I know another article on Free Agents but based on what we have seen from Pioli so far I do not expect him to make a huge splash in free agency but rather get one or two specific players and then add some depth behind them. I know we have approx $35M in cap but that is at the end of the year and I expect/hope we use it to lockup Dorsey, Bowe, Flowers, and Carr.
1. NT Aubrayo Franklin - the one big time signing and I am basing this on we currently do not have a starting NT under contract, we offered Shaun Rogers $6M, and there is not that many options available. I really like Powe but even guys like Raji rotated most of their first year before really making any difference. This is the one position on the defense that has really not been addressed since Pioli got here and it is vital to the 3-4.
2. MLB Barrett Ruud - coming from a Tampa 2 system that wanted him to get deep middle just was not a good fit. I think he would be a perfect fit as both a leader and downhill tackler and a big upgrade in coverage. The knock was he did not cover all that well in Tampa but there is a big difference in ILB in the 3-4 and MLB in Cover 2. Former Husker (from Lincoln as well) just makes too much sense and the last article i read on SI.com said he was a perfect fit for the Pats so the same holds true for the chiefs. I think Belcher has improved and this is not a huge need it has to do with Pioli finding the right player not just position and I think Ruud would add a lot on and off the field with the absence of Vrabel that can't hurt.
3. WR Mark Clayton - coming off an injury but seems to have the right skill set to be a very solid slot WR as well as a very good locker room guy. Could also start and allow Baldwin time to develop intstead of just throwing him out there. Great value and would be nice to add one proven target and not break the bank doing it. Santana Moss and Breaston would be great but i just dont see us making a Madden Type splash in free agency and getting Ruud and Franklin will cost a little.
4. FB Marcel Reece - Taking one from Oakland is always nice and i think he would add a lot both in receiving out of the backfield as well as the ability to get short yardage. Keeping Thomas Jones one more year and adding Reece would be ideal. This allows us to carry 3 RBs (4 if you could Dex) and not worry about Cox or Castille.
5. RT Jeremy Trueblood - played very well for Coach Muir in Tampa and would make sense for a reunion. I am a Richardson fan BUT I also think as much potential as Richardson has I could just as easily see him taking a step back and it would just destroy this offense to once again keep a TE in to block and really limit us offensively. Adding another starter quality player that wont break the bank or wont force Albert to move all over the place makes a lot of sense and is low risk with Muir knowing the player.
I just wanted to bring up a few new players that I have not seen a lot mentioned and lets HOPE we see a few of these players signed in the next week.
Come at me Bro!
Matt GD Cassel