While it is never a means of fixing all of your needs, Free Agency, when mastered can help get a team to the holy land of the draft. That is the "BPA" picks. In his first two years as the Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli has shown a taste for Free Agents that come through the Chiefs' expanding network of pipelines. What is the Chiefs pipeline? It is Scott Pioli and Bill Bellichik's Patriots, it is Romeo Crennel and the players he left behind in Cleveland, and Todd Haley's line to the Jet's, Cowboys, and Cardinals.
Here I hope to profile some of those free agents at percieved positions of need that are on the other side of the pipeline to Kansas City, team by team. While Todd Haley has connections to the Cowboys and the Jets, we're going to focus on his most recent non-Chiefs job; The Arizona Cardinals.
From what the Media gathers, through interviews of his fomer players. Todd Haley was a pretty popular guy. In his former position as an Offensive Coordinator, Todd Haley presumably knew the skill set and capabilities of each of his players. Also take into consideration that Ken Whisenhunt had a good working relationship with Haley, so any new players now and in the future still hold somewhat of a conection to Haley until Whisenhunt is no longer their head coach.
Weight- 305 lbs
The first thing that stands out about the guy is that he hasn't missed a start since he took the starting job 2008, just a year after he went undrafted. It'll be hard to pry this guy from Arizona, he's from Arizona and supposedly chose the Cardinals over "20 to 25 teams" after going undrafted. He's not much of a mauler but can be really effective in our zone blocking scheme with his athleticism.
A Sendlein signing would probably spell the end of Casey Weigmann, he's not going to move cities to sit on the bench and Weigmann won't end his career behind a 3rd year guard. However signing Sendlein would solidify our interior line for a long time.
Duece Lutui, G
Lutui may have laughed his way out f Arizona, it's a shame considering he's from Arizona and his cousin was the first Tongan ever to play in the NFL for. You guessed it, the Cardinals (the St. Louis version). More than that Lutui had been playing solid football until this past year. Lutui is one of those "greatest Guards you've never heard of." He's been playing next to some pretty mediocre Tackles in Arizona but still manages to run and pass block fairly well.
Lutui may have been a victim of losing Kurt Warner and will get a starting opportunity elsewhere if not in Arizona. I'm not sure he would come to Kansas City to sit behind Lilja and Waters (and Asomoah for that matter), but he'd be quality depth in Kansas City as he is starting material. There isn't any sort of information suggesting that he has even tried playing Center at any level, so that option is out.
Tim Hightower, RB
Weight- 222 lbs.
Running Back isn't exactly a pressing need, but Thomas Jones isn't getting any younger, and you can never have enough playmakers. Hightower is a solid option as a third back in a comittee with Charles and Battle (assuming he is as good as he's looked) going into the future. Hightower brings explosiveness and is just as good as a #3 recever coming out of the backfield. Prying Hightower from Arizona may be diificult considering how thin their backfield is without him. Chris Wells has been "ok" for Arizona, and Hightower is a good compliment to his abilities.
In Kansas City, Hightower would bring an exciting new dimension to the offense, alongside Jamaal Charles, and Dexter McCluster, Todd Haley would have a lot of options to do a lot of things. Bringing in Hightower most likely means the end of either Jackie Battle or Thomas Jones in KC, as I don't see the Chiefs carrying five running backs (if you count McCluster), I mean running backs are cool but they aren't Tight Ends!
Alan Branch, DE
I was going to leave Branch off of this list because we have Wallace Gillberry and Shaun Smith but you can never have enough quality defensive linemen. Branch hasn't exactly set the world on fire in Arizona but he's been consistant in stopping the run and could be a solid rotational LDE in a 3-4.
Branch in Kansas City doesn't seem like a good fit. There's nohing that Branch does that isn't already being done by Shaun Smith and Tyson Jackson, who don't have to adjust to our defense, as Branch would.
Steve Breaston, WR
Steve Breaston is just one player on an impressive list of WR's that Todd Haley "created." Breaston is one of those "Jack of all trades, ace of none" guys. While he does a lot of things "good," he doesn't necessarily do anything "extremely well," but that's all you need out of a #2 option. Under Haley's wing Breaston developed an ability to run sharp routes and catches just about anything that hits him. What's discouraging about Breaston are that his numbers have been in decline since Haley left Arizona, Breaston also suffered a knee injury this past season that required surgery. Also, most Cardinals fans seem to think of Breaston as a really good #3 that can never cut it as a #2 option.
Interesting "right 53" type story; In 2008 in spot duty for Anquan Boldin. Breaston requested that he not be announced pre- game, because he "knew" that he was not a starter and was merely keeping the seat warm for Boldin.
Breaston in Kansas City is a move that makes a lot of sense. He may want to revive his career under the coach that launched it. If anyone knows how to get the most out of Breaston it would be Todd Haley. Breaston would fill a gaping hole at the #2 Wide Receiver spot, and could help the development of Matt Cassel. Fielding Breaston, Bowe, McCluster, Charles and Moeaki could be really fun. Chris Chambers in Kansas City is DONE, so there wouldn't be much to lose with a Breaston signing.
Stephen Spach, TE
Another "Jack of All Trades" kind of guy. He's not especially good at anything, but he's the kind of guy coaches like to have because you can ask them to do a lot of different things
Reggie Walker, ILB
A contributor for special teams and could be an upgrade over Corey Mays for depth.
Bryan Robinson, NT
Robinson is OLD at 36 and plays a position that 36 year olds generally don't last an entire season. Still, could provide solid depth behind Ron Edwards should we decide to bail on the Torbio project.
Gabe Watson, NT
Young, and has the ability to be quality depth, but he can't seem to stay on the field.
Hamzah Abdullah, S
This is a move I'd like to see. Abdullah has been pretty solid, spot starting for the Cardinals. I wanted to do an entire write up on him but he hasn't hit the field enough to warrant it. He's a guy we could take a flyer on and hope he takes Jon McGraws job in training camp.
Ben Claxton, C
Entered the league at 27 years old! He's never been a starter and at 31 probably never will be. Could be depth in the event that Niswanger bails on us.