We've moving on with our look at the Kansas City Chiefs in free agency. Here's my list of the free agents the Chiefs have to keep once the league year opens. Now it's time for the list of guys that the Chiefs should think hard about keeping if the price is right.
Here's the full list of the Chiefs (expected) unrestricted free agents: NT Ron Edwards, DE Shaun Smith, WR Terrance Copper, C Casey Wiegmann, S Jon McGraw, LB Charlie Anderson, WR Kevin Curtis, CB Travis Daniels, LB Mike Vrabel, FB Tim Castille, OT Ryan O'Callaghan, LB Corey Mays, TE Leonard Pope, C Rudy Niswanger and QB Brodie Croyle.
I've already tabbed Edwards, Smith, Copper and Wiegmann as guys they must keep. Now for the others...
Should keep if the price is right: McGraw, Daniels, O'Callaghan, Niswanger, Vrabel, and Pope.
I know talking about intangibles and descriptions like "coach on the field" gets old but some of them are real and some of them do help, even if it is a cliche at this point. Say what you want, but players have given specific examples of how guys like McGraw and Vrabel have significantly helped them in their early years.
With McGraw, that's the case -- he is still an important part of the defense on Monday through Saturday and, not as often anymore, on Sunday. He's part of the old guard in a very young secondary and a few of those guys like CB Brandon Flowers and S Eric Berry have said that McGraw is the elder statesman back there and he does a good job of keeping everyone informed of what play it is, where they should be and little things like that. He should stick around for another year.
And then there's Vrabel. If the Chiefs can get him at the right price, then he's worth bringing back. He won't bring a ton of results on the field but the Chiefs have a couple of younger guys at that position so I would guess Todd Haley wouldn't mind Vrabel helping break these guys in. That said, if the price isn't right and there is an expectation of a lot of playing time, I'd pass.
Daniels knows the system and should stay until someone beats him out. In a lockout-shortened season, someone like Daniels is a little more important to the Chiefs because he knows the system and is ready to hit the ground running whenever it's over.
OT Barry Richardson was decent last year but didn't blow you away all the time so someone like O'Callaghan needs to be around for some competition (although I'm not sure the Chiefs will keep him). O'Callaghan's future could depend on what the Chiefs are able to get on the open market.
Niswanger is a decent backup option at a couple of positions and Pope is a solid blocker and veteran that could stick around at the right price. These are guys that, in my opinion, could have seen their jobs disappear if an undrafted free agent was signed. With no undrafted free agency to this point, they become a little more valuable to the Chiefs.
Guys like Daniels, O'Callaghan, Niswanger and Pope might not be the best players at their position but there's no reason to drop them unless you have someone in house who is better, and someone who can quickly learn the system. That's life in a lockout-shortened offseason.