While the Chiefs have a couple of highly coveted free agent targets to take care of already, the New Orleans Saints also have a situation brewing with three names and (likely) not enough money for everyone. It's a situation in the Big Easy that a team like the Chiefs should pay close attention to.
The names involved are all major players: Drew Brees, Marques Colston and Carl Nicks. There's no doubt the team will negotiate a new long-term deal with its star quarterback. But the question marks come in when discussing Colston and Nicks. One is a star receiver who could become the main attraction in the open market. The other is a star guard who could also become the prime offensive lineman available.
Dan Pompei discussed Colston's situtation in today's Sunday Blitz at the National Football Post:
It’s possible Marques Colston will be a former Saint in the near future. The Saints have made no attempts to re-sign the star wide receiver up to this point. The front office has been pre-occupied with trying to work out a new deal for Drew Brees. If the Saints can’t sign Brees, they likely will use the franchise tag on him, giving them one less way to retain Colston. Also complicating the issue is the pending free agency of guard Carl Nicks. Given the cash outlay this team will be facing, the Saints may have to choose between Colston and Nicks.
The Chiefs could be affected in one of two ways on this one. If the team decides to stick with Nicks and Brees and consequently let Colston walk this off-season, there's suddenly some significant competition for Dwayne Bowe. It's possible that Colston's available could bring Bowe's price down a tad. It's a simple case of supply and demand, so another top shelf receiver hits the market.
Nicks is another case entirely as he could (and should) be the type of impact player the Chiefs could bring in along the offensive line. No matter what else is happening along the offensive line -- whether Casey Wiegmann retires or not, whether the Chiefs keep Ryan Lilja -- Nicks would become a great addition.
The Pro Bowl guard would immediately change the face of the line and allow the Chiefs to have depth in 2012 -- something they never had in 2011 when Steve Maneri was the first back-up at tackle and Rodney Hudson backed up all three interior positions. Lilja could become valuable in depth and help in case Hudson somehow isn't ready after his rookie season.
Either way, the Saints FA situation should affect the Chiefs in some way. It's one of several interesting plots to follow in the upcoming NFL free agency period.