Pioli-Run Chiefs Approach Veteran Players Differently

Former Chiefs GM Carl Peterson used to get railed by the fanbase for bringing in "big-name" veterans who come with a high price tag. Under much of the Peterson regime, the perception was that the Chiefs were one player away (ignoring the fact that they never really had a quarterback) and that player could help put them over the top.

Of course, when that player didn't work out you're stuck with five years remaining on a $30 million contract and no place for the player.

When Herm Edwards came in, the Chiefs went with a heavy dose of the youth movement and that caused problems in its own right.

When Peterson and eventually Edwards left, Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said the team's primary focus will be building the team through the draft, which suggested the "youth movement" would continue.

While that still appears to be the case, the Chiefs haven't been shy about adding veteran players. The difference between Peterson's method of adding veteran players versus Scott Pioli's way, is the cost associated.

A couple of Peterson signings -- Ty Law (five year deal at age 33) and Damion McIntosh (six year deal at age 30) -- didn't exactly produce what we thought it would. In addition to these players declining skills sets, their contracts were such that the Chiefs had trouble justifying their release.

So now you're stuck with a big contract and a player that can't do the things you thought he could -- essentially a wasted roster spot.

The Pioli-run Chiefs haven't shied away from older players because the previous regime's troubles but they've done it in a way that doesn't cripple the team.

"I don’t know if it was a conscious thought on our part to look at our team and decide we needed to mature and then pinpoint certain players," Pioli said last week according to the Kansas City Star. "We did know we were one of the youngest teams in the league last year and needed a degree of leadership."

For those players listed above, it was a low-risk, high-reward scenario. It just didn't happen to work out.

The Pioli-run Chiefs continue to check out veterans for a couple of reasons. First is leadership, which they've harped on again and again. You need leadership.

But the other reason is that you might find a diamond in the rough now and again.

While the Bobby Engrams of the world didn't work out, we should still expect the Chiefs to be looking at similar players because, as Chris Chambers has taught us, you can find one that works out once in a while.

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