Debate concerning the different approaches teams take to improve their squads usually boils down to big spending vs. modest spending and prospect development. (Washington vs. New England) Should we trade away draft picks or aquire more this offseason? Basically, to we swing for the fences, roll the dice, or slowly continue to take a few steps forward. I think we only have to look at the current SB champs to understand that we need to take an all of the above approach, and not put all of our chips in one thing (free agency, trades, draft). Lets look at how the Saints put the pieces together and ponder if the Chiefs can take the same route.
Drew Brees - has outpreformed his contract exponentially (about the same as Cassel's contract)
Darren Sharper - decent sized one year veteran contract
Shanle and Fujita - two bargains to fill their outside linebackers
Jabari Greer - above average CB, gave a big contract
Randell Gay - overpaid, but was a good dimeback for them at least
Jonathan Vilma for a 3rd and 5th
Jeremey Shockey for a 2nd and 5th
Traded up for S Ellis in 2008 draft (gave up 3rd rounder)
1st round - Bush (2nd string), Jenkins (NB), Meachem (4th WR), S Ellis (starting DT, but has yet to hit his full potential), Will Smith (pretty good DE), J Brown (good LT, but was on IR during entire Superbowl run), Stallworth (lost in FA), Charles Grant (pretty good DE)
2nd round - Henderson (home run threat), Sinthcomb (pro bowl RT), Porter (above average CB), Harper (solid SS)
3rd round - hardley anyone, Andy Alleman looks to be the best and he is on our squad right now
4th round - Jahri Evans (best RG in the game), Bushrod (saved their season at LT when Brown went down)
5th round - C Nicks (solid LG), Morstead (its funny I actually know this guy, good punter and kicked the offside kick at half)
6th round - Nada
7th/UFA - P Thomas (perfect runner, doesn't have AP physical traits but the guy just knows what to do with the ball), M Colsten (great flanker, good red zone threat), Lance Moore (very good slot receiver), Jonathan Goodwin (played great at C, replaced a really in Faine who left in FA to Tampa), Ayodele (one of those practice squad journeymen who finally blossumed into a pretty damn good NT for them), Hartley (kicker they signed late in the season, apparently has ice water running through his veins because the kid is clutch)
Obviously I only showed you the picks of the guys who contributed in a significant way. They never really drafted a bonified star in the 1st round. The closest could be J Brown, but he didn't play this year. However, they are at least solid players that contribute to the team. Smith and Grant have been on the team a long time, really the only good thing Peyton inhereted when he took over the team. They struck gold in the 2nd round 4 times. They practically built their offensive line in roundes 4 and 5. But, the most obvious reason the Saints were holding the Lombardi Trophey was because they have a top 3 QB in Drew Brees and found ways to supplement their holes not filled in the draft with really a few trades and finding solid and sometimes great starters in the late rounds. Not including Vilma or Shockey, they only gave out two big contracts (both to CBs). If you notice the 7th round section/UFA is the longest of them all. But, without Brees would this roster look like complete dog shit??? Probably!
Now it would be easy for me to say the Chiefs need to get late round gems, duh. But, it is in my opinion that those guys are rare finds and fortune favors the few. My argument is that what the Saints, Colts, Pats, and Steelers have done over the years wouldn't have existed if it wasn't for Brady, Manning, Brees, or Rothlesburger. Having an elite QB allows you to have talent that is in the solid category. Having a pretty good QB doesn't, you need elite talent, and that is why we need to be the Hare and not the Tortoise. I'm sorry folks, but Cassel is not in that upper escilan. However, neither is Eli Manning, but he has a ring. We need stars, and I mean we need to dish out some serious money. I'm talking about making it rain this offseason. We need to wheel and deal. Trade as many 2011 draft picks as humanly possible and get as many 2010 picks as possible. This is how we do it:
M Brown (2 yr modest deal)
W Smith (2 yr modest deal)
T Copper (2 yr modest deal)
Tenders on all RFAs (including DJ and Page)
K Dansby (6 yrs, 32 million guaranteed) - great leader and a playmaker
J Porter (3 yrs, 15 million guaranteed) - will be the intimidator we have lacked for so long, he comes home to KC
K Faulk (1 yr, modest contract) - I think he will still help a team win ball games with simple 3rd down plays
DJ to Saints for their 3rd rounder
Page & Waters to NYG for their 4th rounder
Dorsey to Lions for swap in the 1st and their 2nd rounder
2011 1st rounder for A Boldin (5 yr contract, 36 million guaranteed)
2011 2nd & 3rd rounder for V Wilfork (5 yr contract, 28 million guaranteed)
1. N Suh (DT, Nebraska) or McCoy (DT, Oklahoma) if the Rams don't take a QB - this selection will allow us to have a player that can play the run just as good as Dorsey does, while also having the ability to bat down passes and put pressure on the QB.
