A Second Look At The Moves … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

The smoke has cleared in the free agency period around the NFL. The roster activity will not stop completely when it comes to hiring and firing of players in the league, but the pace has slowed considerably.

Just check out the activity from Monday at the bottom of this post. There were four UFA signings announced where a player changed teams. The movement of LB Paris Lenon, CB Marcus Hudson, WR Ruvell Martin and ILB Larry Foote didn’t create much of splash.

But that’s where the available players sit right now. There are a few players every day coming available; for instance, QB Chris Simms and S Deon Grant because available after they were released by the Broncos and Seahawks.

We’ll take a look at the best signings around the league on Wednesday. Here on Tuesday, we’ll take a look at the Chiefs roster moves since the start of the new league year, plus the day before it all began when they re-signed LB Mike Vrabel (above). Here’s my view on what the Chiefs have gotten done, in order or importance to the team in 2010:

1. Signed free agent RB Thomas Jones – Much has been written about the acquisition of Jones last week and there’s no sense going back over plowed ground. Suffice to say that just about everyone in the league thinks the Chiefs really helped themselves and their offense. As long as that over 30 running back wall doesn’t drop on Jones all at once, the signing of Jones fills a big hole on the roster and depth chart.

2. Re-signed free agent WR Chris Chambers (right) – If the Chiefs were a finely tuned personnel machine, with a consistent and productive offense, then it wouldn’t make sense to re-sign Chambers. He would have come in and helped out last year, and then the Chiefs would have moved on. But they are far from being finely tuned and getting Chambers under contract was imperative. Had he been lost, so much of the improvement that was seen in the passing game last year would have gone out the window. Right now the Chiefs and more importantly Matt Cassel, need some stability.

3. Re-signed OLB Mike Vrabel – The best of all worlds for the Chiefs defense this year would be for youngster Andy Studebaker to step up in training camp and the pre-season and claim one of the outside LB spots. In his brief opportunities last year, Studebaker showed he has play making ability and the coaching staff needs to get him on the field and let him play. Having Vrabel around is a good move as he can step in if Studebaker can’t manage the jump or he can help with his knowledge and willingness to lead and instruct as a backup. There’s room for both roles on this defense and nobody would fill it better than Vrabel.

4. Re-signed WR Terrance Copper – The strength of the Chiefs last year was their special teams. All the pieces of their kicking game are in place for this season with the signing of Copper, who was the team’s second leading tackler in ’09. That alone made re-signing him a smart move. And then, go back to the final game of the season against Denver when on the Chiefs first offensive play he ran through the Broncos secondary for a 50-yard gain. Where was that in the first 15 games?

5. Signed free agent WR Jerheme Urban (left) – All reports are this is the kind of guy any coach would want on his team. As a receiver he’s an improvement over a Lance Long or Bobby Wade, but hardly the type of guy that’s going to make a big improvement in the offense. There was nothing special about his numbers while playing in Arizona – 36 games, 74 catches, 963 yards and 6 TDs – but remember that ahead of him were guys like Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston. Urban may be able to help on special teams, but this is not a significant addition.

6. Signed free agent DT Shaun Smith – This is a big body to help in the middle, but Smith is fairly ordinary when it comes to production on the field. He’s had one season where he was productive; that was 2007 with Cleveland, when he played in 15 games and had 62 total tackles and the only two sacks of his career. Since then he’s played in 14 games, with a total of 44 tackles and no sacks. Signing Smith did not break the bank – unless he sat on it! – so if he doesn’t adapt to life with the Chiefs, no big loss. The Chiefs still need to find a young, big body guy to plug that position in the future.

7. Signed free agent C Casey Wiegmann (right) – I’m still not sure what this signing is all about. When news first came down that the former Chiefs center is now a Chiefs center again, the thought occurred that maybe it was one of those deals where Wiegmann wanted to retire as a member of the Chiefs. But that apparently is not the case; he’s going to play.

The Chiefs made a decision two years ago that Wiegmann’s career was over. He proved them wrong by going to Denver and playing two seasons and taking every snap for a team that won a lot more games than the Chiefs (six compared to 16 victories for the Broncos.) But there’s no getting over the fact he’s 37 years old.

