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Who Will Be The Zach Thomas This Year For The Chiefs?

I posted a link to the top five story lines heading into Chiefs training camp and another storyline popped up (from user sunny d): Who will be this year's Zach Thomas?

The veteran signed during the offseason -- and touted by the coaching staff during the offseason -- that was expected to have a role on the team and then cut before the season started.

For the Chiefs in 2010, there are a few options:

Ryan Lilja

In my estimation, I don't think there's anyway he's released. He was on the first time throughout OTAs, represents a position of need and signed a multi-year deal.

His chances of being cut: Very low.

Shaun Smith

Smith didn't show a whole lot during OTAs but, then again, it's hard for linemen to do much in shorts.

The biggest thing he has going for him, in my estimation, is his relationship with Romeo Crennel. Smith had a near-Pro Bowl season under Crennel in 2007 and I think the idea is that he'll repeat that with the Chiefs. Plus, he plays at a position of need for the Chiefs.

That said, the perception of him is that of a jokester and, for some reason, that doesn't seem to fit with Todd Haley.

His chances of being cut: Moderate to low.

Casey Wiegmann

To me, his situation is probably closest to Zach Thomas in 2009. Wiegmann is coming in on a one-year deal, he's very over-the-hill and part of the motivation behind his signing was the leadership he provides. Very much like Thomas.

Does he have anything left? We'll find out in training camp but he does play a position of perceived need for the Chiefs and the fact that he was signed at his age probably speaks to what the Chiefs think of Rudy Niswanger.

His chances of being cut: Moderate.

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