Most teams would hope they never have a "Super Bowl window". They hope they're always going to be competitive enough to make it to the playoffs, which gives you a shot at making a run. But some teams do have what we call Super Bowl windows. You see how they flash for a couple of years and then the core group of players is gone and their window is effectively gone. They must start over.
Do these Chiefs have a Super Bowl window? AP reader CWil03 wrote a good FanPost with an eye to the future of the team. Look at the players who have contracts expiring in 2016 alone: Tamba Hali, Eric Berry, Derrick Johnson, Jamaal Charles, Dontari Poe, Sean Smith, Mike Devito, Donnie Avery.
That means there are probably going to be some changes by that point (probably before that point for some players). Some will be extended while others will be cut or allowed to hit the market. The nucleus of the team will be changing.
This is where the draft comes into play. The Chiefs can replenish their roster with good draft picks. After all, Hali, Berry, DJ, Charles, Poe and others were once good draft picks themselves.
Teams with large Super Bowl windows are usually teams with great quarterbacks. Sure, Jamaal Charles is great, but you can have a great running back on a bad team. You usually don't have a great quarterback on a bad team. Your Patriots and Packers' of the world are good each year largely due in part to having really good quarterbacks. Outside of the 49ers, I can't think of a team that has sustained success with multiple quarterbacks.
So the quarterback and the draft are the two keys to sustaining that Super Bowl window, which is also the topic of this piece from Jason Whitlock of ESPN.
K.C.'s tiny window is closing. Charles, Tamba Hali, Dwayne Bowe, Brandon Flowers, Branden Albert and Derrick Johnson -- the foundation drafted by Herm Edwards and Carl Peterson -- are in their primes. They're not going to get any better. The young nucleus selected by former general manager Scott Pioli -- Eric Berry, Tyson Jackson, Dontari Poe, Dexter McCluster -- is suspect. Berry is an All-Pro safety who struggles in coverage and missed far too many one-on-one tackles against the Colts.
The Chiefs had a lot of high draft picks who panned out in recent memory -- Hali, Bowe, Flowers, Albert, DJ -- and those players are really expensive, especially on their second and sometimes third contract. It's unreasonable to assume the Chiefs are going to be able to carry all those contracts into the future, especially with new ones coming up (Justin Houston, Berry, Poe). So the Chiefs are indeed going to be seeing lots of changes in the next few years, as will most teams.
Does that mean their window is closing? Not necessarily. It just means they're going to have to nail the draft and the quarterback will have to play at a high level.
For me, a Super Bowl window means you're continually making the playoffs, but also winning playoff games. The Bengals have made the playoffs three years in a row but they didn't get any closer to the Super Bowl in any of those years. What's their Super Bowl window? The Chiefs have made it just one year in a row.
The Chiefs are just one year into this thing so I'm not sure yet if we know what their window is, if they have one at all. Efficient play from Alex Smith and continually adding good players via the draft will keep the Chiefs window, however small it may be, open.
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