A Monday afternoon in Kansas City is normally nothing special. People are at work and kids are at school, typically a slow day for Kansas Citians. March 4th was anything but a normal Monday for Kansas City. The Kansas City Chiefs resigned punter Dustin Colquitt and wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, and placed the franchise tag on left tackle Branden Albert.
Colquitt’s five year, $18.75 million deal with $8.9 million guaranteed, has made him the highest-paid punter in the NFL. Throughout his eight year career, Colquitt has punted the ball 657 times with an average of 44.7 yards per punt. 250 of these punts have pinned opponents inside the twenty yard line. He also attended the Pro Bowl last season for the first time in his career.
Dwayne Bowe will remain in Kansas City after agreeing to a five year deal worth $56 million with $26 million guaranteed. Although his performance last year was sub-par in terms of scoring, catching only three touchdowns, Bowe was still able to reel in 59 passes despite quarterback issues plaguing the Chiefs all season. The Chiefs must be confident that their incoming quarterback, Alex Smith, will be able to help jumpstart Bowe’s performance from a lackluster last season to a renewed outbreak this year.
Branden Albert will get a one year, fully guaranteed $9.8 million contract, and has the opportunity to work out a long-term deal with the Chiefs before July 15. In addition to his contract, the Chiefs placed the franchise tag on Albert, mere minutes before the assigned deadline.
With the franchise tag being placed on Albert, questions have been raised regarding the Chiefs first-overall pick of the 2013 draft. Left tackle Luke Joekel from Texas A&M seemed the easy pick, but with Albert staying, the Chiefs have new options open to them. They may go ahead and take Joekel, looking to move either him or other players around on the offensive line. Another option is to trade their pick, similar to the St. Louis Rams last year, and look to receive more picks to gain more development-needed players.
Any way you look at it, the Chiefs have made many much-needed changes this season, these contract-renewals being the most recent of their off-season cleaning. Will this new and improved Chiefs team’s gambles on a nearly entirely new system pay off? Only time will tell, as the start of the season is still an agonizing six months away. The Chiefs’ first game is on September 8.
On a side note, the Chiefs released right tackle Eric Winston this week, who made headlines last season with his rant against Chiefs’ fans. Early since his release, other AFC West teams have shown interest in him, especially the Raiders. He is sure to find a much more mellow and accepting fan base awaiting him.