On Tuesday afternoon, the Kansas City Chiefs watched as Geoff Schwartz, Tyson Jackson, Jon Asamoah, Dexter McCluster and Branden Albert signed shiny contracts with new teams.
Meanwhile, at One Arrowhead Drive, general manager John Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid appear to have missed the wake-up call, sleeping through one of the most anticipated days of the year.
I'm glad the alarm clock was broken.
While Dorsey and Reid slept, Jackson slipped away to the Atlanta Falcons for five years and $25 million. McCluster crept away as well, inking a three-year, $12 million deal. Albert? Well, he lumbered away loudly, signing a five-year, $46 million pact to join the Miami Dolphins. Schwartz bolted as well, getting a chunk of the Big Apple with the New York Giants for an undisclosed sum of cash. Let's not forget Asamoah, who got five years and $22.5 million from Atlanta. In all, that's more than20 years and $100 million in contracts to Chiefs free agents.
With the possible exception of Schwartz, every single one of them was overpaid. Jackson's deal is laughable, and while Albert is a good player that is a ton of scratch to throw at a man about to be on the wrong side of 30 with one-time back problems. Asamoah just finished being benched for the second half of the season, yet got paid handsomely.
McCluster's deal is debatable, but that's a good chunk of change to pay for him. I appreciated McCluster more than most, and I would not have paid $4 million per.
Sure, the Chiefs could have been players in the early stages of free agency. They could have bid against the Denver Broncos for T.J. Ward or tried to get into the Jairus Byrd sweepstakes. They could have attempted to land Eric Decker or re-sign one of their own free agents at a bloated cost. They could have restructured contracts, pushed money into the future and created more space to stay active.
Instead, Dorsey exercised patience. Yes, Kansas City wakes up on Wednesday morning with holes to fill but does so in a prime position. The Chiefs maintained long-term cap flexibility, giving it the opportunity to keep players like Eric Berry, Alex Smith and Justin Houston with extensions without having to gut the team, a la New Orleans or Dallas.
Think of free agency in these terms:
On Thanksgiving, the family comes over and sees the huge feast laid out on the table; turkey, stuffing, potatoes, the whole bit. Most rush to grab a plate, knowing they better dig in before the food is gone. So they throw hoard as much as they can before sitting down, eating and feeling very full, content with what they had taken down.
Then dessert comes out; apple pie, cookies, cake. Everybody wants some because it is the best part, but they are too full. Except the smart fellow who made sure to eat dinner so he wasn't hungry all day, but left room for that tasty cake and pie. With everybody else full, he dives in and takes his fill of the dessert, the true value of the day.
He also walks away without having to unbuckle his pants because he's too damn full.
Dorsey will be enjoying some cake soon. Most of the NFL will need a new belt.