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Chiefs Have Their Eye On A Few Undrafted Free Agents

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When I spoke with Kansas City Chiefs GM Scott Pioli a few weeks ago, he said you should be mentally exhaustedfollowing the 2011 NFL draft because of the non-stop action involved. That exhaustion was tabled a little bit at the end of the draft because, thanks to the NFL lockout, there are no undrafted free agents.

Pioli would normally be on the phone on the final day of the draft calling potential UDFAs and pitching them on signing with the Chiefs. Pioli and Co. still did that last Saturday but they can't actually sign any of the guys.

If and when the lockout ends, the Chiefs do have a list of players they're interested in signing. A couple fo them (as noted in Arrowheadlines) did hear from the Chiefs over the weekend before the draft ended and communication between teams and players was forbidden.

One of those players was Laupepa Letuli, who tells the Honolulu Star Advertiser that the Chiefs sent him an email indicating they would sign him if he weren't drafted.

Letuli, who played as a sixth-year senior in 2010, participated as a guard and tackle in January's East-West Shrine Game. He also had an impressive showing at UH's pro day, when he was credited with bench-pressing 225 pounds 35 times.

Another one of those players was 6'6", 276-pound Oregon DT Brandon Bair.

Since teams can't call undrafted players after the draft, they made their calls during the seventh round, and Bair heard from several teams. The Kansas City Chiefs expressed the most interest, but San Francisco, Seattle, Miami, Arizona and Chicago all made their pitches as to why Bair should sign with them once the lockout ends.

Undrafted free agents certainly don't draw the excitement that the high draft picks do but they're still important. If it weren't for UDFAs, the Chiefs wouldn't have their starting LB Jovan Belcher. These are the guys that will fill out the camp roster and in a normal year, one or a couple would make the team. 

Unfortunately, the UDFAs are the real losers of the lockout. If this thing goes late into the summer, and all or part of training is compromised, they may never get that shot.

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