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Predicting which in-house free agents the Chiefs will keep

Divisional Round - Pittsburgh Steelers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The Chiefs have been pretty quiet when it comes to re-signing their own pending free agents so far, even with the legal tampering phase set to begin Monday and the league year starting on Wednesday.

News should be streaming in over the next few days. We learned Monday that Anthony Sherman will return, and Terez Paylor of the KC Star indicated that Terrance Smith will be tendered as an exclusive rights free agent.

Below is an attempt to prioritize the remaining Chiefs free-agents-to-be. Feel free to give us your own list in the comments.

Top priority to re-sign: Rakeem Nunez-Roches

The Chiefs have a big need at defensive line. They have to get more disruptive up front. They’ll look to free agency and/or the draft to add to the position. However, they do have a couple of young players that can help, and Rakeem Nunez-Roches is one of them. He’s a penetrator and a high-energy guy, which makes him easy to root for. “Nacho” is a restricted free agent, so the Chiefs can likely keep him if they choose to give him a tender.

It makes sense to at least give him a substantial tender offer or sign him to a long-term deal if possible.

Prediction: Nunez-Roches gets a second-round RFA tender at $2.914M

Likely to get better offers elsewhere: Albert Wilson, Zach Fulton

These two were both solid contributors for the Chiefs last season and hit free agency at good times for their own careers.

Making it even more timely, the Chiefs’ former offensive coordinator is now the head coach in Chicago. The Bears just happen to have needs at both positions (wide receiver and center). A new report links Fulton to Houston at over $7M per year. Whatever the destination, the writing is on the wall for these two to get paid in free agency.

Perhaps the Chiefs will be in line for a compensatory pick next year in return?

Prediction: Wilson to Chicago, Fulton to Houston, Chiefs in line for a fifth-round comp pick

Could return if the price is right: Dustin Colquitt, Jarvis Jenkins

The longest-tenured Chief is among the highest-paid punters in the league. He’s been very good for KC, but it’s hard to see the Chiefs committing $4M per year on a punter. I’m sure they want him back, but the price is the issue.

Jarvis Jenkins turned out to be a good depth signing on the defensive line. I’d think the Chiefs would like to have him back but may wait to see if they can land a bigger fish first.

Prediction: Colquitt re-signs with the Chiefs, Jenkins waits until after the draft

Should be inexpensive, but we’ll see if the Chiefs want them back: Terrance Mitchell, Kenneth Acker, Steven Terrell, Kevin Pierre-Louis, Ramik Wilson

The remaining depth from the Chiefs secondary and inside linebacker positions are all set to hit free agency. We shouldn’t be surprised or upset with any of these guys returning to provide a little stability while the team looks for upgrades this offseason.

Of this group, I’d prioritize Mitchell, Pierre-Louis and Terrell. Each has shown some promise and should still be very reasonable from a cost perspective.

Prediction: the Chiefs focus elsewhere, but eventually bring back Mitchell, Pierre-Louis, Wilson and Terrell

Underrated in KC, so we’ll see if he gets paid elsewhere: Bennie Logan

Logan came in with some big shoes to fill as Dontari Poe’s replacement, on a one-year deal.

I’m not sure what Chiefs fans expected from him, but his numbers from 2017 were similar to his best years in Philly (2014/2015). He’s a good run-stopping nose tackle that can make plays in the backfield at times but might not jump off the screen for most fans. I do think he was solid and would be welcomed back to the Chiefs in 2018. We’ll see if they are interested or if his market develops elsewhere.

Prediction: Logan signs elsewhere, maybe Washington?

It’s a bad sign if these guys are back in KC: Jordan Devey, Phillip Gaines

Nothing personal against these two guys, but the Chiefs should be in a place where they can move on from both.

On the offensive line, the development of Bryan Witzmann and Cameron Erving and the return of Parker Ehinger should mean there isn’t a spot for a guy like Jordan Devey. If they bring him back, it could mean the team isn’t confident in those other guys, and/or they can’t find an upgrade in free agency. Similar story for Phillip Gaines, who has struggled in Kansas City recently. Even with the trade of Marcus Peters, the team should have better options, including Kendall Fuller and David Amerson, and they should be looking to add talent in free agency and the draft. If they re-sign Phillip Gaines, it’s not a great sign for ‘he plan at cornerback.

Prediction: neither is back with the Chiefs

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