1. Extend Brandon Albert - he is top 5 LT in the league, we have a rookie QB coming in, we have plenty of cap space, there really is no excuse not to get him signed. Show him the money! Hopefully, our lame duck situation in the front office doesn't prevent this from happening.
2. Franchise Bowe - whether you like it or not, D Bowe has been the only consistent receiver we have had. His numbers are actually pretty impressive when you consider defenses have focused so heavily on him and has had nothing but mediocre QB play. We have to think about the future rookie QB and give him as much support as needed. If we can't come to a long term deal with Bowe then we need to at least get compensation for him so we can draft and develop his replacement this year. I understand he drops the ball, but so do a lot of great WRs like Roddy White or T.O. It happens.
3. Restructure Jackson's Contract - Jackson is getting cut even if he plays like Ngata the last 7 games since he is due 14 million, which he isn't even remotely worth. Lets all just forget about how we acquired T-Jax initially. We can pay him a more appropriate amount for the role he provides, which is very solid in terms of stopping the run. I don't think we want to have to develop another defensive lineman. I doubt the market will go crazy for T-Jax and we can get him back at a good price.
4. Re-sign Colquitt - Dustin is one of the best punters in the league and they are getting paid about 3 to 4 million a year now. I still think he is worth it since field position is really under rated in terms of its importance. And all of these in house moves, not counting the Jackson restructure, can be made with the $16 million in cap carryover that we have. So we should have about another $16 million in cap space to play around with after cutting Cassel and Breaston, base pay upticks, and the rookie salary pool.
5. Hire Bill Cowher - I know, I know it has been discussed and suggested ad nauseum. But, my take isn't just that the Chiefs should go after Cowher, my take is this he may be the only man that can save us. Sure, there might be an up and coming coach like Ray Horton in Arizona that could get the job done, but the only sure bet out there is Cowher. I know people will want to temper their expectations, but Cowher to the Chiefs makes a lot of sense. He has a history here. He is waiting for the right situation to come back. I'm sure if the Bears, Texans, or Giants job opened up he would take them in a heartbeat, but they aren't going to. If the Chiefs have a shot at a QB in the draft that Cowher likes he will consider the KC job if he is given full control.
I think he sees the talent at key positions like pass rusher, defensive back, LT, and RB. If Clark is serious about wanting to be like the Steelers, what better way than to get one of the 3 men to coach the team since the merger. Cowher would of course bring instant stability, respect from the players, a hard nosed, physical, and disciplined approach. Just what the doctor ordered. And no other move could change the brand of the Chiefs overnight to the fan base than this hire so Clark will be desperate to make it happen.
6. Hire Chan Gailey - Gailey is likely to get the ax in Buffalo after Buddy Nix gets fired. Gailey, who is very close with Cowher, would be the perfect fit for KC. His zone blocking running scheme fits our lineman and backs perfectly. It would give our offensive line continuity, which is huge since it won't require a rebuild. And D Bowe would fit nicely is Gailey's spread scheme, allowing him to get into space and make plays after the catch. Plus, he can line up Moeaki out wide to stretch the defense horizontally and I'm interested to see what he can do with Baldwin. Last, his scheme would be good for our new franchise QB. I'll get into that later.
7. Hire Keith Butler - Out of all the scenarios I'm presenting, this one will be the hardest to pull off. Butler has been the LBs coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers for 10 seasons and is considered the heir apparent to Dick Lebeau. He accepted the Colts DC position last year, but stayed with Pittsburgh after he was promised the Steelers DC job. However, if Lebeau returns next year Butler's patience might grow thin and he would jump at the chance to work under Cowher. Hopefully, his contract will be up next year because the Steelers would refuse us the ability to even interview him.
Butler would be the best man to implement Lebeau's 3-4 zone blitz scheme in KC. Its fits our current roster in terms of our 2 gap lineman and would be perfect for Eric Berry. Its a scheme that basically uses the SS as a 5th LB, which is what Berry is at this point. Once again, if we can pull this off KC would have schemes on both sides of the ball that would not require a massive retooling.
8. Sign Larry Foote (ILB, Steelers) - Foote has played for Cowher before and would provide a nice stop gap at the SILB position. He is a free agent at the end of the season and we should be able to get him for a cheap one year deal.
9. Sign Brett Keisel (DE, Steelers) - Keisel should be a cap casualty this offseason, they have a 1st rounder in Cameron Heyward waiting in the wings. He could be a nice stop gap at RDE and give us time to develop someone at the spot.
10. Sign Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB, Bills) - Fitzpatrick should be another cap casualty this offseason after a new regime comes to Buffalo. I think as a backup he is legit and could our provide our rookie QB with guidance since he has been in the system for a while now.
11. Draft Geno Smith (QB, West Virginia) - I think Geno is the best QB prospect in this draft class and would fit great into Gailey's spread offense where he can line up in shot gun formations and not have to take many 7 step drops. He isn't a running QB, but does bring some mobility to the position and can make plays outside the pocket. I think Smith passes the stat test, the eye test, and has the intangibles you look for. He isn't a slam dunk like Luck or RG3, but is no slouch in my opinion. I think its likely he will be a 6-10 range QB in the mold of Flacco or Ryan. I think his floor is the Alex Smith type, 11-15 range, game manager that doesn't throw picks and allows your defense & running game to win games. Or we could get extremely lucky and he could be a top 5 guy or extremely unlucky and he could be a complete bust. At the end of the day I can see him winning us a Super Bowl if he can create a great defense and JC stays JC.
12. Draft David Amerson (CB, North Carolina St) - The biggest need on the defensive side of the ball is a CB opposite of Flowers. Amerson was considered a possible top 10 pick this preseason, but has since dropped off due to speed concerns and mental mistakes. He is big at 6'2" and 194 lbs, which is a DB we could use to match up against taller wideouts. Amerson has amazing ball skills and could be a huge playmaker for us. Worst case scenario, he moves to FS next year after the experiment at corner fails and we are looking for a CB in the 1st round. Cowher's alma matter is NC St so maybe he has seen the kid play a lot and will be on his radar.
13. Draft Margus Hunt (DE, SMU) - Hunt is a 25 year old, 6'8" athletic freak. I think he falls to the top of the 3rd because of his age and rawness. Hunt initially went to SMU to train for shot put in the olympics and was discovered by SMU's staff. He has shown flashes of being a good pass rusher and is absolutely incredible at blocking kicks. He is definitely a work in progress, but is worth the risk in the 3rd round.
14. Draft Trey Millard (FB, Oklahoma) - Gailey's offense doesn't use a FB that much, but I think Cowher will want to at least have a short yardage/goal line package that uses a big FB like Millard at 256 lbs. The kid is a blue chip FB prospect. He can block, he can run, and he can catch the ball out of the backfield. He can probably provide special teams help as well. We should get a 3rd round comp pick for Carr and Millard should be around there since its rare for a FB to go before the 4th round, especially in today's NFL.
15. Draft Shayne Skov (ILB, Stanford) - The last major piece the Chiefs need to figure out is a long term answer across from DJ. Skov plays in a 3-4 at Stanford and was considered a late first, early 2nd round prospect when he had amazing production his sophmore season with 84 tackles, 10.5 tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and five passes broken up. His stock has since fallen due to a DUI arrest and an injury that looks like it has taken some explosiveness off him. There is a good chance he will be there at the top of the 4th for us.