Well all love to speculate about who the Chiefs should go after in the offseason. It's fun to speculate and pretend for a second that we're qualified to be NFL GMs. I'm sure many of you play Madden and have found ways to build an unstoppable team full of All Pros. However, one thing that is often overlooked is who we will be losing. It's something nobody wants to think about. We want to believe that the Chiefs are the only team in the NFL that would never let their star players go. Unfortunately, that's not the way things work.
Here is a look at the players we may never see in the Red n Gold again:
1. Tamba Hali - Gasp! Never! Well, don't be too surprised. Tamba Hali wants big money. In fact, he wants the mountain top of DE/LB contracts, the coveted "DeMarcus Ware Money". Hali is definitely a cornerstone of this defense, and losing him might set us back a couple seasons.
2. Brodie Croyle - The Wicker Man may soon be nothing more than a bad memory. Croyle has hardly been electrifying during his tenure in KC. A combination of injury woes and a lack of development has made him the ire of KC fans. I'm sure the feeling is mutual and Brodie will have no problem moving on.
3. Mike Cox - Tough to know what kind of impact his loss would be. Cox was definitely the better run blocker between him and Castille. However, it didn't seem as though Cox was anything more than a guy who ran as hard as he could into the closest guy. He could develop over the next couple of seasons, but whether it's in KC or not is questionable.
4. Leonard Pope - He was a decent target at times this season. Nothing about his game really stands out, and he is hardly a star player, but he did add some decent depth at tight end. I'm sure Matt Cassel will lobby for his return, but he probably wouldn't be too heartbroken if Pope left.
5. Casey Weigmann - Our savior! Weigs came back and played a key role in reviving the Chiefs o-line. A clear upgrade from Rudy Niswanger, Weigmann provided knowledge, leadership, and a tough guy spirit that was sorely missing. Unfortunately, he's a free agent and is also considering retirement. Losing him would definitely hurt the Chiefs offense as a whole.
6. Rudy Niswanger- Not the most important cog in the machine, Niswanger's value to the Chiefs is totally dependent on what happens with Weigmann. He's far too tall to be a quality center, but it seems like he may be the only option unless the Chiefs draft someone. Not a good scenario for us.
7. Ron Edwards - He's played his heart out for us, and every now and then, it's paid off. Unfortunately, it is just painfully obvious that he isn't able to handle the 3-4. He's also running low on tread. Edwards does provide leadership, and can be effective in Nickel situations. And with his age, it's unlikely that many teams are knocking down his door.
8. Shaun Smith - The &*@(!# Fat Man! How can you not love Shaun Smith right now? The guy came into Kansas City and did exactly what he was supposed to do: provide an attitude and swagger to the defense. Smith isn't scared of anybody (least of all Brady Quinn). He's cheap, dirty, mean, tough, and funny as hell. He's pushed Tyson Jackson for playing time, and really showed that he has some value in a Romeo Crennel defense. Might be worth keeping around.
9. Mike Vrabel - It's tough to see a guy with so much heart get old. He has been a key factor in the improvement of the linebacking corps. He's been there and done that (and has the rings and the t-shirt). He knows all the tricks, and he loves teaching them to the younger guys. It may be time to hang up the cleats...would anyone be opposed to seeing him in the golf shirt and ball cap as an assistant coach?
10. Corey Mays - Probably won't be too many people crying if Mays left. He's been thoroughly replaced by Jovan Belcher and banished to the Special Teams. He has shown himself to be of value in coverage, and that may be enough reason to keep him around. He provides decent depth and that is extremely valuable in the NFL.
11. Brandon Carr - Don't forget about him! Brandon Carr was picked on by QBs who didn't want to test Flowers, and he made them pay! Carr seems to have figured it out, and with his natural physical prowess, he could quickly become one of the top DBs in the league. Having a pair of quality corners is definitely a commodity worth having.
12. Travis Daniels - We don't get to see much of him. He's a depth guy behind two very solid corners. He's probably going to be a career special teams player, especially if he stays in KC. I doubt the front office pursues him very hard, but I wouldn't be upset to see him stay.
13. Maurice Leggett - Injuries have kept him from showing anything thus far. He's flashed some talent when he's healthy, but there hasn't been any sustained production to say what his impact would be.
14. Barry Richardson -There are questions at RT. Is Richardson the answer? I'm not sure. There was definitely an improvement in his playing as the season went on, and he managed to hold the position after taking over for an injured O'Callaghan. The Chiefs may draft a tackle this year which means either Richardson or O'Callaghan is probably gone.
15. Ryan O'Callaghan - Well, pretty much everything I wrote for Richardson you can cut and paste down here. The Chiefs need an answer at RT, and they need it soon if they're going to be competitive.
16. Jackie Battle - He's sort of become an exclamation point. He didn't get many carries because he was playing behind a pair of quality backs. When he did get in, Battle lived up to his name and showed that he can attack the hole with some force. He may become an eventual replacement for the aging Thomas Jones so it shouldn't be surprising if he is resigned.
17. Kevin Curtis - He was brought in for the playoffs and didn't really have a chance to do anything. He's getting old and has clearly lost a step. It's got to be close to time for him to hang up his cleats. I wouldn't be surprised if this is the year.
*Note - I used Walter Football, Big Lead Sports, and Football's Future for my list. If I left anyone out or missed that someone has already been resigned, I apologize. Feel free to add some names.