It hasn't really bothered me a lot that the Chiefs haven't been active in Free Agency. I supported building through the draft when Herm Edwards was the coach and now that Pioli is continuing that trend, I'm still on board.
But I have to say its not what I expected from Pioli and Hailey when you hear them talking about "22 guys on the street could win 2 games" or "well, we have a good punter". With rhetoric like that, you would think they saw the need to bring in more talent to make a bigger impact.
The free agents we HAVE brought in are nearly all Patriots rejects, which had me wondering if the Chiefs were not falling victim to an "arrangement" between Pioli and Belichick. This article from the Boston Globe confirmed that thought:
Evans's decision came down to the Patriots and the Saints, although Matt Cassel was making a push for Evans to join the former New England quarterback, Vrabel, and general manager Scott Pioli in Kansas City.
"This is one of the main reasons I respect Scott," said Evans. "He said, 'I know Bill is trying to re-sign you, and I respect Bill so much, and he's done so much for me, so I'm not going to be in play.'
Now, I have no problem with the buddy system in the NFL (just part of life), no doubt that is the main reason we got the Cassel / Vrabel deal done so quickly. However, I have to wonder if from now on the Chiefs are going to be sitting around waiting for the Patriots to take their pick before we come in for the leftovers.
Belichick has a reputation for dysfunctional relationships with his former coaches. Is Pioli going too far in trying to keep close ties with Belichick and the Krafts at the expense of his primary duty of turning the Chiefs into a winner? If he's bowing out of going after free agents that would help OUR team because his former boss wants the same guy, I see that as a problem.
Of course, in this case, is just a fullback we're talking about, but how do we know that Pioli isn't dragging his feet going after other free agents on the market because he's waiting to see if the Patriots are going to go after them first? What happens in the future if the Chiefs are one or two picks ahead of the Patriots in the draft and Pioli knows there is a guy Belichick wants?
Is he going to pass over that guy even if that pick is who the Chiefs should take just so he can maintain his ties to Belichick? Isn't it Pioli's job as the General Manager of the CHIEFS to make the CHIEFS into a winner by bringing in the best talent and not to stand aside while his friend and former boss gets first dibs?
We haven't seen enough of Pioli yet to know if this is a trend or a one year arrangment between the teams, but it is something I will be keeping a close eye on from here out.