There would appear to be several possibilities here for the Chiefs: a.) they want Wiegmann to push incumbent starter Rudy Niswanger; b.) they plan to release their tender on Niswanger, have Wiegmann start and draft a future center in April; or c.) they plan to have Wiegmann, Niswanger and draft choice compete for the job. Keep an eye on this situation; there has to be more to come.

QUIET DAY #11/A FREE AGENCY-PERSONNEL UPDATE

  • BRONCOS – released QB Chris Simms.
  • CARDINALS – signed LB Paris Lenon (Rams)
  • PANTHERS – signed CB Marcus Hudson (49ers); re-signed OL Rob Pettiti.
  • RAIDERS – LS Jon Condo, QB Charlie Frye, QB Bruce Gradkowski, OL Chris Morris and LB David Nixon signed their RFA contract tenders.
  • RAVENS – re-signed TE Edgar Jones.
  • SEAHAWKS – signed WR Ruvell Martin (Packers); released S Deon Grant and LS Matt Overton; DE Darryl Tapp signed his RFA contract tender.
  • STEELERS – signed LB Larry Foote (Lions).
  • TITANS – signed P-K Ricky Schmitt.
  • VIKINGS – hired Matt Sheldon as assistant defensive backs coach.

30 Responses to “A Second Look At The Moves … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • March 16, 2010  - ThunderChief says:

    Yawn. I was looking for Pioli/Hunt to give me some Metallica in the off-season. Instead, like the 2009 Draft, I got the Jonas Brothers.


  • March 16, 2010  - gorillafan says:

    Wiegmann brings leadership and experience to our god awful o-line. I dont care if he is a back-up or starts all 16 games, we need guys like this on our team. We all know he was a good player and still was for the donkeys, hope we get a couple good years from him still. I would have ranked this better than #7, but it could be a bust too, just like Zach Thomas last year.


  • March 16, 2010  - dinomight says:

    Again this year, least we forget, everyone we have signed is usually better than what we had. The Don has a long and difficult road ahead, and it’s not over yet!


  • March 16, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    All good/decent signings to date, as far as I’m concerned. I’m not blown away. But, I’m not disappointed either. There may be a few guys listed that won’t even be on the roster opening day…so no harm done anyway. Still lots of holes to fill, though.

    As far as the Center position goes…some mock drafts have Maurkice Pouncey falling to the top of the second round. If that happens (and it’s a longshot in my book), I’d love to see the Chiefs take him. But, that will be a tough decision for Pioli…as there will be a lot of good players still on the board in the second round.


  • March 16, 2010  - SG says:

    “Again this year…”

    Again this year, we’re waiting around hoping the Don does something to make me forget Wade Smith signing elsewhere. C’mon Don – if Lilja’s got it, sign him on man! :-)


  • March 16, 2010  - BIG F says:

    Thunderchief….

    Well at least Metallica gave us a real album last year, hopefully Pioli will give us a real team this year….


  • March 16, 2010  - Racyman says:

    I have no problems with the players Pioli has signed so far. I can see where they all fill a role, and we are likely a better team with them, than we were without them. With that said, if Pioli doesn’t jump on a real quality guard, like Lilja, with the money available (we have a payroll almost 80 million under last year’s cap, if I have the right information), then I will question what he is doing. Now,there are rumors that Lilja is suffering from a lingering back problem,and, if that is the case, I would understand not investing in him, but if he is healthy, I feel he would fit the zone blocking scheme perfectly. He hasn’t got great size, and the Colts are reportedly going to a more power blocking scheme, but he is just the kind of lineman Haley seems to covet. He is someone that uses technique, more than his weight. We can’t just bring in players to add depth and competition, in free agency, although that is important, and I agree you generally build through the draft, but we need to bring in a couple of quality, potential Pro Bowl caliber players, to supplement a young, talented roster.


  • March 16, 2010  - arrowhead1978 says:

    How is signing players that won’t be on the roster come the start of the season “no harm”? I dont see how it’s not, because if you aren’t signing players that are going to stick then it means you really haven’t done much to make the team better, now you have holes when those players do end up being cut and at that point the players that are left to sort through aren’t very good, so really how is it no harm?


