Real(ish) football is back! We did it! The Chiefs are going to play a live football game against another team!
Let's celebrate by clearing out the mailbag a little. And by a little, I mean a lot. Let's face it, gamedays are generally sparse with news (crosses fingers). And we all know you're not going to do anything productive while you wait impatiently for that first glimpse of preseason Chiefs action. So we're going to with a long mailbag (at least with regards to how many questions we answer) to celebrate the return of football and give you poor folk something to do!
You have the magical power to make a one for one trade, of one chiefs starter for one starter on every AFC west team. Who are you trading for? For example with the Chargers you could do Corey Liuget for Mike Devito, than for the Raiders you could do Rodney Hudson for Eric Kush, etc. Salary cap isn't an issue. I'm asking this question to get a perspective of where you feel our divisional opponents have a positional upgrade over us as far as starters are concerned. I think you'll find that this Chiefs team stacks up very well, starter for starter with every team in the division.
Just for the sake of fun, I'm going to do the "swap" on offense and defense with each team in the AFC West.
Broncos Offense- Peyton Manning for Alex Smith
Yes, I know Manning ended the season poorly last year. I also know that he's hated here. But I ALSO know that he's still a very, very, very, very, very good quarterback who is fantastic at compensating for a poor offensive line. He also is a guy whose arm strength is shot and needs to be part of a team with plenty of short-to-intermediate threats.
Manning would absolutely throw 15 touchdown passes to Travis Kelce. I'm sorry, but he's an obvious choice.
Broncos Defense- Brandon Marshall for Josh Mauga
It's pretty simple; the one spot on our starting defense I'm not REALLY happy with is inside linebacker next to DJ. Marshall is a solid young player who can do a little bit of everything. Put him on the Chiefs defense and you've essentially created a squad where you've got a guy who is arguably a "plus" player at every position. It's scary, honestly.
And to those who say I should have swapped Hali for Von Miller; you're a bad person and you should feel bad.
Chargers Offense- Philip Rivers for Alex Smith
I swear I like Alex Smith. It just so happens Rivers terrifies me. We've all watched him torture the defense for a decade now. He's a very, very good QB who has more time left than Manning. Sorry, Alex. I feel bad about this, I really do.
Chargers Defense- Um... pass?
I scanned the Chargers roster up and down, and I'm just not seeing it. I'm really not. Top to bottom I like the guys we've got starting on defense more than the guys they've got starting on defense. I'm sure someone will have strong feelings of disagreement on this topic. But the Chargers defense doesn't scare me one bit.
And also, if you're thinking Weddle... he's more of an in the box safety. We've got Eric Berry and Tyvon Branch. I'm good, thanks.
Raiders Offense- Rodney Hudson for Eric Kush
The one who got away. For all the hype this offseason has gotten (and I do think Dorsey has done a solid job), can you imagine the optimism had Hudson stuck around? Then the Grubbs acquisition wouldn't be balanced out by the "crap, we lost our best OL from last year" sting.
Additionally, where else am I gonna go? I don't have a high opinion of Derek Carr (his accuracy SUCKED last year. Absolutely sucked. Maybe he'll improve, but I'm not trading a decent starter in Smith for "maybe he'll improve"), their OL doesn't impress me outside of Hudson, I heart Albert Wilson and don't want to let him go for Cooper (though that would've been my next choice)... not a lot of options here.
Raiders Defense- Khalil Mack for Tamba Hali
I'M SORRY I'M SORRY I'M SORRY I'M SORRY I'M SORRY I'M SORRY I'M SORRY I'M SORRY!!!!!
Did I mention I'm sorry? I hate myself right now. I do. But I don't hate Mack, he's a monster against the run, and he's already a very good pass rusher. His ceiling is also insane.
In real life I'm not sure I could bring myself to pull the trigger on the trade. Tamba should be a Chief for life and has done everything possible to make that a reality. But in this hypothetical I can't let emotion get in the way (except with my disdain for Von Miller, of course). Plus, this is quite literally the only swap I'd even consider. The Chiefs defensive roster is really impressive right now, guys.
Man, let's end on that note. I need to take a shower and wash off the bad vibes of pretend-trading Tamba.
