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NFL free agency 2014: A case for Nate Allen and the Kansas City Chiefs

With the Chiefs in need of a safety, let's take a look at an intriguing name on the market.

Maddie Meyer

In case you live under a rock and missed the entire 2013 season and the subsequent chatter about it, the Kansas City Chiefs have an unbelievably pressing need for a free safety.

In this vein, the Chiefs now face an offseason full of potential players to sign, draft or trade for. With the draft holding two marquee safety prospects in Hasean Clinton-Dix and Calvin Pryor that may, or may not, get to them at No. 23, free agency is a very viable avenue.

Enter Nate Allen, four-year free safety of the Philadelphia Eagles out of South Florida. Allen's rookie contract is now up, and it is unclear whether Philadelphia has him in its long-term plans. At only 26 years old, it figures Allen's best days are rapidly approaching, making this the right time to buy some stock.

Allen has quietly gotten better in each of his seasons with the Eagles. His tackle totals have risen from 48 to 59, then 73 to 82 respectively. While he only has six interceptions in his career, all indications and tape I've seen point to him being a solid tackler with good range, instincts and cover skills.

Over at Bleeding Green Nation, here is what writer Brandon Lee Gowton had to say about Allen's ability:

Allen was hardly a play-maker in his fourth season but he played consistently solid after a real rough start to the year. Allen wasn't shy to note he didn't miss playing behind the Eagles former defensive line front, the Wide-Nine. Allen's role in Bill Davis' defense is much simpler and it made his job a lot easier. The result was a solid performance from Allen. Allen held his own in coverage and tackled really well.

Doesn't sound like a bad deal for Kansas City. Sure, everybody would love a Pro Bowl player at every spot, but the reality is that can't happen under the current salary cap. In a perfect world, the Chiefs could snag either Pryor or Clinton-Dix in the draft and watch them blossom into Ed Reed.

Of course, the NFL is not a perfect world. Allen would likely come at a relatively low cost and be the quiet man of the secondary. In my eyes, that is exactly what the Chiefs need. They don't need another All-Pro (although that would be terrific), they just need a guy who is solid, accountable, aware and on point.

Allen also played behind lousy fronts in Philadelphia most of his career. Surrounded by a boatload of talent, Allen could really develop.

With the Chiefs' cap situation, general manager John Dorsey would be wise to look for some of the hidden gems even more than last year. Allen could be the perfect fit at the perfect price.

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