Kansas City Chiefs
Many fans who have heard Dwayne Bowe saying he will not attend OTA’s, think instantly this is another episode to the “D-Bowe” saga. The Chiefs placed the franchise tag on the disgruntle wide receiver this past off-season.Being franchise tagged comes along with a one year contract and a salary equal to the average of the top five highest paid players at his position. Bowe is due $9.5 million dollars this year, which is no chump change. Bowe says he will not attend camp until a deal is made, which is unlikely because the Chiefs do not have the money right now to extend Bowe’s current contract. In my opinion, I thought Bowe should have got an extension before Cassel did. However, here we are and fans are wondering if the Chiefs would just be better off without the drama of having Bowe. We see this continuously throughout the NFL when players are placed under the franchise tag.
Drew Brees in New Orleans and Wes Welker in New England, both were placed under the franchise tag and both have said through their agent that they will not attend OTA’s until a long term contract is reached. Many people with an outside perspective will strongly disagree with these players. They will call into the local radio stations and ask, “why in the (fill in your own explicit word) would you turn down $9.5 million, especially in times like these when the people who come support you at games are struggling everyday!” Though I believe that is a valid point, I do not the think fans understand the situation these players are in. People do not understand that the franchise tag is used when a team currently at the time do not have the money to give them a contract extension or the ownership thinks it will be to costly to give the player a bigger contract. Some General Manager’s use the franchise tag as a way to put a player on the market open to anyone who may be interested in a trade. The players are put in a bad spot because the franchise tag only guarantees a one year contract. Though they do get paid as a top five player at their position, there is no guarantee the team will re-sign them the year after. What if the player gets hurt? What if he does not have the season the front office thought he would have?
The team can release him and get no cap penalty whatsoever, and the player would be looking for another place to play. The franchise tag gives the front office all the leverage the following year during contract neogotiations and the players may not get the money they deserved the year before. Players holdout not to be distractions, but to gain security. As we all have witnessed, the NFL is always changing and things can happen that can alter the lives of these players. Under a one year contract if a player gets hurt, the team could say, “oh well” and release him. The proper way to use the franchise tag is to allow the agent and the front office more time to negotiate a long term contract. If the tender was not given and signed, then the player would have been eligible for free agency and would gain the ability to go to any team they desired.
In Dwayne Bowe’s situation, the Chiefs should be doing all they can to get a long term contract for Bowe. Many fans question his consistency and productivity, but he has been the Chiefs number one receiver for three years now. We have seen that he can produce and I think he would help the Chiefs develop into one of the top receiving cores in the NFL. If the Chiefs are looking for money, Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson’s contracts are up at the end of the year but that does not help the Chiefs now. Maybe Cassel wants Bowe as bad as they need him, and he will go restructure his contract to get Bowe the contract extension he deserves. If the Chiefs can get Bowe into camp, there will be money available the next off-season because I do not think Dorsey and Jackson will get a contract any were near the amount they got for their rookie contracts, unless they go else where. But still there is the risk that Bowe has an outstanding year under the franchise tag, and he gets numerous top dollar offers for more interesting destinations.
This will only drive the price up more to keep Bowe and next year the Chiefs will not have the first chance to get him because he will be a unrestricted free agent. Baldwins potential is still unknown in my opinion and Breaston is not a typical number one receiver. With that being said, the Chiefs need to find a way to sign Bowe to a long term contract before the season starts. His play will be a determining factor if the Chiefs offense becomes more explosive over the next couple of years.
Best player: Of course Andrew Luck and RG3 are rare talents that only come along every decade or so, but outside of those two players, I believe Trent Richardson has the chance to be a truly special player in the NFL. He’s arguably the best running back prospect since Adrian Peterson. He runs with power, speed, and agility. He’s also a receiving threat out of the backfield. The team that ends up with Richardson will reap the benefits.
Biggest bust: Obviously depending on where they are selected, I believe Ryan Tannehill and Dontar’i Powe have the highest probabilities of being deemed “busts.” While Tannehill does have the potential to become a productive quarterback at the next level, he needs a few years to ride the pine and develop more as a quarterback. Powe is what we call a “combine warrior.” He performed unbelievably well at the combine, but his production in college was lacking. He could be the next Vince Wilfork, or the next Vernon Gholston.
