ESPN's Adam Teicher said something earlier this week about the Kansas City Chiefs that made me think:
They have 11 potential free agents, including seven players who started for them last season. They have lined up backups for most of those starters scheduled to be free agents so the Chiefs appear prepared to move on without many of these players.
The Chiefs do have back-ups for many of those positions where players are scheduled to be free agents. Some positions have an obvious back-up, others have inexperienced players you're hoping will work out and some positions will need some attention in free agency and the NFL Draft this offseason.
I decided to project out what the Chiefs roster looks like right now and identify those back-ups at positions where players are free agents. This idea is partially stolen from Pro Football Focus, who just did the Chiefs in their roster review. Read that here.
First, the Chiefs free agents: LT Branden Albert, G Geoff Schwartz, G Jon Asamoah, WR Dexter McCluster, WR Kyle Williams, DE Tyson Jackson, LB Akeem Jordan, LB Frank Zombo, S Kendrick Lewis, DB Husain Abdullah, DB Quintin Demps
I have bolded and italicized the positions below where a back-up from last year is replacing a starter. Things won't stay like this because the Chiefs will sign their own and other players in free agency, use their draft picks and see their own players develop at different paces.
QB: Alex Smith
RB: Jamaal Charles
FB: Anthony Sherman
WR: Dwayne Bowe, Donnie Avery, Junior Hemingway
Dexter McCluster and Kyle Williams are free agents. If McCluster is gone, Hemingway is in there. Avery's spot is probably secure ... until they find someone better (such as AJ Jenkins?).
TE: Anthony Fasano
OT: Eric Fisher, Donald Stephenson
One of these guys will replace Branden Albert, last year's starter. Will Fisher play left tackle or right tackle? That's really the question here. Stephenson actually graded out best at left tackle. My guess is that Fisher plays left tackle and Stephenson plays right. No third tackle as of now with Albert headed to free agency.
G: Jeff Allen, Rishaw Johnson
Johnson is inexperienced, which is why bringing back Geoff Schwartz or Jon Asamoah is important. Both those guys are free agents. Rok Watkins is another young reserve guard.
C: Rodney Hudson
DE: Mike DeVito, Allen Bailey
The spot in question here is Bailey's. Last year he backed up Tyson Jackson, who is a free agent. Will Jackson come back? If not, Bailey will be the apparent leader for that position. He's been coming in on the Chiefs sub packages for the past couple of years so a full-time role would be a big step up for him.
NT: Dontari Poe
OLB: Justin Houston, Tamba Hali
Not a starter but it's notable that Frank Zombo is a free agent.
ILB: Derrick Johnson, Nico Johnson
Nico Johnson's rookie year wasn't what we thought it would be. He was hurt early on and just never got into the rotation. He had few meaningful snaps. He is basically an unknown for me.
CB: Brandon Flowers, Sean Smith
S: Eric Berry, Sanders Commings
The biggest need on the Chiefs is the spot we currently have Sanders Commings occupying. Three safeties, Kendrick Lewis, Husain Abdullah and Quintin Demps, are scheduled to be free agents.