With the Ryan Lilja release I really delved into what was left of free agency in the hopes that there are some guys still out there that could free up some of our early picks for game breakers.. I'm not by any means saying these guys will sign with Kansas City, or will even work out for us, but here's hoping
Ryan Lilja(28), UFA-G, Indianapolis Colts
Lilja has been a rock ever since he was plucked off of KC's waiver list as a rookie. Smart, quick, and technically sound, Lilja fits the zone blocking scheme perfectly. Lilja can play both guard positions, and has played both in Indianapolis.
Its been stated over on Stampede Blue that Lilja was cut in an effort to get "bigger" on the offensive line. Nothing that should warrant concern about his starting ability. As a native of Kansas City, we could probably pick him up for a pretty decent price, also only being 28, which is very young for a guard, Lilja could potentially start for us for another six or seven seasons.
I know I know "If he starts for the Raiders he shouldn't be starting for anyone." When Oakland puts a mere third round tender on someone the rest of the league (except the Patriots for some reason) will usually shy away from him. I have always liked Kirk Morrison, and I believe it would be a steal to get him for a third.
Morrison played the "brains" position of the defense, and has been a day one starter since joining the Raiders five seasons ago. This could provide valuable insight into the Raiders defensive schemes. Talent wise Morrison is an absolute stud against the run. He's got the same build as Channing Crowder, and he's got speed to destroy the running game at the line.. Morrison, in Oakland was moved from OLB to ILB, despite playing out of place the man has produced, never falling below 115 tackles in every season. At only 28 years old he could come in and start over DeMorrio Williams for a good four to five seasons.
I really don't see how Bess is legitimately still on the market. Last season he stepped up and manned Miami's #2 WR spot in the wake of a Greg Camirillo injury despite being slated better to be a slot receiver. As a slot receiver BEss is a sure handed cerebral player that can read defenses and find windows in the shallows. He was also a pretty decent return man as well.
That said it seems unclear as to why Miami has decided to let Bess slide, considering their current predicament at that position. We'll probably steer clear of the guy if he's young (25) and Parcells won't resign him but I would love it if we did. It would take Miami neglecting him and allowing the ERFA tag to expire for him to have a shot at free agency.
Take what I said about Morrison starting for the Raiders and just plug in Lions, and I'm sure I've just expressed the common sentiment on signing someone away from Detroit. Buchanon experienced a career revival of sorts in Detroit. He was one of the lone bright spots on a pretty bad secondary. Factor in that their pass rush wasn't all world and you've got Buchanon looking like a pretty nice option to compete for the #2 spot opposite Brandon Flowers. I'm also of the belief that Buchanon could successfully slide into Safety.
A lot of you will argue Leigh Bodden here but I think he is sort of a long shot in KC. Bodden is a press coverage corner and we don't run a man scheme we run a zone scheme. If you would like to see how horrible Bodden is in zone coverage look no further than his sub par years in Detroit (Shaun Rogers trade).
Kevin Mawae(39), UFA- C, Tennessee
I know I know, he's old. But Kevin Mawae is not quite over the hill. I'm of the opinion that based on his solid play last season in Tennessee, Mawae has got at least two more seasons in him as a starting C. As far as I'm concerned he is and has been the best C in free agency this year. His value as both a mentor and a player just seems like a better start than any rookie we'll get in the draft. In the very least he gets beat out by a rookie and is the equivalent to Mike Vrabel to Andy Studebaker. Tennessee more than likely moved away from Mawae to get younger.
Regarding the Jones/Fargas debate.. I choose Fargas.
It's hard to believe that Thomas will succeed behind our dismal line.. Every squad Jones has succeeded on had a solid O line.. HIs familiarity with the Zone Blocking scheme is comforting, however Fargas has shown the ability to excel behind a horrible offensive line in Oakland. Both backs show quick decision making ability, quickness, and the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.
I wouldn't mind either being signed but I just have a preference for Fargas. Also considering the fact that he'd have a vendetta game twice a season wouldn't be bad for his production at all.
There you have it, let me know what you guys think and don't be afraid to use this as a Free agency open thread :)