Sleeper: As an avid Notre Dame fan, I watched most of the Irish’s game this past season, and while Michael Floyd is obviously a first round pick, a player I think could be a very solid contributor at the next level outside the first round is safety Harrison Smith. Smith has ideal size for the safety position and has good instincts. He’s a high character guy and was the captain of the Irish defense for 3 years.
Chiefs pick: If Kansas City doesn’t trade down, I think the pick at 11 will be David DeCastro. DeCastro is possibly the best guard prospect since Steve Hutchinson, and with the addition of DeCastro, the Chiefs could have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. With a healthy Jamaal Charles and a determined Peyton Hillis, the Chiefs would be well on their way to leading the league in rushing as they did in their playoff season of 2010.
Bust player: Ryan Tannehill from Texas A&M has by far the most bust potential. First, Tannehill has only started QB for only 19 games. Tannehill ran a pro-style, West Coast offense under Mike Sherman, a former NFL head coach. Tannehill has mobility, he was athletic enough to play wide receiver during his first two seasons at Texas A&M. However, Tannehill’s lack of experience as a starting quarterback could make it difficult for him to have instant impact. Teams are going to jump on the bandwagon of Tannehill because of the need for a franchise quarterback. He is not the answer!
Sleeper: Janoris Jenkins is the best at man coverage of all cornerbacks in this draft class. While he may not be the best corner, he will surprise people if he can stay on the field. After being labeled as a pothead at the University of Florida, Jenkins has had to battle to gain a good reputation. While he has yet to gain a good reputation, he is an elite corner. If drafted by the right team, Jenkins can have the same effect Joe Haden had with the Cleveland Browns.
Chiefs Pick: Luke Kuechly, Line backer from Boston College. Kuechly is the best linebacker in this draft class. He has extremely great instincts that help stuffing the run. At Boston College, he managed to record over 200 tackles his senior season. With one of the Chief’s needs being inside linebacker, Kuechly can step in and contribute immediately. He would an outstanding fit in the Chiefs system because of his great flow to the ball.
Bust Player: Dontari Poe has the biggest but potential of and player in the 2012 NFL draft. Dontari has bust potential because he didn’t dominate in a weak C-USA conference. Also, Dontari before the combine was considered a fringe first round pick and after the combine he was considered a top ten pick. Dontari dominated the combine measuring at 350 and running his 40 yard dash in the 4.9’s and showed amazing athleticism for a man his size. Another concerning part of Dontari’s game is his hot and cold motor he shows on the field. Dontari will often flash brilliance one play and then for the next ten plays he will disappear. However, Dontari has the highest upside of any player in the draft, but with high reward also comes high risk.
Sleeper Pick: My sleeper of this draft is Beau Reliford a tight end from Florida State. Beau is a former basketball player who actually came to Florida State on a duel sport scholarship. Beau is a big measuring in 6’5’’ 256 pounds and is incredibly athletic. Beau shows a good burst off the line of scrimmage and is a good pass catcher. The only problem with Beau is he isn’t a very good blocker. However, Beau shows great potential as a blocker with a big frame and is strong, but sometimes he plays soft and gets dominated at the point of attack. If Beau is able to become a good in-line blocker he could become one of the better tight ends in the NFL which isn’t bad for a 5th or 6th round draft pick.
Chiefs Pick: In my eyes the Chiefs should play it safe and draft David DeCastro. David is the best guard prospect in the last 10 years. David projects as a starting NFL guard who will be a pro bowler for many years to come. If the Chiefs draft DeCastro, the interior of their line will be set for the next 10 years. Also, David fills a position of need and should immediately start in front of Ryan Lilja. He will help to Chiefs to regain their potent running attack from 2010.
1. Mychal Kendricks – Inside Linebacker – University of California. Mychal Kendricks is an interesting prospect at ILB. Many people write him off as an ILB because of his height, he is listed at 5-11, which is small for an inside linebacker. However, he has a big base and weighs an astounding 240 pounds and shows great balance. Furthermore, his greatest asset is his quickness. On tape, Mychal shows impressive range against the run. If the Chief’s were to draft Mychal the front seven would immediately be more athletic and he shows the potential to be a three down linebacker. Kendricks is a very physical linebacker that adds tenacity to a defense that needs to get more “nasty”. Furthermore, Kendricks can lay the lumber on opposing ball carriers as he did in his career at Cal.
