I must have been at an NFL Combine party if I missed this Friday night report from ESPN.com's Bill Williamson regarding Chiefs C Casey Wiegmann.
There are indications Kansas City Chiefs center Casey Wiegmann is leaning toward returning for the 2011 season, rather than retire. However, his agent Joe Linta said no official decision has been made. But at this point, it would be a surprise if Wiegmann doesn't return in 2011.
Williamson reported earlier this month that Wiegmann is expected to inform the Chiefs of his retirement decision before the draft in late April. His latest report has the momentum pointing to a Wiegmann return.
If that's the case, then I think this is good news for the Chiefs.
Wiegmann's obviously up there in age (in NFL years at least) but, considering the options, he's the best fit at center right now. I can't think of many times where I noticed him in the 2010 season making a mistake. He had just three penalties all year and is a good veteran to have around so I think he would probably be welcomed back by the Chiefs coaching staff.
So what changes would we see if Wiegmann comes back?
First, you have to think about Rudy Niswanger. He was on the roster last season while Wiegmann started, and was a two-year starter in Kansas City previous to that. He does not have a contract entering 2011 but falls under the restricted free agent umbrella according to the CBA that's good for another two days. It sounds like most think free agency will be reverted back to four years in the next CBA meaning Niswanger would be an unrestricted free agent in that scenario. Basically, he's in limbo right now. But, if given the opportunity, will the Chiefs try to keep him? I can't say that I have the answer to that but they did offer him a restricted free agent tender last year so I'd say it's possible.
Second, it could affect draft plans. Maybe the Chiefs would have been tempted to draft a center a little higher in the 2011 NFL draft if they felt that they didn't have one currently on the roster that will be on the roster in September (or whenever these two sides get their act together and come an agreement to guarantee football in 2011). This would buy them some time on making a decision on a long-term replacement.
Not to go Todd Haley on you but continuity is important here. Particularly along the offensive line, I think it's important to keep a group together whenever possible, even if for another year.
It remains to be seen whether there will even be a football season in 2011 for Weigman to come back to.