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Dixon’s Arrowhead Pride mailbag: Chiefs free agents, Tony G, Sonic and James Bond

The inaugural edition of Dixon’s mailbag is here.

Los Angeles Chargers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

Welcome to the first edition of Dixon’s Arrowhead Pride Mailbag, where I’ll attempt to answer your questions about the Kansas City Chiefs and anything else that strikes your fancy. If you have a question, you can hit my profile page and e-mail me, or ask me on Twitter. While you’re at it, please follow me on Twitter, too.

What’s your prediction for Eric Berry, Justin Houston, Dee Ford and Mitch Morse? Where do they end up this offseason?

— David

The short answer? Making a lot of trips to the bank to deposit big checks.

You don’t mess around, do you David? Just come right out with the biggest questions of the offseason?

OK... fine.

I think we don’t yet have enough information to make a reasonable prediction about Berry. Just about every option the Chiefs would have with regard to Berry depends almost entirely on his ability to play, and we just don’t know what that is.

Remember... the Chiefs have never confirmed nor denied the report that Berry is suffering from a Haglund’s deformity on his foot all season. They have consistently said only that it’s a “sore heel.” It might be a Haglund’s deformity — something an offseason surgery could conceivably repair — or it might be something else going on with his foot. If it is a Haglund’s deformity, the most basic parts of the Chiefs’ decision tree with regard to Berry — whether he can pass a physical in March, whether he will be ready to play before the 2019 season — depend on what Berry is doing about it. And right now, we know nothing about that. If it’s some other kind of foot injury, then we know even less.

Simply stated, the range of outcomes for Berry run from his retirement (or being cut with an injury settlement) all the way through being an All-Pro in 2019. But until we know more about what’s going on, it’s impossible to predict.

Thankfully, there is less to wonder about with the rest of these players.

Many Chiefs fans don’t want Dee Ford to get a long-term deal, and their reservations are valid. But the alternative is to pay Ford a lot of money on the franchise tag in 2019 and then have to make a long-term deal when a premium pass-rusher will have even more value on the market. Many fans don’t believe in Ford. I think the Chiefs do — or at least they did.

Much will depend on whether new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo thinks Ford fits into his plans. We can guess that Ford will fit in, but we don’t know for sure. All that said, I think Ford will get a long-term deal with the Chiefs, but it won’t be a record-setter.

I think Houston will remain with the team for one more season. Like Ford, he seems to have a role available to him in Spagnuolo’s scheme, and while he’s not the disruptive force we saw in previous seasons, he’s still an effective player. Given the Chiefs’ current cap situation, it will be hard to simply release him. Restructuring his contract will kick the can further down the road — and that’s how the Chiefs got into this mess in the first place. If I’m Brett Veach, I wince and pay the man his money for one more season — as long as Spagnuolo wants him around.

I think Morse will be a cap casualty. Morse seems to be among the best of the free agent centers that will be on the market this year. The Chiefs already have a guy — Austin Reiter — who has shown he can take Morse’s place. I think they let him do it and allow Morse to seek greener pastures elsewhere.

Thanks for your question, David.

Which free agents would you rather keep: Allen Bailey, Chris Conley, Steven Nelson, Anthony Sherman, Demetrius Harris, Dee Ford or Mitch Morse. Keep as many as you want, or as little as you want. But be realistic in cap space.

— Avik

I’ve already addressed Ford and Morse. I wouldn’t keep Bailey unless he could be kept at an extremely team-friendly contract. I think it’s time to give Gehrig Dieter a shot at Conley’s role.

In my mind, you have to keep Sherman; there are reasons that Chiefs special teams units are always so good, and Sherman is one of them. On offense, he’s one of those players you don’t need very often — but when you do, you really need him.

Harris is also a valuable contributor on special teams, but with Ben Niemann on the roster, Harris could easily be expendable. If he can be kept at a figure lower than Harris, I personally think it would be interesting to use Kelvin Benjamin in the places where Harris has been used on offense.

I’m OK with Nelson, but he could easily be worth more to other teams than he would be to the Chiefs. We’ll just have to see how that plays out.

Thanks for asking, Avik.

