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Kansas City Chiefs free agents 2015: Who to keep, who to let go

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

I've gone through the list of the Kansas City Chiefs 2015 free agents to determine which ones the Chiefs should try to bring back and which ones they should let walk. There are several of the Chiefs top free agents that I want them to bring back ... while knowing that they won't be able to afford all of them.

This is just the first edition of my keep / walk list. I reserve the right to change it at some point between now and the start of free agency on March 10, and barring any new information that comes out. On some of the players I want back, I recognize that the Chiefs likely won't be able to afford to do so. But they're still players I want back.

I want these players back

LB Justin Houston: Duh. He's not going anywhere. He's the only one I feel that the Chiefs absolutely, positively must bring back.

C Rodney Hudson: The Chiefs should bring him back ... if they can do so at a decent price. Therein lies the problem. The best center on the market will be paid and will be paid well. Maybe $6 million per year or more? I'm starting to accept that the Chiefs probably won't be able to afford Hudson. I don't even know what the backup plan is here.

S Kurt Coleman: I can't see giving him a few million bucks a year but if he came at the right price then Coleman is definitely someone to bring back. What is the downside? There isn't much of one. Andy Reid is familiar with him and he can act as insurance at safety with the uncertainty of Eric Berry and Ron Parker entering the offseason. The Chiefs were said to have talked with his reps at the Combine, per Chiefs Digest's Herbie Teope.

S Ron Parker: Similar case as Hudson here. I do want him to return but I'm not all that confident the price will be right. Parker is said to be looking for $6 million a year and the Chiefs likely can't go that high.

Sure why not

RT Ryan Harris: Here's the thing, the Chiefs have so much more to gain by playing Donald Stephenson, who is still young and under contract for another year. So Stephenson playing is my preference here. But absent other additions, the Chiefs aren't in the position to get rid of o-linemen who can play. Harris wasn't elite but he was passable at right tackle. And "passable" is something the Chiefs can't immediately pass up with their o-line. For a minimum contract, I'm interested in creating competition at right tackle. The draft could change this too if the Chiefs select a tackle high.

LB Josh Mauga: The Chiefs are reportedly talking with him about a return to Kansas City. You know the deal here. He's solid for a backup, not so solid as a full-time player. Limiting his reps and keeping him healthy down the stretch could make him more effective in a smaller role.

S Kelcie McCray: Good special teamer. I don't know enough about him to make a good determination here but why not. He's a restricted free agent so this is the Chiefs call.

LS Thomas Gafford: ESPN's Adam Teicher suggests the Chiefs are preparing to move on. I wouldn't have an issue bringing him back.

RB Joe McKnight: He has the Achilles so that's not good. But what's there to lose if this is a minimum contract and he could be cut before the season? He looked good in his very brief appearance against the Dolphins early on in the season.

WR Jason Avant: Until someone better comes along via the free agency or the draft, I would keep Avant's number close by. He was obviously better than other Chiefs receivers last season despite joining the team so late. He's not a long-term answer but the Chiefs shouldn't be ready to push him out until they figure out their immediate future at receiver.

Time to move on

G Mike McGlynn: The Chiefs need a fresh start at guard.

OL Jeff Linkenbach: See above, fresh start.

DT Kevin Vickerson: I thought Vickerson did well enough but the Chiefs have others in line who need to play.

CB Chris Owens: Owens had a nice start to his season but that injury seemed to slow him down the rest of the season. Time to start the turnover in the secondary.

TE Richard Gordon: He'll be back whenever a tight end is injured. An emergency backup.

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