We took a look at the Kansas City Chiefs roster last month to get an idea of how many spots were likely spoken for. Now that the bulk of free agency is complete, what has changed about the Chiefs roster locks and team needs?
It's pretty clear that John Dorsey's strategy revolved around keeping the Chiefs own free agents. Bringing back Eric Berry, Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson seemed like a no-brainer, but Jaye Howard and Mitchell Schwartz were nice surprises.
Doing the math on the roster, it seems like more of the initial 53 is set and very few spots are likely up for grabs.
The core: 43 players under contract and likely* to stay
*Likely as of today. We all know this list will change as the offseason goes.
(3) QB: Alex Smith, Tyler Bray, Aaron Murray
(3) RB: Jamaal Charles, Spencer Ware, Charcandrick West
(1) FB: Anthony Sherman
(4) WR: Jeremy Maclin, Chris Conley, Albert Wilson, Rod Streater
(3) TE: Travis Kelce, Demetrius Harris, James O'Shaughnessy
(6) OL: Eric Fisher, Jah Reid, Mitch Schwartz, Mitch Morse, Zach Fulton, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif
(4) DL: Dontari Poe, Allen Bailey, Jaye Howard, Rakeem Nunez-Roches
(9) LB: Tamba Hali, Justin Houston, Dee Ford, Derrick Johnson, Josh Mauga, D.J. Alexander, Ramik Wilson, Justin March, Frank Zombo
(4) S: Ron Parker, Eric Berry, Daniel Sorensen, Jamell Fleming
(3) CB: Marcus Peters, Phillip Gaines, Steven Nelson
(3) Specialists: Cairo Santos, James Winchester, Dustin Colquitt
The early roster bubble
OL Paul Fanaika: Was expected to be veteran depth on the right side of the o-line but spent the entire season on IR. He's signed through 2017 with decent money on the line so you'd think he'd have a pretty good shot to return.
WR/PR De'Anthony Thomas: An exciting playmaker that missed significant time this season with a concussion. He never returned and there seems to be some disagreement about his concussion. Because we don't know what this situation is, we'll file him under we don't know. There was a rumor that the 49ers were in talks to trade for him but Chiefs GM John Dorsey said that's not true.
RB/KR Knile Davis: We all assumed he was the No. 2 back this season but after Charles went on IR West and Ware were the ones who stepped in. Davis handled most of the kick return duties this year but was inactive for a couple of games so it's reasonable to speculate he could be the odd man out in 2016.
CB Marcus Cooper: Had a strong rookie campaign but has been relegated to the bench / special teams ever since. Chiefs GM John Dorsey has made significant investments in the cornerback position, and figures to do more this season. So it's possible Cooper's time in KC will come to an end.
TE Brian Parker: An athletic player who can block a bit. He has a chance chance to stick around. However, if fifth round pick James O'Shaughnessy comes back healthy, the Chiefs already have three young, athletic tight ends.
OL Jarrod Pughsley: A guy it seems the Chiefs have some hope for but there are a LOT of bodies on the offensive line. And it's a safe bet they'll bring in more.
DL Nick Williams: Someone the team likes, even if we as fans don't see much from him? Or is this a spot where they'll look to upgrade in the draft?
OLB Jonathan Massaquoi: Signed very early in free agency after beginning his career in Atlanta. He's shown some ability on film, but we don't even have contract details yet, so we don't know if the Chiefs see him as a long term contributor or not.
WR Da'Ron Brown: A 2015 draft pick, spent all of his career on the practice squad so far. He's said to have great hands and be a possession receiver. Could there be a role for him in 2016?
Unsigned free agents that have been contributors
DL Mike DeVito: DeVito has been a steady force on the defensive line when healthy, took a pay cut to stay in KC ... it's probably 50/50 on whether they bring him back or not.
S Husain Abdullah: Now retired.
With the list above (43 core + 9 bubble + 1 FA) + 7 Draft picks + UDFAs coming in, along with veteran roster cuts, there will be plenty of competition for the initial 53-man roster and the 10-man practice squad in 2016.