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Chiefs making push to keep Rodney Hudson but lots of competition in free agency

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Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

I've been resigned to the Kansas City Chiefs likely losing center Rodney Hudson in free agency for some time now but CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reports the team is working hard to try and retain him.

The Chiefs lost three starting caliber offensive linemen in free agency last year. It would be a tough blow to lose another one, especially at a position where they don't have any proven backups waiting in the wings.

But (there's always a but) ... the Chiefs can't pay their center $8-9 million per year, or whatever the latest asking price is for Hudson, who figures to be the top center on the market when free agency hits on March 10. They just can't pay that much for a center. I would overpay for some positions (quarterback, corner and tackle) but not center. It's not even so much about their salary cap space as it is keeping with their philosophy -- they have a number for a player and they stick to it. It may hurt in 2015 but over the long-term you hope that pays off.

According to a previous report from La Canfora, the Chiefs were close to signing Hudson to a $6 million per year extension during the season so that might be their number.

If I'm in Hudson's position and I'm this close, I'm waiting to hit the market and setting my price there. Surely that will be higher than what the Chiefs are offering.

Speaking of those free agents the Chiefs lost last offseason, Geoff Schwartz was one of them. And he said this: