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The Chiefs Shouldn't Look to Free Agency for a Defensive Tackle

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Since the Chiefs can't seem to draft a defensive tackle, looking for a proven player in free agency would be the next step. But not this year. The top defensive linemen have been either resigned or franchised. At best, there are a couple of average starters and more than a few backups on the market this year. This is not the year to sign a free agent defensive tackle.

Albert Haynesworth, Titans. Age: 27 -- Haynesworth was franchised by the Titans on February 20th. The Titans have until July 15th to work out a long-term deal. Haynesworth would have definitely been the top defensive tackle if he had hit the free agent market.

Corey Williams, Packers. Age: 28 -- It appears that the Packers don't have any intentions of keeping backup defensive tackle Corey Williams longer than one year. The Packers have a lot of depth on the defensive line and the money Wiliams would command right now is just too much for them. For the time being though, he does have the franchise tag so he's not going anywhere. Williams and Haynesworth were the top two unrestricted free agent tackles before they were franchised.

Brian Young, Saints. Age: 31 -- Pneumonia ended Young's 2007 season after he was placed on injured reserve by the Saints in late December. The Saints have a little cap room to play with this off-season so they may try to secure a better player than Young. He has not been resigned by the Saints and isn't expected to be. Young doesn't fit into the Chiefs plans and hasn't shown enough ability to warrant a starting spot on the Chiefs line.

Tommy Kelly, Raiders. Age: 27 -- Less of a penetrating tackle and more of a player who takes up space and frees up his teammates, Kelly may or may not be resigned by the Oakland Raiders. Coming off of a torn ACL that forced him to spend most of 2007 on IR, Kelly's value should be low enough that the Raiders can resign him pretty easily. His free agent market value took a hit as well with his ACL injury. I'm not especially interested in Tommy Kelly but I suppose he could be a possibility for the Chiefs. He's the type of player Herm has been saying he's interested in -- not a big money guy, young, up and coming.

Isaac Spopaga, 49ers. Age: 27 -- Another part-time starter signed to a five year deal. The 49ers feel like Spopaga is a good fit at nose tackle for them.

Ethan Kelley, Browns. Age: 28 -- His future is in limbo in Cleveland for the time being. He's an unrestricted free agent who had who had post-season knee surgery. Indications are that the Brows will let him test the free agent waters. The willingness of the Browns to let him go (they were ranked 27th in rushing last year) and his knee surgery make me really question him. The Chiefs are better off giving Tank and Turk another year.

Rod Coleman, Falcons. Age: 32 -- Released on February 15th, Coleman will never be a starter again in the NFL. He's too old for the Chiefs to sign anyway.

As you can see, it's a weak free agency market this year. So what should the Chiefs do? Depending on how the draft plays out, we may fill our defensive line needs there. There is also a distinct possibility that the Chiefs will rely on the rotation of Ron Edwards, Tank Tyler, Turk McBride and Alfonso Boone again. 2008 is probably a make or break year for Turk McBride and Tank Tyler, last year's second and third round picks. If they don't show massive improvement, we'll be writing about them as busts at the end of the season. For right now, it doesn't appear that the Chiefs are going to make any moves for any free agent defensive tackle in 2008.