The Kansas City Chiefs have a number of starters who are scheduled to be free agents when the new league year opens on March 11, including starting defensive end Tyson Jackson. Jackson, who was picked No. 3 overall by the Chiefs back in 2009 when those awful rookie contracts were still in place, was paid about $4.2 million last season after taking an approximately $10 million pay cut from his previous contract.
So Jackson is scheduled to be a free agent. He is a starter and while the Chiefs have some depth there they're not so deep that they can easily shake off the loss of a starting defensive end as if it's no big deal.
First, you have to set the market for Jackson, which is the toughest part of this. I have no idea what he could command. Last year he was scheduled to make over $14 million and he took a pay cut to put that around $4 million.
I suspect they will try to bring him back but the question is how motivated they will be. The replacement would seem to be Allen Bailey, a 2011 third round pick out of The U (that's Miami for those who aren't hip enough to know that), so it's not like the Chiefs have to draft someone or sign a free agent to replace him. Mike Catapano, a seventh round pick last year, could provide depth. They'll need more depth, sure, but maybe it's time to see what Allen Bailey can offer.
The key to becoming successful is obviously the draft. Everyone says that, but now we can possibly see it in action Because if Jackson walks in free agency, the Chiefs could be hoping to replace him with two draft picks. Losing starters and having the depth to replace them (ideally that's depth with cheap rookie deals) is the key to continued success.
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