Man, I hate starting this off with a subject like Poe (that's been the one fly in the ointment in what's been overall a really good offseason for the Chiefs), but it is what it is.
No, Poe will not get Suh money. Not a chance.
Look, Dontari Poe is a very good football player. He's also a very unique football player in that a guy who can 2-gap, eat double teams, AND rush the passer is incredibly rare. He's one of a handful of guys in the league who can do all those things.
That said, he simply doesn't get after the passer on the same level as a guy like Suh. And because of that, he's not going to get paid "pass rusher" money. Teams are going to say to him "we love what you do, but we're not gonna pay you like a 15 sack guy when you're a 6 sack guy."
Poe is not going to be cheap. But he's not going to break the bank Justin Houston style, either. I had another mailbag question ask me what I think the deal looks like. The short answer is "it's impossible to predict until we know how the injury thing comes out and we see what the salary cap does next year," but you don't read mailbags for the easy way out (I assume). Let's assume for argument's sake Poe comes back healthy and continues to play at a similar level he played the last year
When you look at Haloti Ngata's contract (here you go) I think you find a fairly good valuation on Poe.
On one hand, when Ngata signed that contract he was an absolute superstar. As much as we love Poe in KC, he doesn't have that kind of name recognition and isn't as dominant as Ngata was at that point (not a knock on Poe; Ngata was just a freaking wrecking ball). So that side of things leans toward a smaller contract than Ngata got.
On the other hand, Ngata's contract was 4 years ago, with a significantly smaller salary cap. Contracts get bigger. That's the way of things. It's why Suh's contract makes Ngata's contract look tiny. So that works against the Chiefs in a contract negotiation.
On the other OTHER hand, the contract handed out to Ngata didn't necessarily end all that well. He wasn't quite as dominant near the end of the deal, and when you end your contract on another team that's pretty much always a bad sign.
At the end of the day I think $10 million per year would be a fair deal for Poe, a unique-but-not-elite player. I very much hope they get things done, but a lot will depend on his recovery and how the defense does without him.
@RealMNchiefsfan OSU scientists farmed a seaweed that tastes like bacon but is twice as healthy as kale. Is that more exciting news than the— Chauncey Depew (@mitchdepew) July 17, 2015
@RealMNchiefsfan Justin Houston contract news? Because I want to give them all of my money.— Chauncey Depew (@mitchdepew) July 17, 2015
Hold up, this can't POSSIBLY be true.
Sweet mother of all things good and pure, it's true.
Do you think they'll accept my credit cards, debit cards, checks, and cash as payment? Like, all of them? At once?
There have been a lot of great people in the history of mankind. But I can't think of one of them who has contributed to the world in as important a way as these people. They are going to be trillionaires, and they deserve every penny.
The Houston contract is GREAT news, but Justin Houston doesn't come into my home and I sure can't fry him up in oil. Therefore, bacon seaweed > Houston contract. It's math, really. The only time I've liked math.
@RealMNchiefsfan The combo of Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis reminds me of Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson, even though I believe Davis is— Joshua Forrest (@ManyLaughNTrees) July 21, 2015
@RealMNchiefsfan person overall. Johnson got to play because of Holmes career got cut short. I feel Charles will play longer than Davis— Joshua Forrest (@ManyLaughNTrees) July 21, 2015
@RealMNchiefsfan will want to sit behind him. Do you see us losing Davis to free agency in future?— Joshua Forrest (@ManyLaughNTrees) July 21, 2015
I made my feelings on Knile Davis exceedingly clear in this film review. I think he's an exceptional athlete with a glaring weakness in his game when it comes to his vision and ability to "feel" the running back position.
Frankly, I don't view "losing" Davis to free agency as some kind of big risk we take due to Jamaal Charles being a world-altering force of nature. I think Davis is an OK backup to have around, but there are any number of backs who could take his place without the offense suffering.
So it's tough for me to frame this in some kind of "Davis is going to want his own team" way, as I don't think Davis has shown remotely enough to be some kind of coveted free agent running back. For frame of reference, think of the starting running backs across the league. Who does Davis actively replace?
I often hear things like "Davis would start on a lot of teams." I don't agree. There are a handful of teams he could maybe replace the current starter, but generally speaking Davis would be a backup or spot player wherever he went. At least, with the current film available on him. Am I willing to rule out the possibility that he's improved? Absolutely not. Do I think it's likely at this point? Not particularly.
