The free agency period this offseason for the Kansas City Chiefs may be more about addition without subtraction than trying to find more bodies to add to the team’s roster. There are plenty of questions that surround this franchise – the one that won the AFC West and was the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs. Could the moves or lack of then this March be the undoing of the franchise or could there be a push to finally get past the “contender” role to a true Super Bowl threat? It all may be a bit cryptic in nature, but with Andy Reid as head coach and a strong front office, the Chiefs may be in a position to finally put a Lombardi Trophy back on the mantle in St. Louis.
The most pressing needs for this team may not be with other teams’ free agents, rather re-signing their own. Dontari Poe appears to be the main focus of the franchise, hoping to sign him to a long-term deal. Eric Berry, who is still one of the best defensive backs in the league, may get the franchise tag, one he said he will not play under in 2017. If a soap opera situation is a brewing, this could be a distraction for the organization.
If one or both players hit the open market – with Berry more likely to see that happen – they could command large coin from teams looking to shore up their defenses. Also, should they leave, who replaces them? There are needs on this team without having to worry about replacing mainstays on the Chiefs’ defense. Here is a look at five players the Kansas City Chiefs should target in free agency.
Robert Woods, Wide Receiver – Woods came into his own in Buffalo and now looks to cash in somewhere else. I think the Bills make a push to re-sign him, but his value to another team might be better and good pass catchers in free agency always find a new home. Woods would look solid across from Jeremy Maclin. Woods is a player who can produce every week, and in an offense that likes to distribute the ball, he should have plenty of options to shine inside Arrowhead Stadium next season
Malcolm Smith, Linebacker – The Kansas City Chiefs have a solid corps of linebackers. Smith, a former Oakland Raiders player, makes them better. This move helps the team deal with Derrick Johnson’s recent injury history. Johnson is 34-years old, and he has dealt with a torn Achilles in two of the last three years. While he is most certainly going to play a big role in the Chiefs plans in 2017, he is going to need some help. Smith fills that role and steps into a system he can excel.
Tony Romo, Quarterback – Let’s just get this out of the way. The Kansas City Chiefs have Alex Smith who is a game manager. Romo is a passer who takes chances. This is not to say Smith isn’t the starter from Day 1, but Romo would be an improvement in the offensive plan and would also give the Chiefs a chance to reach the playoffs and beyond. Romo would wind up in five or six places, but Kansas City is just as popular as any. With Romo, you get 4,000 yards and 28 touchdowns. Can Smith do that this coming season?
Nolan Carroll, Cornerback – He would not replace Eric Berry, but Carroll is a solid player and could help on special teams. No one is going to replace Berry in the secondary, so if the team loses him or he does not sign his franchise tender, they must plan for that. Carroll is a veteran presence who at 30 years old gives the team experience. He could also come at a bargain price that won’t hurt the cap.
Morris Claiborne, Cornerback – Sometimes, a change of scenery is all a player needs to make things happen. Maybe this is the case with Claiborne, who has been plagued by injury and poor play in Dallas. There are several reports out that despite his past, he could cash in on a big payday in free agency. This might be one of those low-risk moves the team could make. Even with Berry on board, this could be one of the better moves the team makes this offseason.