In my mind’s eye, Tony Gonzalez was on the verge of breaking a NFL record while with the Chiefs at home in 2008. Instead of allowing him to break the record at home, Herm Edwards had the offense do something different, because Herm was all about team and the NFL shield — not individuals. I thought he was disrespected, [which would give] him a pass on his comments. Do you remember this happening?

— Randy

I don’t remember anything like that, but that’s not to say it didn’t happen. It’s true that Gonzalez requested a trade before the trade deadline in 2008 — which happened to fall during the Chiefs’ Week 6 bye — and if his story of how that happened is true, it’s possible that Edwards might have borne him some ill will.

But looking at the game logs from 2008, there’s not much evidence that there was a shift in strategy regarding his use at any point during the season.

Tony Gonzalez with Chiefs 2008
Week Game Tgt Rec Ctch Pct Yds Yds/Rec Yds/Tgt TD
1 KAN @ NWE 7 6 85.7 55 9.2 7.9 0
2 OAK @ KAN 13 5 38.5 39 7.8 3.0 1
3 KAN @ ATL 10 4 40.0 35 8.8 3.5 0
4 DEN @ KAN 4 3 75.0 47 15.7 11.8 1
5 KAN @ CAR 7 3 42.9 17 5.7 2.4 0
7 TEN @ KAN 8 6 75.0 97 16.2 12.1 0
8 KAN @ NYJ 6 6 100.0 79 13.2 13.2 1
9 TAM @ KAN 10 7 70.0 62 8.9 6.2 0
10 KAN @ SDG 14 10 71.4 113 11.3 8.1 2
11 NOR @ KAN 9 5 55.6 39 7.8 4.3 0
12 BUF @ KAN 13 10 76.9 113 11.3 8.7 1
13 KAN @ OAK 11 8 72.7 110 13.8 10.0 0
14 KAN @ DEN 11 5 45.5 73 14.6 6.6 1
15 SDG @ KAN 10 6 60.0 62 10.3 6.2 1
16 MIA @ KAN 12 7 58.3 64 9.1 5.3 1
17 KAN @ CIN 10 5 50.0 53 10.6 5.3 1

If you only look at his receptions, you might conclude that the Chiefs used him less often in the latter part of the season — which could lead you to believe that something like you remember was going on. But if you look at his targets during the period after he requested a trade, that doesn’t seem to be true at all.

I personally feel a lot of the anger some Chiefs fans are directing at Gonzalez right now is a bit unjustified. While he said (and did) things during Super Bowl week that were tone-deaf at best — and flat-out insulting at worst — I think there’s a strong argument that if the Super Bowl had been anywhere but Atlanta, none of it would have happened. But that’s just me.

Thanks, Randy.

In the Chiefs playoff pandemonium, my browser sent me to some Arrowhead Pride posts, which led me to ask: are you the original John Dixon?

— Kevin

Sadly, I am not. The original John Dixon was a character on As The World Turns from 1969 until 2004 — or so I have been told, anyway. Myself, I was always a fan of All My Children and Ryan’s Hope.

But I am the original John Dixon who was a Sonic Drive-In car hop at about the same time Dr. Dixon first appeared on the CBS-TV soap opera — at the very same Sonic where you were employed as a cook, Kevin. It’s good to hear from you!

Now... about that time you had me take a tray down to the car full of cute girls and pretend to be a robot so you could say something obscene over the speaker... I carried that humiliation with me for a long time. Today I have just one thing to say to you: Well played, Kevin... well played.

James Bond — ranked from best to worst.

— Paul

  1. Sean Connery (1962–67; 1971; 1983)
  2. Timothy Dalton (1987–89)
  3. Roger Moore (1973–85)
  4. Daniel Craig (2006–present)
  5. Pierce Brosnan (1995–2002)
  6. David Niven (1967)
  7. George Lazenby (1969)

Connery is a no-brainer. Fight me.

Of the later Bonds, Dalton has been my favorite. For a long time, Craig was in third place, but Moore has slowly crept up the list. When I was younger I hated Moore, and didn’t even want to see any Bond movies in which he appeared. But over the years — after seeing some of the Moore films — I have come to appreciate him more. I like Brosnan as an actor — he’s been in a lot of movies I like very much — but I never cared for him as Bond. Same with Niven. (His big scenes with Gregory Peck in The Guns of Navarone — after the German spy in their midst is revealed — are among my all-time favorite film moments). Lazenby was just bad.

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