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2011 NFL Free Agents: Saints OT Jermon Bushrod Could Make Sense For Chiefs

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One move I can guarantee the Kansas City Chiefs will make in free agency -- offensive tackle. There's very little doubt in my mind they'll sign an offensive tackle because they have just three offensive tackles under contract for 2011.

OT Brandon Albert and OT Barry Richardson did well enough in 2010 but, as the Chiefs often say, competition makes everyone better. So expect them to bring in someone to legitimately compete with them, probably on the right side, and not just another warm body.

Brian McIntryre of Mac's Football Blog and Football Outsiders, wrote a piece for ESPN this week examining the first move each team needs to make once free agency opens.

For the Chiefs, that's New Orleans Saints OT Jermon Bushrod.

With quarterback Matt Cassel due a $7.5 million option bonus this year, the least the Chiefs can do is protect him better. The best tackle on the free-agent market is Bushrod, who has been protecting Brees' blindside the past two seasons in New Orleans.

Hey, I wouldn't complain with this move. He's young and has had success in the league before. Unfortunately, I wonder if he would leave New Orleans, and I also wonder if A.) he's that much of an upgrade at left tackle that he's worth the money and B.) if he can line up at right tackle at all.

The Times-Picayune writes that he'll be a priority for the Saints once free agency begins.

He's not a superstar, but he plays the second-most important position on the club's high-powered offense (left tackle). Moreover, there's no viable replacement on the roster.

If GM Scott Pioli is interested, he probably already has, or will make it known that he is. The Chiefs have the money to spend if they wish to although getting into a bidding war isn't Pioli's style.

That said, it'll be interesting to see if Pioli's philosophy changes at all because of the unique offseason we're in. Does someone like Bushrod, who may be a type A free agent in this year's class, now become more of a priority?