As OTAs start wrapping up soon, minicamp and River Falls on the way, we know now that 95% of the Day One roster is buried in the masses of 90-plus bodies that have shown up to OTAs in record attendance this year. This team, as young and promising and inexperienced and volatile as it is, is almost built for 2008.
But it is not completely built. As teams around the league start cutting players, the Chiefs are likely to duplicate what they did last year and scoop up a few of them (QB Tyler Thigpen, LBs Pat Thomas and Johnny Baldwin, CB Rashard Barksdale). It is impossible at this point to know who those players are.
There are a number of free agents available now, however (as Ty Law would love to remind you). Are any of those worth taking a look at, particularly at positions of need? Perhaps.
I realize that all these players have question marks. But this is a team of questions, taking a season to explore numerous options to see what's in store for the future. You've got to look for talent everywhere, and that includes the Pit of the Damned that is free agency in June.
List of players after the jump. Except for Chris Henry, who's more talented than all of them but I just absolutely hate the guy.
1. WR Koren Robinson, Packers. Age: 28.
Chris Henry is the greatest character risk in free agency. Close behind him is Koren Robinson. Robinson has faced suspensions before for DUIs, and he is an injury concern. He's also got three for five years left in this league if he rehabilitates adequately. He's also features above average speed and would be the only WR on the Chiefs to have a 1,000 season under his belt to start the season. It's fair to say that Robinson is not in Henry's league, and might be worth a shot if nobody can win that tricky slot position.
2. OT Shane Olivea, Chargers. Age: 26.
Olivea is good for one thing and one thing only: smashmouth run-blocking. He used to be a phenomenal right tackle for the Chargers, but for reasons that are unknown to me, his play declined (Chiefs fans remember Hali essentially owning Olivea the last couple seasons), and he's been released by the Chargers. To my absolute surprise, nobody is biting on him. Now he does have a bit of an injury history, but he is too young to stay out of the league for long. The Chiefs are going smashmouth now, and it might be worth examining Olivea to see if he can fit.
3. MLB Odell Thurman, Bengals. Age: 25.
Odell Thurman was a talented young linebacker for the Bengals who had all the promise of a long career. But like all Bengals, Thurman was a character concern to the nth degree, being essentially kicked out of the league for various reasons for two years. Having been reinstated, the Bengals questioned his work ethic to get back onto the field when he apparently skipped a practice to go to a close family member's funeral. Harsh. Nonetheless, Thurman's undersized and fast, and perfect for the Chiefs' Cover 2. If the worst is behind him (god knows if it is) and if he's in proper shape (god knows if he is), he could be a cheap acquisition this late in the offseason.
4. QB Byron Leftwich, Falcons. Age: 28.
We're all familiar with Leftwich's amazing fall from grace after losing his starting job in Jacksonville. In his limited time as the Falcon's stopgap, he raised no eyebrows. But Leftwich was a commodity in this league at one point. He is a strong quarterback, he was accomplished at some point, and is still fairly young. Of the pathetic QB crop left over in free agency at this point, he is bar none the best option, and at this point would happily sign somewhere for peanuts. Leftwich would easily be the #2 on this team.
5. DT Ethan Kelley, Browns. Age: 28.
Kelley was a full-time starter for the Browns last year, but due to durability concerns and a juicy trade market this offseason for DTs, Kelley has been left to the wayside while the Browns make a push for the playoffs. Kelley is your traditional run-stuffer, a gigantic 330 lbs, so his place in this defense is questionable. But the Chiefs have an iffy DT rotation right now, and Kelley could provide insurance as a backup, and a golden player to have around in goal-line situations and obvious run situations.