OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 23: The Oakland Raiders line up to defend against center Casey Wiegmann #62 of the Kansas City Chiefs in the third quarter on October 23, 2011 at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, California. The Chiefs won 28-0. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Casey Wiegmann is the last man standing. At one point, the Chiefs front five featured a line-up that included multiple potential Hall of Famer candidates like Willie Roaf, this year's inductee, Will Shields and Brian Waters. Wiegmann was the starting center for that group, forming perhaps the best offensive line in NFL history. Yet after the loss of Waters last season to the Patriots, Wiegmann is the only man left. And now he might be leaving himself.
Last season, the Chiefs invested a high draft pick in Rodney Hudson, grabbing the Florida State interior lineman in the second round. The assumption was that Hudson was Wiegmann's heir apparent and even though he only started one game, Hudson earned playing time in every game last season. He might now be ready to seize the starter's role.
At the very least, Bob Gretz believes that Wiegmann is likely finished with the Kansas City portion of his career. He writes:
After 16 seasons, Casey Wiegmann appears to have retired. He was unwilling in the last week of the 2011 season to confirm his departure, but the 38-year-old acted and talked like a player who was bowing out -- and he cleaned out his locker. Despite nagging injuries, Wiegmann finished with more than 11,100 consecutive snaps. It’s time for both Wiegmann and the Chiefs to move on.
Hudson is the most logical choice to replace Wiegmann if he's gone, but there are other veteran options available like New England's Dan Koppen. This is also an strong draft for guards and centers as well, so Pioli could find value in a later round to provide depth and competition along the line. Either way, a storied member of the Chiefs franchise could be finished.