  • March 16, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    arrowhead1978,

    It creates competition. Take guys like Smith and Wiegmann. Maybe you’ve improved…and maybe you haven’t. Tough to tell until they get the pads on and get onto the field. If they can’t cut it, then well…they get cut. But, at least you’ve tried to improve the quality at a position…and possibly added depth.

    I think Pioli is trying to open up his options for draft day. For example, if a good Center is available…then I think we’ll take him. If not, then we can probably get by with what we have now for another year. If there’s a good NT available, then I think we’ll take him. But if not, then maybe Smith and Edwards can “tag team” the position. This will give us more choices come draft time. That way, Pioli can take the best player available at a particular position…instead of feeling like he HAS to draft a Center or a NT no matter what. Last year, I feel like Pioli felt he HAD to take a DE with the first pick (especially with no 2nd round pick)…and that’s how we ended up with Jackson. I think with some of these signings like Smith and Wiegmann, and probably Urban too…he’s trying to avoid being put in that position again. Those are just examples…and that’s just my personal feeling on what’s going on.


  • March 16, 2010  - SG says:

    “STEELERS – signed LB Larry Foote (Lions).”

    That would have been one that would have been a good fit for us.


  • March 16, 2010  - SG says:

    “Take guys like Smith and Wiegmann.”

    I think he’s off to a good start – but since Wade Smith is lost and Alleman is gone (and we’re out a draft pick), Wiegmann helps but doesn’t cover the loss/step backward we’ve taken on the line issue. Lilja would certainly help that. Fraley signing already wasn’t helpful.

    Sign to be posted at 1 Arrowhead Drive “HELP WANTED – All competent FA linemen enter here.”


  • March 16, 2010  - jimbo says:

    Another day, another question mark for the Chiefs. We have retained the players we wanted to keep, except maybe Wade Smith. We then pick up a few veterans with more upside than downside. We have retained our draft picks while filling a few positions of need and depth. All the while, Clark keeps his puse strings intact.
    This is all well and good, but we are still the lowly Chiefs. Many of us know the draft is our golden ticket out of mediocrity. Mgmt. and staff are working overtime to glean over the best of the best available in April. This includes smaller schools with talented players that will go undrafted.
    I believe we are a better team, purely from the improvement of our coaching staff and maturity of our younger players.
    Personally, this is the first year I have been actively watching every move the Chiefs make in the off season. I have wondered why that is, what makes this year any different than the last 40 plus years I’ve been a fan. Sure, the internet, blogs and 24/7 information are a big part. I think it is alot more sinister than that. I think it’s because this year is the year the Chiefs raise eyebrows not only with the faithful, but throughout the NFL. I personally wanted to be an active participant and witness the resurgence and swagger that is coming home again to KC.
    Go Chiefs.


  • March 16, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    Good post, Jimbo. I agree…except for this:

    “All the while, Clark keeps his puse strings intact.”

    Pioli said just recently that he is free to spend whatever he wants on players…and wouldn’t have taken the job if he wasn’t. I seriously doubt if he would have said that if it wasn’t true. So if anyone wants to accuse anyone of being “cheap”, it should be Pioli. (Not necessarily saying you were…but a lot of people DO claim Clark is “cheap”.)


  • March 16, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    One final thought…

    I know a lot of Chiefs fans are “hot” to sign Ryan Lilja. Personally, I have no strong feeling one way or another. I trust our guys to make the right decision. But just keep in mind, guys…Indy let him go for a reason. They paid him his roster bonus (which was a classy move), thanked him for his years of service, and sent him on his way. I don’t think they would let a player they thought was great (or even good) just walk away. Hell, they signed our guy (Alleman) that could barely get in the game for us…but let Lilja walk? Hmmmmm……….

    Just be careful what you might be wishing for.


  • March 16, 2010  - Danny W says:

    SG
    I could not agree more. Allemen and Smith are losses that are not overcome by adding Wiegmann. Those two were decent starters and really good back ups if someone gets hurt. I believe the Chiefs are going to be extremely desperate on the offensive line if we don’t address that area in several rounds in the draft. I think they really need to focus on some small schools too to try and get some players undrafted. We cant forget we also lost Herb Taylor he was picked up by Phillie or New York.


