Wow what a day. In one Tuesday the Chiefs managed to despite JUST crowning our waiver prize Ryan O'Callaghan, with the spot "nobody wants," bring in an old injury prone player to conceivably take that position from him as quick as he got it, cut a player we knew would never make the team and one who we thought we could trust would remain on the team, clear a practice squad spot occupied by a TE nobody cared about and filled it with a Tackle nobody should care about, filled a roster spot with a TE we fell in love with despite not being on our team, and if you haven't noticed, Bones is playing for a new team. If your not up to speed with all of the news that rolled through AP today be sure to check out Joel's front page post, it pretty much sums all the action in detail.
While it's definitely exciting to have all these new faces and old faces involved in these transactions we need to take it with an ounce of realism. Consider this post a realistic approach to the situation.
I'll take on the big one first. Tyler Thigpen traded to the Dolphins for an undisclosed 2010 draft choice. Don't you ever think that Thigpen was worth more than we get. My suspicion is that the Alleman/ Ndukwe and Thigpen trades were both independent, and performance based. We have already started Ndukwe for three games so were at least looking at a sixth, all we can hope for is for Thigpen to get a fire lit under his butt and play the lights out in Miami and then we can hope for a second or third, but realistically were looking a a fifth as compensation. In my opinion, a pretty square trade for both parties involved considering Thigpen could never be game planned into Haley's scheme, and he's a perfect fit for Miami's unconventional attack.
We just opened up three roster spots today and it will be absolutely inexcusable if these spots aren't filled by tomorrow. One spot we can almost guarantee will go to Lance Long in the wake of Haley's endorsement earlier this week. Don't read into this too much. There's a reason he cleared waiver wires, he's still very raw, he may not contribute significantly until maybe two seasons from now, however getting him into the action with the "53" will definitely speed up his progression. Facts being facts we shouldn't expect Wes Welker from him, we should expect Lance Long, Welker is a once in a lifetime player and we'd be lucky to get close to what he is in Lance Long.
One of those roster spots has already been filled by Leonard Pope. Don't expect too much out of Pope, he actually worries me more than impresses me. Pope had a ton of room to be at least be a good TE with all the distractions at WR (Fitzgerald, Boldin, Breaston) but never amounted to much. Also taking into consideration Haley didn't jump all over him when he became available, I'll hold off and just believe he's an improvement over a dismal group of TE's, but I suppose any improvement is a good thing.
The other spot is where the questions start to rise. Why would we release someone like Monty Beisel? I know he has been disappointing in special teams play and in his backup role but at the least he understood the scheme. We now consist entirely (except Mays) of inside linebackers new to the scheme. But I guess veteran presence will always take a back seat to talent, a fine statement made by Haley in the cutting of Amani Tomer earlier this season.
Looking at it realistically there really isn't a free agent out there that's going to turn the whole ship around, if there were impact players available they'd be signed already. The arguments for Jon Runyan have been made but he should rear some concern. It's hard to find high quality players in Runyans age group that come back from injury successfully and at full strength. What's even more concerning is the RT starved Bills, Chiefs, and Eagles have worked him out and have failed to sign him. Mark Tauscher just worked out today and if Pioli and Haley's past indicate anything it'll be a few weeks before we actually ink a deal if were interested. Tauscher will be brought in around mid October at the soonest, for the sole reason that he won't be fully ready to go until then. By then we should know if O'Callaghan has enough guts to man the RT spot.
Justin Miller is an intriguing candidate but he isn't lights out. He's got speed and return ability, something we have been lacking. But there are a lot of teams around the league in need of a returner and Miller's number simply hasn't been called. He's only been worked out as a corner for the Jets but with no avail.
Simply put barring some sort of blockbuster trade, the open spot won't be filled with a player that's going to amaze us this season. Justin Miller is a very keen possibility seeing as it makes so much sense, but don't be surprised to see a practice squad promotion or a Patriot cast off fill that spot. However given the situation I wouldn't put it past Haley and Pioli to sign or trade for someone that could put a jolt into the fan base. 7 consecutive losses for the new regime and they know it. They're going to be doing everything they can to create an upset soon, if the players and fan base lose faith in the new regime this will be a bad year with many more to come.
Still it's worth being excited about. A new starter should always mean that we just got better from what we were. With Goff underperforming I think within this week we'll find two new starters on the O line with Ryan O'Callaghan at RT Ndukwe will slide into RG, a position he should excell in. There's an outside chance Belcher steps up and takes Corey Mays' spot as well considering how well he did against the Eagles last week. I've said this before, somethings got to give this season, were in desperate need of a win both as a fan base and as an organization, after today we at least get a hint Pioli and company are doing all they can.