We can all agree on some pretty basic fundamentals when it comes to professional football. The first, is that 4-12 isn't very good. The second is that when your top caliber players don't perform well, the rest of the team will follow. The third is that for the most part, this is a money driven league. Those first two are already known to us who faithfully followed a disappointing Chiefs team last year, so it's the third I'm going to address.
With a lackluster year from Derrick Johnson, a suspension filled season for Dwayne Bowe, and an injury handicapped campaign for Jarrad Page, the Chiefs were missing some talent at key positions. This has had many fans calling for heads and questioning whether these guys are the "Right 53". But I believe that last year's pathetic showing will actually benefit the Chiefs this year. Why? Because of that third fundamental I listed above.
All three of these players are entering a contract year. Which means one of two things. Either the KC brass will offer long term contracts, or these players will be seeking employment elsewhere. Either way, it is in the best interest of the players and the team that they come out and show what they are capable of. All three guys are holdovers from the Edwards Era and have a little something extra to prove to Pioli & Co. So for them to stay in Chiefs uniforms, they have to be competitive and productive. If they want out of KC, the same is true. Nobody will give a big payday to a guy who had a couple good seasons but has fallen off.
The guy in the worst spot is Page. While he had shown steady improvement, it wasn't enough to have garnered any true interest in free agency next year. So this season is make or break for his football career. Next is Johnson. He showed in the Denver game that he is a playmaker. But so far it doesn't appear that he fits in the 3-4. Two poor seasons in a row will guarantee he doesn't grab a big check, but he could still sign on with a 4-3 team in need of a solid OLB. Bowe's position still has some legs because his style of play is coveted by offensive coordinators around the league. A guy who can take a short route and turn it into something huge is a great weapon. And he plays tough. A lot of teams would overlook his recent "troubles" and even his hands issue to have a tough receiver like him (look at TO still getting interest). But once again, he wouldn't get the payday he feels he merits.
That's why I'm predicting big things from all three players this year. Do they all stay in KC after this season? Probably not. If Page has a good year then I see him resigning. DJ is kind of a tossup. But I think Bowe will be out the door regardless. But that all depends on what they do here and now for Kansas City. Not a bad spot for the Chiefs to be in.