The NFL contract resource website Spotrac lists 16 unrestricted free agents for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2019. Three of those Chiefs were listed among Pro Football Focus’ top 50 free agents published just a few weeks ago.
On Tuesday, CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco published his list of the top 30 NFL players set to hit the free agent market. Only two Chiefs made it into the article, and it may not be exactly who you think.
6. Dee Ford
PRISCO: He had 13 sacks in his fifth season in 2018 to cement himself as a big-time edge rusher. The Chiefs will make keeping this 27-year-old a top priority.
If I am guessing right now, I believe the Chiefs bring Ford back. There are more than enough signs from the team’s general manager, in his quotes and on social media, that lead me to believe there is no scenario in which the Chiefs move on from Ford, at least this season.
Whether that is via the franchise tag (which I expect) or via a long-term contract (which I would consider a risk, given Ford’s health history) remains to be seen.
30. Mitch Morse
PRISCO: He’s a nice, solid starter who excels in pass protection. He is 26, so he is still a young player. He has had some concussion issues.
I love Mitch Morse—both the player and the person.
But in his case, look no further than the Chiefs’ actions. Backup center Austin Reiter started four games in Morse’s absence due to a concussion this season, and the Chiefs liked what they saw enough to extend his contract, a two-year deal worth a max of $5.5 million.
There is also this, from PFF.
2018's highest-graded centers from the AFC West pic.twitter.com/SOWtYDXDGT— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) February 11, 2019
Regardless of how you feel about PFF, Reiter is at least comparable to Morse. He’s also cheaper, and I’d guess the Chiefs give him the starting nod at center and allow Morse to make his money elsewhere.
Prisco left cornerback Steve Nelson and defensive lineman Allen Bailey off the list.
I strongly doubt Nelson returns to the Chiefs, as he goes to the highest bidder, whereas I believe there is a small possibility for Bailey. I think Bailey had a better season than most realize, and the money he commands may be too rich for the Chiefs as they continue to navigate the cap.