When free agency begins on March 7 (signings can begin March 10), the media will focus on all the headliners. You will hear plenty about Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas, DeMarco Murray and Darrelle Revis. Some teams are going to be throwing around money like it is going out of style, while others are patient.
There is a misnomer that Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey does not spend in free agency. Dorsey was hyper-aggressive in his first offseason, signing Chase Daniel, Mike DeVito, Anthony Fasano, Donnie Avery, Sean Smith and Dunta Robinson quickly. Last year, Dorsey was hamstrung by cap problems, yet still almost reeled in Emmanuel Sanders.
With potentially plenty of cap space (once the Chiefs make some highly anticipated cost-cutting moves), Kansas City could be a player for a free agent or two (or three). Dorsey will undoubtedly go after some name free agents, but look for him to really clean up on those second-tier players such as Fasano, Smith and DeVito. Often, that is where teams get the most bang for their buck.
Here are three such players to keep tabs on:
1. G Clint Boling
Boling is only 25 years old and has four years under his belt with the Cincinnati Bengals. Boling is a steady left guard, making him a nice replacement for the turnstiles known as Mike McGlynn and Jeff Linkenbach. Provided Jeff Allen returns healthy for 2015, he could compete with Zach Fulton to see who wins a starting job and who is the swing backup.
Boling only played sparingly as a rookie but started all 16 games in 2012 and 2014, while playing 12 in 2013 due to injury. This is a perfect player for the Chiefs for a few reasons. Boling has also started at right tackle this year and he's athletic, making a good fit for Andy Reid's offense.
2. CB Buster Skrine
Skrine is a really, really underrated corner. This year, the Cleveland Browns began to move away from Skrine with the first-round pick of Justin Gilbert, opening the door for his free agency. Skrine is another versatile player who can move outside or inside at the nickel. Sound like a player Bob Sutton would love, especially with Phillip Gaines penchant for injury?
Check out this article in the Cleveland Plain-Dealer by Tom Reed. The 25-year-old is clearly a favorite within the locker room and even has hands, notching four interceptions in 2014. If Skrine comes at a reasonable price, Dorsey should be all over this situation.
3. OL Orlando Franklin
Franklin is a very interesting player. The 27-year-old has played both right tackle and left guard in his career, making him an incredibly enticing option. Franklin also plays for the Denver Broncos, so taking him away from a rival would be a beautiful thing. The Broncos have a ton of other high-priced free agents, so Franklin could certainly be available.
At 6'7 and 320 pounds, Franklin is a mountain to run behind but also has good enough fit to qualify as a quality pass protector. The Jamaican will likely command a decent salary but won't come near the price of Mike Iupati or Doug Free.