The third full day of the NFL’s free agency period hasn’t even come to a close yet, and already Kansas City Chiefs fans are ready to throw in the towel on the 2014 season. After the spending spree Chiefs general manager John Dorsey engaged in last year, it’s easy to understand the frustration of the Chiefs faithful, but there is some serious overreacting going on.
The “Debbie Downers” started rearing their heads Monday shortly after 3 p.m. Arrowhead time when former Chiefs left tackle Branden Albert took his talents to South Beach and signed a contract with the Miami Dolphins for roughly $10 million a year. Even though most of Chiefs Kingdom already knew it was a forgone conclusion that Albert was going to depart in free agency, people were upset. That continued when the news broke that both guard Jon Asamoah and defensive end Tyson Jackson were headed to the Atlanta Falcons to rejoin the man that drafted them, assistant general manager Scott Pioli. The fact that they were given over-inflated contracts was lost on the Chiefs faithful as the pitchforks and torches began to come out. Even though Jackson has been one of the most talked about – in a negative way – players since he was drafted with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft and Asamoah rode the bench for the last half of 2013, Chiefs fans were upset that these two were leaving.
Of course things didn’t get any better when fan favorite Dexter McCluster announced his move east to “Music City U.S.A.” and signed a four-year deal with the Tennessee Titans. But, the straw that broke the camel’s back was guard Geoff Schwartz defecting for the bright lights of the big city and signing a deal with the New York Giants in the neighborhood of $4.5 million a year.
It wasn’t the fact that these guys left the team – especially given the successes they achieved last year – but, at least in the case of Schwartz, it was the fact that the Chiefs could have re-signed them to similar deals.
No, the Chiefs don’t have the kind of cap space that apparently the Denver Broncos do, but with roughly $9 million, they could have made some moves.
Things got even worse yesterday, though, when the signings of linebacker Joe Mays and offensive lineman Jeff Linkenbach were announced. These were clearly the signings of a team that feels it must churn the bottom of free agency and other teams’ rosters – something Dorsey did with great skill last year – and find deals where it can. Many, including ESPN’s Adam Teicher, have said that the Linkenbach signing reminds them of the Schwartz signing last year, so there’s that, I suppose. Additionally, Linkenbach stated during his media conference this morning that he feels comfortable playing guard or tackle on either side of the line, so that’s more good news.
Even with Broncos general manager John Elway putting all his chips – and his watch, car keys and the deed to his house – in the center of the table and saying “all in” Chiefs fans should relax just a bit. Dorsey learned his craft from the very best in Ron Wolf. He knows how to draft, and manipulate the draft to get the best value. Additionally, he is an excellent talent scout and is constantly looking for teams who cast aside players who can make a 53-man roster. He proved this last year with the signing of cornerbacks Marcus Cooper and Ron Parker along with tight end Sean McGrath.
The off season is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s just getting started. Everyone should probably buckle up and hang on, because it’ll get bumpy, but there is a plan.
I mean, there has to be. Right?