Stanford Routt has come to the Kansas City Chiefs with the idea of replacing Brandon Carr. Out with the old and in with the new...or something like that right? Routt is the ex-Raider hell-bent on getting back at the silver and black while adorned in red and yellow. Here's the thing: he should be doing it as a nickel back.It's been widely assumed that Carr is going to move on from his days in barbeque land. Brandon Flowers got his sweetheart deal of 5 years, $52 million, so there just isn't enough room for two huge contracts, says the pundits. It's been speculated that Carr wants big money, and Clark Hunt doesn't do those types of deals. Yet, he has recently.
This is the same owner who doled out top-dollar paydays to Tamba Hali (6yrs/ $72 million) and the aforementioned Flowers. He also locked up Jamaal Charles (5yrs/$32.5 million) and Derrick Johnson (6yrs/$36.5 million), making good on his word to keep the in-house talent, well, in-house.
Scott Pioli made the first waves in free agency by bringing in Routt (3 yrs/ $19.6 million) to shore up an already loaded secondary. However, he then went on talk radio and declared that Carr is still wanted in Arrowhead. Most of the time I would dismiss these sentiments as nothing more than courtesy. Not this time.
Look at the landscape of the NFL. Passing is more in vogue than ever, with quarterbacks darkening the sky like a midsummer storm. Two of the worst rushing teams in the league made it to the Super Bowl last year because of elite passing games. Right now, the Chiefs are one of the few teams who can shut them down.
Pioli isn't dumb. He realizes that the way to win is changing with the rules. Teams are exploiting helpless defensive backs and it seemingly impossible to stop them.The biggest reason that Kansas City wouldn't bring back Carr are salary cap issues. Of course, the Chiefs don't have any of those.
With bookend pass-rushers in Tamba Hali and Justin Houston, Kansas City has the ability to force quick throws. If Carr is kept on board and Routt is turned into the third corner (which he was originally in Oakland), the Chiefs can throw hay-makers at the opposition.
This could be a potential alignment against Philip Rivers and a three-wide set: two down lineman (Gilberry and Bailey), three linebackers (Houston, Johnson and Hali), three corners (Flowers, Carr and Routt) and two safeties (Berry and Lewis). What team could throw a more devastating package at pass-happy squads?
Call me crazy, but I believe Pioli is still planning on signing Carr. He's done nothing but improve his four years in Kansas City and knows Crennel's defense like the back of his hand. Why rock the boat when you have boatloads of cap space?
This is why the Chiefs have been holding on to all this room under the max. It's time to keep the talent, and load up for a championship chase.