productions since signing his new contract, it isn't likely that Pioli and Co. have any real leverage to work a trade.  The best case scenario is that LJ can stay on the down-low, and put up something resembling top-paid RB numbers in 2009.  That gives both the Chiefs and LJ some much needed leverage to actually make splitting up a tenable process, but make no mistake:  LJ only has short term value, no matter what happens in the future.  Anyone looking for long-term viability at the RB position needs to look elsewhere.
  • WR Jeff Webb, another Herm-fave, received a likely low tender offer as an RFA.  He can't afford spotty production, but with a true 'spread' approach to offense, he may find some good opportunities to put up some valuable numbers for his future free agency.
  • DE Jason Babin and LB Rocky Boiman should be a few of the first signings that KC wraps up when free agency begins.  For these two its all about the price being right.  Babin looks like solid DE depth and Boiman looks like the versatile depth needed for a team preparing for a transition to 3-4.  Both are low risk resignings.
  • All things being equal, the Chiefs need to be wondering how to fix their epically anemic pass rush, and with that in mind, DE/OLB Brian Orakpo, Texas or OLB Aaron Curry, Wake Forest should be some pretty prime looking targets.  And what about QB?  Something tells me that free agency is going to provide the mains source of competition to Thigquill
  • C Rudy Niswanger was likely locked up with a 2nd round tender.