Despite losing several very good free agents, the Kansas City Chiefs won't be seeing a significant number of new players on their team. They do have free agents to replace from last year but many of those replacements are players that were already on the team last year.
After looking at the roster, Joe Mays at inside linebacker is the only new player who will definitely be in a starting position. Zach Fulton, the Chiefs sixth round pick, is hoping to become the starting right guard. Free agent signee Vance Walker also hopes to become the starting defensive end. Everyone else played some sort of role on the team last year.
While there are plenty of new starters in Kansas City, these players aren't new to the Chiefs. Here's a snapshot of the starting position that could be changing hands in Kansas City this season.
(Last year's starter in parentheses)
Left tackle (Branden Albert)
Andy Reid announced this offseason Eric Fisher will be taking this job. He hasn't practiced fully this offseason but he's expected to be ready by training camp. If he is healthy, he's the left tackle.
Right guard (Geoff Schwartz / Jon Asamoah)
This is currently a competition between a few players, including Rishaw Johnson, Zach Fulton and Jeff Linkenbach. Johnson looked like the early favorite but Fulton came on strong at mandatory minicamp. We'll find out in training camp.
Right tackle (Eric Fisher)
Donald Stephenson takes this over, assuming Fisher is the left tackle. Fisher was the right tackle last year. However, Stephenson acted as a reserve for Fisher when he went down so Stephenson has plenty of recent right tackle experience.
Slot receiver (Dexter McCluster)
It looks like Junior Hemingway will take it this year. Weston Dressler will be competing in camp as will De'Anthony Thomas.
DMC's absence also means the Chiefs will have a new punt returner.
Defensive end (Tyson Jackson)
Allen Bailey or Vance Walker are the two candidates here with Tyson Jackson going to Atlanta in the offseason. Bailey has been the man at defensive end since the offseason began for the most part. Walker has seen sporadic first team snaps.
Inside linebacker (Akeem Jordan)
Joe Mays was signed as a free agent this offseason and will start there. Nico Johnson was drafted in the fourth round last year but Mays has been the first teamer there.
Free safety (Kendrick Lewis)
A combo of Husain Abdullah and Sanders Commings will be the free safety. One of those will also be the third safety in dime, which will also be a new player.
Cornerback (Brandon Flowers)
Step on up, Marcus Cooper! The thing is, Cooper isn't truly a "new" starter because he did start there last year when Flowers was moved to the slot.
Ron Parker had been running with the first team at the other cornerback slot for a couple weeks but I'm not buying Sean Smith's demotion.
Nickel cornerback (Brandon Flowers)
Dunta Robinson also played the slot. A few players did. This year, Chris Owens appears to be the front runner to take that spot but it's still open.