At this point I think what's more likely than Davis leaving to get a shot at a starting job is West taking some of his snaps and Davis simply leaving via free agency after 2016 without an offer from the Chiefs.
Again, Davis is a perfectly fine backup. But he's not a guy who is even close to as productive as the starter he's sitting behind, let alone MORE productive. Remember, as much as Larry Johnson is a punchline now, he was clearly a superior back to Holmes by the time he took over. In the case of Davis, there's literally never a snap where I'm thinking "I wish Davis were in."
Anyway, my point is that Davis will likely leave in free agency if nothing changes, but it's not going to be a gigantic loss.
@RealMNchiefsfan Also as a follow up, how many seconds do you think you would last in a fight with Ronda Rousey, before she destroyed you?— Blaize Richardson (@7CaptainAmerica) July 31, 2015
I haven't followed MMA all that closely in a few years, so I can't say I have a favorite fighter with any real conviction.
The Rousey question I find more interesting. Are we in the octagon or on the street? Because there's a BIG difference between the two. In the octagon, with gloves and rules and a cage and all that static, I'd give myself 2 minutes. Probably less, really, because I don't think it would take her long to get me in some sort of hold.
Just out on the street, where you can just lose your freaking mind, pick up foreign objects, and try to actually rip someone's head off? I dunno, man.
Look, this isn't some macho bullcrap. I have no problem admitting I'm not the toughest guy on earth. I had a guy kindly volunteer to teach me that lesson when I was 21 and feeling invincible after showing a couple of OTHER guys they weren't the toughest guy on earth (he taught me the way you'd expect; by hitting me repeatedly as I tried to not let him do so).
It's just a simple matter of my own experience telling me that situation-specific training isn't always that useful in the field. The worst beating I ever took wasn't from the amateur boxer I fought, or the couple wrestlers I fought. It was just some guy who had been in a lot more fights than me and went a lot more crazy than I did (like, a whole lot. Man, that was the worst).
What I've found with people trained in combat sports (again, we're talking 3 fights, but it's all one can go off) is that if you do something they AREN'T trained for (like, you know, punching a wrestler or wrestling a boxer) they're in the same boat as a lot of average Joe's.
Which leads me to wonder about Ms. Rousey. How is she going to handle it when I pick up a foreign object and try to decapitate her with it? We just can't say for sure. Of course, MMA training is a lot more complete than wrestling or boxing on their own, so it could well be my experiences are pretty meaningless against someone as well-trained and talented as she is. Hmmm...
I guess on the street or whatever, I'd say we're still talking 2 minutes, with the caveat that I'd at least give myself a shot at not getting killed (not a good shot. Just a shot).
Please don't try and find me Ms Rousey.
You did the worst personnel decision since 2005. What's the best personnel decision?
Well, if we're automatically not including draft picks (which makes sense, seeing as draft picks would be an entirely separate question), the choice gets pretty tough.
When you look at free agency acquisitions, the Chiefs haven't exactly hit it out of the park consistently in that area. They also haven't been all active in trades, either. So the pickings are actually pretty slim over the course of the last decade, at least in terms of non-draft personnel moves.
I think I'd have to choose one of the Smiths: Alex and Sean. And seeing as one of them is wildly controversial, I'm going to steer away from the rapids and choose the Sean Smith signing prior to 2013.
Smith getting picked up by the Chiefs in free agency was considered a good move, but he also wasn't considered anything more than a decent corner who was streaky. In Bob Sutton's defense he's become a lot more than that, playing corner at a very high level for a very reasonable price. If it weren't for Smith's performance last year the defense would have had a much more difficult time after losing Berry, DJ, and DeVito.
I WOULD pick Jeremy Maclin, but seeing as he hasn't gotten on the field yet that's a tad premature. Sean Smith is the winner in a field that isn't really all that strong (especially from 2006-2012. Woof).
Be sure to send mailbag questions to @RealMNchiefsfan. We're going to go to more of a "Saturday mailbag" schedule now that WE HAVE ACTUAL FOOTBALL TO TALK ABOUT!!!!! Can't wait for the season to begin.