Jeff Allen brought toughness to Chiefs' offensive line in 2015 but will soon be a free agent from The Kansas City Star
This was Jan. 16, the date of the Chiefs' 27-20 divisional-round loss to the New England Patriots, and Allen was allowing the disappointment to settle in when a realization hit the offensive lineman: It had been a long time since he'd been forced to deal with a defeat, at least as a starter.
Once the Chiefs finally inserted him into the starting lineup in mid-October following a training camp knee injury, they ran off a streak of 11 straight wins until their playoff loss to the Patriots, not that Allen knew exactly what the number was.
"Something like that," Allen said. "I didn't keep count. (I just know) that's the first time I lost."
So Allen, 26, just sat there, dealing with the fact that the season was over, and maybe, just maybe, his tenure with the Chiefs was, too.
Charles detailed some of the differences between this rehab and the last. He's married with two daughters, so he's training in Kansas City with the Chiefs' medical staff instead of in Florida, as he did the last time.
"This is actually the first time I've ever spent the whole offseason based out of Kansas City, and I'm really loving it," he wrote. "Normally, I go back to my house in Austin during the offseason and stay there. But I really like being up here."
Charles went through his five-times-a-week workout routine, which he wrote usually lasts three or four hours.
"I can come back like a freak," he wrote.
From Laurent Duvernay-Tardif to Jarrod Pughsley the past two seasons, the Chiefs under general manager John Dorsey have grown offensive linemen.
And the Chiefs' willingness to develop players wasn't overlooked by offensive tackle Laurence Gibson, who spent the 2015 season on the practice squad.
"I kind of noticed that when I first got here," Gibson said. "They have this system and it makes you want to make yourself better and it makes you want to make your teammates better. It's unlike anywhere I've ever been like to the intensity that it is here."
But keep a couple of points in mind before assigning Jones or any other lineman to the Chiefs.
First, the Chiefs have drafted at so-called premium positions in the first round of their first three drafts under general manager John Dorsey (left tackle Eric Fisher in 2013, pass-rusher Dee Ford in 2014 and cornerback Marcus Peters last year). The defensive line positions aren't considered to be premium spots.
Second, the Chiefs haven't drafted for immediate needs in any of those first rounds.
Biggest free agent on all 32 NFL teams from ESPN
Cornerback Sean Smith may be asking for a contract the Chiefs aren't willing to give him, but he would be difficult for them to replace if he departs as a free agent. While Smith wasn't much of a playmaker in 2015, he was a steady presence on a down-by-down basis, making him the perfect cornerback to complement up-and-down rookieMarcus Peters. -- Adam Teicher
Just like their AFC West rivals in Denver, the Kansas City Chiefs elected to use their *non-exclusive franchise tag for the 2016 season as well, and just like the Broncos, they used theirs on the defensive side of the football, as they franchise tagged safety Eric Berry.
Berry has played his entire career with the Chiefs after being selected by the organization (No. 5 overall) in the 2010 NFL Draft.
He has appeared in 70 games with 68 starts and has tallied 384 tackles as well as 10 interceptions during his time in Kansas City.
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Eric Berry was the best free agent safety on the market and despite the Chiefs having plenty of important decisions to make with their expiring contracts, this was their primary concern. Kansas City is under the gun to get a long term deal done with Berry, as he's the most inspirational player on the team.
They must also get a deal done with Berry so they can work on locking up free agent linebacker Derrick Johnson, cornerback Sean Smith or defensive end Tamba Hali. It's likely that they'll have to let a few of those players go, but Berry was a player that they couldn't survive without.
Where Kaepernick, Griffin and the NFL's other available quarterbacks fit best from The Washington Post
Ryan Fitzpatrick, who played well this past season for the New York Jets, and Chase Daniel, who has been Alex Smith's backup with the Kansas City Chiefs, also are eligible for free agency. Colin Kaepernick reportedly has asked permission from the San Francisco 49ers to seek a trade. The Redskins appear set to trade or, more likely, release Robert Griffin III. The Cleveland Browns have signaled their intention to release Johnny Manziel, although his ongoing off-field woes raise the possibility that no team will sign him. Peyton Manning could be available if he doesn't retire and if the Broncos release him to avoid paying him a $19 million salary for 2016 that becomes guaranteed next week under the terms of his existing contract.
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Jeff Allen (6-4, 306) has obvious ties to Doug Pederson. The Chiefs guard has played a significant part in Jamal Charles' success on the ground over the last four years, but Kansas City has interior depth and could let him walk. Allen, 26, is versatile, but injuries have kept him off the field for significant chunks of the last two seasons.