2a. K Wilson (CB, Boise St) - heard a story that he was a complete statue, looking his opponent dead in the eye completely unaware that the ref blew the play dead pre-snap due to a false start. This kid has what it takes between the ears to be a star in the NFL. You can never have enough DBs.
2b. M Pouncey (C, Florida) - will stabalize the interior line, freakin-a big and athletic, best C in the draft
2c. M Gilyard (SR/KR/PR, Cinci) - explosive, any raw edges he has as a wideout could be cured with good coaching by Weiss and Haley. I know he will be a kick returning star.
3a. T Troup (NT, UCF) - can allow Wilfork to take a breather and be a part of the D-line rotation
3b. M Rolle (SS, Florida St) - eventual replacement for M Brown. He is 220 lbs., runs a 4.5 forty, and is extremely intelligent. Drops because he took a year off to pursue a rhodes scholarship at Cambridge.
4a. M Johnson (G, Alabama) or Petrus (G, Arkansas) - I think either could start fairly soon and they both fit the zone blocking scheme to a T.
4b. P Angerer (ILB, Iowa) - ok ck out 6 our of our front 7 --> Suh, Wilfork, Jackson/Hali, Dansby, ?, Porter. I don't about you, but that gets me sexually aroused. Angerer, who is a very physical and smart player, will hopefully fill the ? mark spot when he takes over for Mays.
5a. Z Beadles (OT/G, Utah) - versatile lineman, very smart, could slide into the LG spot and take over for W Smith eventually.
5b. S Canfield (QB, Oregon St) - got the size, has the accuracy, and is pretty smart. I think we need insurance considering Gut. is extremely unproven and our back-up could easily go down after his first snap.
5c. S Johnson (RB, USC) - I think this kid is an above average runner who we might be stealing because of how deep USC was at RB and the fact that he was injured after that freak weight lifing accident.
Undrafted Free Agency
Geizer (LS, Boston College) - Gafford goofed too much last year. We need competition.
Schofield (Rush LB, Wisconsin) - tore his ACL, might go undrafted. Had 25 TFL and 12 sacks his senior year.
M Smith (RB, Arkansas) - small, quick back, can return kick offs.
Feel free to debate this topic and I really will not care if you call me a moron. Seriously, I like debating stuff like this so don't hold back. I do really do believe that if we want to be superbowl champs we are going to have to practically buy the trophey. I think my entire scenario is realistic (in terms of trade values, draft positions, and free agent aquisitions). However, I do realize I dished out a shit load of cash that might be out of Clark's price range. However, he said if Pioli really believed a high priced guy could help us win he would grant him the green light. Last but not least, D Morgan should start at FS to see if we was worth the last pick we got from the Allen trade. And Castille should get the nod for FB. Here is a depth chart to recap all of the moves stated above:
SWR - A Boldin, Lawerence
LT - Albert, Beadles
LG - W Smith, Alleman
C - Pouncey, W Smith, Alleman
RG - M Johnson/Petrus, Nudukwe
RT - O'Callaghan, C Brown
TE - Pope. Cottam, O'Connell
SR - Gilyard, Long
FWR - Bowe, Copper
QB - Cassel, Croyle, Canfield
RB - Charles, S Johnson, Faulk, J Williams
FB - Castille
WOLB - Hali, Walters/Schofield
RDE - Suh/McCoy, Magee
WILB - Dansby, D Williams
NT - Wilfork, Troup
SILB - Mays, Angerer, Belcher
LDE - T-Jax, Gilberry
SOLB - Porter, Studebaker
BCB - Wilson, Carr, Daniels
FCB - Flowers, Washington
SS - M Brown, Rolle
FS - Morgan, McGraw
K - Succop P - Colquitt LS - Geizer
KR - Gilyard, Lawerence PR - Gilyard, Wilson G - Copper/McGraw