  • March 16, 2010  - gorillafan says:

    Danny W

    I dont think they were decent starters, maybe decent back-ups at best, just my worthless opinion though


  • March 16, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    Ryan Lilja is a Chief again.


  • March 16, 2010  - gorillafan says:

    SWEET!!!!!!!!!!

    Another + mark for Pioli!!


  • March 16, 2010  - Jim Lloyd + says:

    When I said there’s a lot of talent here , Derrick Johnson – D. Bowe – Page -Matt – Cottman-Hali – Albert – Chamber – Charles – Jones – Jackson – Copper – Brodie – McGraw – Lawrence Wigman – Studebaker -Varble – Kobie S. to name a few . The sooner they all start working together …
    This year , with the teams they are playing it would be the like their best shot at being able to win 10 – 12 games.


  • March 16, 2010  - SG says:

    “Ryan Lilja is a Chief again.”

    That’s a very positive signing…definitely something that had to get done with Smith gone.


  • March 16, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    Well, the guy did start every game for a 14-2 Super Bowl team last year. But, I still can’t help wondering why the Colts would just let him walk away. So, I’ll remain cautiously optomistic that he can play well for us.


  • March 16, 2010  - SG says:

    “I believe we are a better team…”

    I agree – well said jimbo. Don Pioli is moving ahead much more decisively this offseason, which pleases me a great deal. Our team is better as of the 16th of March than it was as of the 15th of Jan. I previously graded them in the C-range for their offseason (either a flat C or a C-minus). That grade now moves up to a very solid “B.”

    “From Pioli, I’ve been expecting more – and he’s stepping up.”


  • March 16, 2010  - Niblick says:

    I read where he did not pass his physical for the Colts. I assume that was part of the reason he was released. Perhaps they also wanted a guard who is a better run blocker. I never heard what the injury was. I know he was on IR in 2008 because of a knee. It will be interesting if it comes out exactly why he was released by the Colts. I’m sure the Chiefs gave him a thourgh physical do make sure he was football ready.


  • March 16, 2010  - ronny says:

    talented team, I hope one day soon Bob decides to stop hating on the new regime…


  • March 16, 2010  - Jim Lloyd + says:

    If these guy’s are in the kind of shape that the coaching staff can push and the more they get used to working together , then the chances of winning every Sunday are going to go way up .
    These guys get lean and mean they will start a turn around to make them selves like they are worth something . If you start winning then everyone is going to have a higher vaule , and how long will it take to fill those seat’s ( a week ? )
    Todd – Remo – Charlie > There’s the KEY’s to the door that is going to start the perfect show on turf , or at least one that bring’s home more than a few winers .


  • March 16, 2010  - Tim-may says:

    Bob, love the break down, but as a guy who reviews scouts.com and sees the ratings that they apply to free agents (i’m to lazy to do it myself, give a fellas break). I see this and the Lija signing as an incremental improvement over who we had. Both Lija and Weigmann were both rated higher than Niswegar and our right guard, whatever his name is. So, from my perspective that’s improvement.


  • March 16, 2010  - Danny W says:

    Hopefully Lilga is a solid pick up, I am always skeptical when I here the guy lost his job because he failed a physical and not because he was owed a bunch of money. I heard about the scheme change over there and that is supposedly why they swiped up Alleman. I just hope we still address some depth at Oline in the draft.

    gorilla fan
    Wade Smith was our starting right guard our back up center and back up left tackle. I am not saying the guy was Willie Roaf or anything but the dude could definately hold down the fort.


  • March 16, 2010  - Big Lee says:

    Chiefs still need more help on the o-line. Pioli shouldn’t be afraid to use one high pick there if the fit is right. I would think a tackle would be top priority, but stud guards and centers make a difference. Check out the Jets in that regard.


  • March 16, 2010  - Danny W says:

    Big Lee
    Your preaching solid gold Chiefs gospel. With fundamental philosphy of the NFL


  • March 16, 2010  - mightymo says:

    When it is all said and down J. URBAN will be the no. 1 wide receiver and best selection in free agency.




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