Reasonable expectations: A guide to the new era of Chiefs free agency

Jamie Squire

From the FanPosts -Joel

Well, I walked outside this morning, and it turns out that the sky has not fallen.

But don't tell that to Chiefs nation. Clearly the fan base is a little less than impressed with the additions of Joe Mays and Jeff Linkenbach. I think I've already seen about 200 mentions of firing John Dorsey. It would be kind of funny if it weren't so sad ... oh, who am I kidding? For those of us that expected this kind of a slow free agency, it's still pretty hilarious.

Look sports fans, the Chiefs are not going to be the big spending, quick dealing team that we saw last year. Last year was simply done out of necessity to build a stronger franchise. From here on out, we're going to see a team that is built around developing the players we draft ... just like the Packers franchise that Dorsey came up in. That means you shouldn't expect us to go after the top names on the free agent market. It's just not a reasonable expectation. We are going to be more frugal with our contracts, and the guys we sign are generally going to be more for competition and depth than for starting positions.

There were a lot of posts about how the Chiefs could open up money this offseason. We could do all of these wonderful restructures and extensions that would give us plenty of room to wheel and deal in free agency this year...but it didn't happen. The Chiefs, instead, have shown that they are more interested in keeping to what they have and developing talent instead of trying to buy it.

So what kind of free agents can Chiefs fans expect us to be looking at moving forward?

Adam Carriker - DE - Washington Redskins: After only playing two games in the past two years due to a torn quadriceps, the Redskins "terminated Adam Carriker" (their words). He would have been a $6.5 million cap hit to them this season, so the move was definitely financially motivated after having put the franchise tag on Brian Orakpo. Carriker is in a situation now where he won't be able to get very much on the open market. Missing almost two seasons will drive his price tag way down, and for good reason. He will get a very small offer sheet, and almost none of the money will be guaranteed. That makes him a low cost, easy to cut, option for the team that wants to take a shot at him. That puts him right in the wheelhouse of the Chiefs who will certainly want someone to compete with Mike Catapano for the starting DE spot.

Tom Johnson - DE - New Orleans Saints: A depth player for his first four years in the NFL, Johnson has not received a RFA tender from the Saints. This puts him in the league minimum category and makes him the ideal target for the Chiefs to target as a role/depth player. He would certainly be someone that could push Allen Bailey or a draft pick for the backup job.

Marshall Newhouse - OT - Green Bay Packers: Obviously there is the Dorsey connection here, but Newhouse has another reason why the Chiefs would like him ... he can play both OT positions. With Donald Stephenson likely to be a starter this year, Newhouse would make a lot of sense as a swing tackle who could also reasonably compete with either Stephenson or Fisher. He should be available in the $1 - $2 mil per year range. He has starting experience, though he has never been what you might call impressive. As a backup and a veteran presence though, he would certainly offer a lot to the Chiefs.

Winston Justice - OT - Denver Broncos: Justice was once a second rd pick (and had been considered in the first) by Andy Reid. He started a number of years for the Eagles before going down with a knee injury. That injury eventually led to him being traded to the Colts. He was then signed last year by the Broncos after Ryan Clady went down. Justice had shown a lot of potential early on, but the knee injury has definitely worn down his ability. Still, he is a veteran who will not command a lot of money and would be serviceable in spot duty at either OT position.

Kurt Coleman - FS - Philadelphia Eagles: Keep an eye on this guy. He was a late round pick by Andy Reid in 2010 who managed to stick with the Eagles for the past several years and was a starter in 2011 and 2012. Coleman saw his role scaled back to largely special teams duty last year, but it is clear that Andy Reid saw something in him prior to that. Coleman is another guy who can be signed cheap and used as competition to push the guys we have on the roster or any draft picks.

Bryan McCann - CB - Arizona Cardinals: A journeyman to be sure. This guy has bounced around several teams in his early career, but he is the epitome of a competition player. This is the guy you sign to push any young players you have on the roster. He would be competing with a guy like Ron Parker or a draft pick for that final spot on the depth chart.

Andrew Quarless- TE - Green Bay Packers: A depth guy behind Jermichael Finley during his career, Quarless offers quality blocking and decent receiving skills. He won't be a 700+ yard receiver, but he can bring in 200-300 yards consistently. He would be good competition for Travis Kelce and Sean McGrath. Plus, there is the John Dorsey connection.

Seyi Ajirotutu - WR - San Diego Chargers: Ajirotutu has never been a primary WR, but he's been a quality depth guy that makes all of his catches count. He made his biggest impact as a rookie, and he's had some injury concerns since then. He is the kind of guy that is worth giving a shot to because he can be cut with minimal recourse to the team. There is a lot of low-risk/high-reward potential with signing him.

Lestar Jean - WR - Houston Texans: I know, you're thinking: "who?" Well, Jean does not have an impressive resume to be sure. But if you're looking for that...then you should turn on Madden, because that's not where the Chiefs are looking for FAs. Jean only has 10 catches over 2 years...but 8 of them have gone for 1st downs and 1 for a TD. He has quality size and speed. He was an UDFA for the Texans that has managed to stick with the team. As a depth WR, he would offer a good deal of value to the Chiefs.

Now, this is not to say that these are the players the Chiefs are targeting. This should just give you an idea of what they are looking for. The Chiefs, ideally, do not want to ever be in a position where they have to sign a starter in FA. They want all of their money to go to re-signing in house talent that has developed. So that means the signings we make are going to be geared towards competition and depth (as John Dorsey recently stated). That means we, as fans, should temper our expectations. We won't be signing guys like Demarcus Ware and Jairus Byrd...and hopefully that's all because the coaching staff and front office don't think we need to.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.

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