This started as a reply under the FA thread, but my research was getting out of hand, so I thought I'd make a Post out of it.
I started digging through the list of Free Agents and the Players currently under Contract.
I added up the list of "sure things" for the roster next season, and the "take em or leave ems"
What I found was pretty surprising to me.
- The Chiefs will have some tough decisions this year, but for different reasons than I thought.
- If I am correct, there are only 4 roster spots plus the 8 Practice Squad spots that are really up for grabs. ( I know, I won't be 100% right, but stay with me here)
- Competing for those 4 (12) spots are 27 current Chiefs and all of the Free Agents KC could target this year!
- What this means for the Chiefs:
- The roster is improving... top-to-bottom, this is a better roster than we've seen in years.
- They are still very young (likely younger in 2011 than in 2010).
Start with the following 25 IMO "guaranteed" roster spots:
Branden Albert, Jon Asamoah, Dwayne Bowe, Matt Cassel, Jamaal Charles, Thomas Jones, Ryan Lilja, Dexter McCluster, Tony Moeaki, Jake O’Connell, Verran Tucker, Brian Waters, Javier Arenas, Jovan Belcher, Eric Berry, Glenn Dorsey, Brandon Flowers, Tyson Jackson, Derrick Johnson, Kendrick Lewis, Andy Studebaker, Dustin Colquitt, Thomas Gafford, Ryan Succop, Tamba Hali
ADD these 5 (Probably) Restricted Free Agents (under 4 years):
DE Wallace Gilberry, CB Brandon Carr, LB Cory Greenwood, OT Barry Richardson, TE Brad Cottam
ADD the 2 Unrestricted FAs that I’d absolutely want to keep are:
DE Shaun Smith, C Casey Wiegmann… and I think both are likely to stick with KC, and not draw a ton of interest elsewhere.
I would tender these 5 guys, if possible (they fall in the RFA group if it's under 6 years):
FB Mike Cox, CB Maurice Leggett, TE Leonard Pope, OT Ryan O’Callaghan, RB Jackie Battle ...But, none should be that hard to replace.
Let's call that 37 spots likely to be occupied
Let’s assume 2 of those guys make the 53 (which is how many made it from the future contracts last year)
That’s 39 of the 53.
ADD in the 7 draft picks…
Now we’re at 46.
I could take or leave these guys without contracts:
LB Corey Mays , C Rudy Niswanger, NT Ron Edwards, WR Terrance Copper, S Jon McGraw, LB Charlie Anderson, WR Kevin Curtis, CB Travis Daniels and LB Mike Vrabel, FB Tim Castille, S Reshard Langford, QB Brodie Croyle...This group would also not draw much interest elsewhere, so KC could choose whether or not they wanted them back whenever the CBA was sorted out.
The other 6 guys from IR:
Bates, Jackie, CB
Johnson, Tervaris RB
Sheffield, Cameron, OLB
Urban, Jerheme WR
Washington, Donald S/CB
Williams, Chandler , WR
Of this group, I could see Sheffield, Urban and Washington on the 53.
So, the last 4 spots on the roster (plus 8 PS spots, but they are likely for the draft picks and UDFA from 2011 that don't make the 53) are up for grabs between 12 players under contract, 12 players I said "take em or leave em", 6 players under contract, 3 from IR, and all of the FA out there…
FOUR roster spots in competition among 33 current Chiefs and every FA we'd like to sign???
Interesting thought, isn't it?
Even if you disagree about which players are on which list, it's still a pretty small number of roster spots that are truly "up for grabs"
For the record, I'd give those final 4 spots to:
That would mean I'd cut or not re-sign these 25 guys: Corey Mays , Rudy Niswanger, Ron Edwards, Terrance Copper, Jon McGraw, Charlie Anderson, Mike Vrabel, Tim Castille, Reshard Langford, Brodie Croyle, Bates, Jackie, Johnson, Tervaris, Williams, Chandler , Dion Gales, Jeremy Horne, Darryl Harris, Justin Cole, Bobby Greenwood, Cody Slate, Chris Chambers, Quinten Lawrence, Tyler Palko, Eric Bakhtiari, Ricky Price, Anthony Toribio