DT Jaye Howard is among the Kansas City Chiefs players scheduled to be free agents in March. The KC Star's Terez Paylor recently reported that the Chiefs and Howard's camp are maintaining a "solid dialogue" heading into the start of free agency on March 9.
Many of us have started to assume that Howard is gone, especially if, as cap expert Joel Corry predicts in the KC Star article, that the decision comes down to Howard or Poe. The Chiefs have Poe under contract next season on his fifth year option (reported to be $6.1 million). Howard could be franchise (or transition) tagged this year to keep him under the roster one more year.
If the decision is Poe or Howard, the choice should be Poe because he is more of a sure thing than Howard, who first played significant snaps in 2014. The Chiefs have seen Poe play in 60 of his 64 career games, two more seasons than Howard. Poe is also, arguably, the more valuable player given the number of snaps he plays and how well he plays them. Poe will be more expensive over the long run but his value would be there.
Whether it's Poe or Howard, the Chiefs probably need another defensive lineman with Mike DeVito hitting free agency and 2015 sixth round pick Rakeem Nunez-Roches still an unknown, along with David King and Nick Williams. This has me wondering if the defensive line is the choice early in the 2016 draft given how deep that position is said to be this year and Chiefs GM John Dorsey's trend of drafting to replace a player hitting free agency.