2. Kevin Zeitler – Offensive Guard – University of Wisconsin. Kevin Zeitler is the third best offensive guard in the 2012 NFL draft. What puts Kevin in the second round is that he could start at guard during his rookie year. Kevin has to be considered by the Chiefs since they have recommitted themselves to running the ball in 2012. Kevin projects as an above average offensive guard who could step up and contribute immediately.
3. Alameda Ta’amu – Nose Tackle – University of Washington. Alameda Ta’amu fits the mold of a perfect 3-4 nose tackle. He is 6’2″ and 348 pound and shows the ability to dominate one on one blocking situations. Alameda constantly demanded double teams at Washington and significantly improved his dominance at the point of attack between his junior and senior season. If the Chiefs draft Alameda Ta’amu, they are saying that the progression of last years six round pick Jerrel Powe is not where they want.
4. Brock Osweiler – Quarterback – Arizona State. Brock is a wild card pick for the Chiefs. The Chiefs are in desperate need for a quarterback with the upside to be a franchise quarterback. Brock provides the upside to be a franchise quarterback do to his arm strength. Brock, standing around 6-7 surprisingly shows great mobility for a player that big. Also, Brock shows the ability to make all the NFL throws, but must improve his throwing mechanics. A major question that scouts have had on Osweiler is his accuracy, much of his problem comes from him mechanics. Brock is your classic boom or bust quarterback prospect, but if handled right and given time to learn from the bench, he has a chance to be a great NFL quarterback.
5. Trumaine Johnson – Cornerback – University of Montanta. Trumaine has been linked to chiefs recently and is supposedly visiting the Chief’s this week. Trumaine Johnson has all the tools to be a potential shut down corner in the NFL. He has the size at 6-2 and shows fluidity that is rare among cornerbacks with his size. However, right now Johnson is nothing more then athlete playing football. If the Chief’s were to draft him he would probably not contribute for a couple of years. Trumaine is another classic example of a boom or bust prospect. The cornerback position has good depth which would give Johnson the time on the bench that he needs to develop.
Also, do not be surprised if the Scott Pioli and the Chiefs trade down or up to get a player that fits the teams system.
Many times after I have heard about any Chiefs front office moves, the end result is always me quoting the great Vince Lombardi, “WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON OUT THERE!” To actually hear legitimate reports that the Chiefs may draft (waste) their first round pick on former receiver turned quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, makes me won’t to disregard myself as a Chiefs fan. With some of the many issues under the watch of Pioli in Kansas City, I often wonder how int the world were the Patriots so successful. The talk of the Chiefs drafting Tannehill have heated up as the NFL Draft nears closer and closer, which could means two things:
With all the jubilation going on through out Kansas City, an outsider would have thought Peyton was taking a visit. Though that is not the case, Chiefs fans should be excited to hear the signing of RT, Eric Winston. The former Texan signed a four year, $22 million deal yesterday afternoon. Winston will serve as a major contributor to a highly criticized Kansas City offensive line. He is projected to replace Barry Richardson at RT. Winston has started has started 89 consecutive games while being with Houston. His durability will prove to be vital in protecting Matt Cassel. Coaches in Houston raved about his leadership and blocking skills, and the Chiefs can only hope he brings his production along with his experience. The Chiefs are now ready to take back the title of the best rushing team in the league. They have the power with Winston and Brandon Albert blocking for Peyton Hillis. The other aspect to the rushing attack that was missing last year was the speedy Jamaal Charles.
The Chiefs did not stop there, as moments later they came to terms with Brady Quinn. Pioli boasted of creating a quarterback competition, but many fans believe it will not involve Matt Cassel, but rather Ricky Stanzi for who holds the clipboard. Brady Quinn’s success in the NFL, or lack of, has many fans questioning why the Chiefs went after Quinn. Through training camp and the pre-season, fans will see how big of a competition this will become for the starting quarterback job. The most likely scenario is he creates an average backup for Cassel. Hopefully the Chiefs will continue their proactiveness in free agency and continue to make this team better. These signing set the table for a possible selection in the 2012 NFL draft for 6’4″ 346lbs DT Dontari Poe from Memphis University. While NFl executives have major concerns about Poe’s internal motor, he is viewed as the next Vince Wilfork.