We'll be doing a position-by-position preview of the Kansas City Chiefs roster as free agency nears. (Then again, I often say we'll be doing a series and then forget about it within 24 hours so we'll see.) Free agency starts on March 13. The franchise tag window is February 20 to March 5.
First up is defensive end. Here's the end-of-season depth chart (italics are free agents):
Left: Tyson Jackson, Allen Bailey, Amon Gordon
Right: Glenn Dorsey, Wallace Gilberry, Brandon Bair
This group won't be hit too hard by free agency. The starters are both under contract.
The free agents: Gilberry is set to hit free agency and I wouldn't be too surprised if the Chiefs let him walk. He looked really good in training camp but his snaps took a drop this year, as did his production. That tells me he's not a priority for the Chiefs. I'm not sure what happened between 2010 (eight sacks) and 2011 (2.5 sacks).
Also a free agent is Gordon, who was a surprisingly good pickup. I say that because the common thought when the Chiefs signed him last year was that he was just training camp fodder. Yet he ended up playing a role this season (and backed up Kelly Gregg at nose tackle). I think the Chiefs would be interested in bringing him back if the price was right.
The rest of the roster: Bailey had a solid rookie year and saw a decent amount of playing time. He could be a riser and I think the Chiefs like him. Bair was undrafted last season but stayed on the active roster all year. Good sign for him moving forward.
And then there are the starters, Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey. I would guess both are likely to come back (and I think they should be back). If the Chiefs could replace them with a better player, then great. But that's easier said than done and they're both competent players so this shouldn't be one of the priorities.
That said...combined, they're due nearly $14 million -- $5.8 million for Dorsey and $8 million for Jackson. Who knows what could happen if they found a better deal on the free agent market? Anytime you have guys in the upper echelon of the pay scale on your team, you have to wonder.
One sentence prediction: The Chiefs add depth behind Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey while letting Wallace Gilberry walk.