You can read about the differences between unrestricted free-agents (UFA) and restricted free-agents (RFA) here. Basically, an UFA is free to sign with any team and his prior team isn't eligible for compensation. For a team to sign an RFA, there are levels of compensation involving draft picks to compensate the player's prior team.
DE, Jared Allen, UFA - For salary cap reasons, Jared Allen will more than likely receive the franchise tag in the next week. That way, the team can have more salary cap control in order to meet the March 1st cap deadline. After that, the Chiefs have until July 14th to sign Allen to a long-term contract before his franchise salary kicks in for good for the '08 season.
One factor to consider is what type of franchise tag the Chiefs will use on Allen. There are two types -- exclusive and non-exclusive. Wikipedia says, "An exclusive franchise player must be offered a one-year contract for an amount equal to or greater than the average of the top five salaries at the player's position as of a date in April of the current year in which the tag will apply, or 120 percent of the player's previous year's salary, whichever is greater." An exclusive franchise tagged player cannot negotiate with other teams either. A non-exclusive tag is similar except the average of the one-year contract must be greater or equal to the previous year's top averages. Also, a non-exclusive tagged player can negotiate with other teams. If Allen gets an offer from another team after getting the non-exclusive franchise tag, the Chiefs have the right to match that offer or receive two first round picks in compensation.
Jared Allen has publicly stated that if he does not a receive a long-term contract offer this off-season that he will never play long-term in Kansas City. Carl Peterson has also publicly stated that he'll do pretty much anything to keep Jared Allen. I believe Carl Peterson and I believe Jared Allen. That's why I think the Chiefs will tag Allen but sign him to a long-term contract before July 14th. He's simply too valuable to let go.
P, Dustin Colquitt, RFA - He is the Chiefs punter until he can't physically do it anymore. He'll never be a salary cap issue or an issue on or off the field.
KR, Eddie Drummond, UFA - It's now pretty much known that Eddie Drummond won't be back in Kansas City next season. His case is precisely the reason you sign one-dimensional guys like him to one-year deals.
LB, Keyaron Fox, UFA - This backup linebacker is coming off the end of his rookie contract and hasn't made much of a splash since he arrived in 2004. To be fair, Fox has been overshadowed by the Chiefs' first round draft pick in 2005 -- Derrick Johnson. Johnson fell to the Chiefs and they took him, probably to Fox's dismay. The Chiefs do need backup linebackers though and that seems to suit Fox for the time being. If someone equally as good comes along at a better price, the Chiefs will take that player. If not, Fox will probably stay on as a backup.
FB, Boomer Grigsby, RFA - I still don't think Boomer's future is at fullback and the NFL draft at the end of April could be a big factor in determining his fate this season. He does bring a great energy to his above average special teams play but it feels like the Chiefs are trying to force him into being a fullback. And it's not really working. Do the Chiefs give him another year? I don't expect any NFL team to pursure Grigsby so the decision will come entirely from the Chiefs.
For those that think Grigsby deserves another shot next season, what kind of a contract would you sign him to? One-year? Three, four or five years? Anything beyond a year doesn't make sense to me. He's still being tested. He makes his money in training camp this year.
WR, Samie Parker, UFA - It feels good to be able to write that it's pretty much official that Parker will not return to the Chiefs this season. Both Adam Teicher of the Kansas City Star and Nick Athan of Scout.com have said so. Simply put, the Chiefs can do better for the same financial committment.
CB, Bennie Sapp, UFA - If Sapp was closer to six feet tall, we may be talking about him legitimately replacing Ty Law this season. But coming in at only 5'9", Sapp isn't big enough to cover really any AFC west wide out. He won't ever be a one-on-one corner but may fit in somewhere else in the secondary. I think the Chiefs are still curious enough about his ability to keep him around.
OT, Will Svitek, RFA - I don't see the Chiefs resigning Will Svitek, although he may be able to fulfill a backup role for a starved offensive line somewhere. The Chiefs are blowing up the line, from free agency to the draft. Svitek doesn't factor into those plans.
OT, Kyle Turley, UFA - The former no. 7 overall pick has all but officially retired. He probably should have retired last year.
C, Casey Wiegmann, UFA - After entering the league undrafted in 1996, Wiegmann is more than likely going to retire over the off-season. His time had come and fortunately it's come at a good time for the Chiefs.
DE, Jimmy Wilkerson, UFA - I wouldn't be surprised if Wilkerson makes his way to another NFL team. He's an unrestricted free agent who's played pretty well in the past, considering he's been a mainly backup his entire career.
FB, Kris Wilson, UFA - The "hybrid experiment" that is Kris Wilson will hopefully come to an end this off-season. Nick Athan of Scout certainly seems to think so. He will catch on to another team. The Chiefs can't really utilize him and he isn't as good as the "explosive" player he was touted as.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg of the 20-25 players whose jobs will be in play this off-season. I already get the feeling that in three or four years we'll be looking back at the 2007 roster and say, "Oh yeah! That guy! I forgot all about him!".
For a better or worse, the Chiefs will be a new team next season and it starts right here with these free agents.