Friday Morning Cup O’Chiefs

Scott Pioli made it plain at the end of the 2009 Draft that the Chiefs were not done adding talent to the team’s roster.

There is going to be a lot of things that happen with other teams and with other people,” Pioli said. “There are going to be a lot of other opportunities. There are some people out there who are going to be free agents. It gets to about two weeks before the draft and some of the veteran free agents want to stop and settle down and see what teams are going to draft and see where they think their opportunities are the best.”

So who will Pioli be pursuing? Could it be a guy like Jason Taylor (right), who is a free agent after one season with Washington? How about former Bengals tackle Levi Jones, about to be released by Cincinnati? Maybe it’s DE Travis LaBoy, who is well known to head coach Todd Haley and defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast from their time in Arizona. LaBoy was released this week by the Cardinals.

Maybe it’s someone much less visible. Like the move the team announced on Thursday when it signed Eric Ghiaciuc, an unrestricted free agent from the Bengals who has been Cincinnati’s starting center for the past three seasons.

Figuring out the next move is like trying to figure out who the Chiefs were going to select in the ’09 Draft. There are some parts of the profile that can be predicted from the moves of the Patriots in the past. But this situation is so different and we have no idea four months in how Pioli/Haley really think about parts of their team.

But there are obvious holes on their roster as it stands right now. Signing Ghiaciuc helps address one of those openings by adding an experienced blocker.

Here are the top three areas where they need roster help.

PASS RUSHER

We all know the Chiefs were the worst defense in the history of the NFL at sacking the quarterback, bringing the passer down just 10 times in 16 games during the 2008 season.

From that measly total, 2.5 sacks are gone: two by free agent DE Jason Babin and a Β½ sack by LB Pat Thomas.

Right now there are 14 players on the Chiefs roster with at least one NFL sack. There are only three that have more than 15 sacks over their career. Here are the top six sackers currently wearing a Chiefs uniform:

Player Pos. Games Sacks
Mike Vrabel OLB

176

55

Zach Thomas ILB

184

20.5

Tamba Hali DE

47

18.5

Ron Edwards DT

96

13.5

Alfonso Boone DL

113

12.5

Derrick Johnson LB

59

12

In total, those 14 players have 150.5 sacks, with 146 sacks coming from the front seven, 47.5 sacks on the defensive line and 98.5 sacks at linebacker.

The top three active sackers are all available right now as free agents: Jason Taylor with 120.5, Kevin Carter with 104.5 and Willie McGinest with 86 sacks. Also on that list is La’Roi Glover, who has 83.5 sacks and remains available as a free agent. Obviously there’s no interest in a long-term answer with those players given their age and what they produced last year:

Player Team GP/GS Tkls. Sacks
Kevin Carter Tampa Bay

16/16

64

4

Jason Taylor Washington

12/8

35

3.5

Willie McGinest Cleveland

14/14

73

1.0

La’Roi Glover St. Louis

15/10

48

.5

There’s a connection there with McGinest, who was already at the Patriots when Pioli arrived in 2000 with Bill Belichick. He will also be 37 years old and in his 16th season if he plays in ’09. There is also a connection with Taylor, who is the brother-in-law of Zach Thomas. Reportedly, the Patriots are interested in Taylor and obviously that’s a destination that would play to Taylor’s hopes of a championship more than Kansas City. Apparently Taylor has said he would like to return to the Dolphins, but they don’t appear to be that interested.

“We haven’t talked about it too much, to be honest with you,” Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland said. “That’s one of our acorns sitting on the ground. We haven’t made a decision.”

Carter was in Detroit this week visiting with the Lions. Only McGinest has played previously in the 3-4 scheme. LaBoy is familiar with the scheme that Pendergast plans to use with the Chiefs this year. He had four sacks in 13 games last year and 23.5 in his career.

RECEIVERS

There are only two wide receivers or tight ends on the roster with starting experience in the NFL: Bobby Engram and Dwayne Bowe. Engram has played in 171 games and started 113 times over his career. Bowe has played in 32 games with 31 starts over two seasons.

From there the drop in experience is steep. Behind them are seven wide receivers that have a combined total of 30 starts and four tight ends with a combined total of 20 starts.

That’s 50 starts after Engram/Bowe: WR Mark Bradley (12), WR Devard Darling (10), TE Brad Cottam (7), TE Sean Ryan (7), TE Tony Curtis (6), WR Terrance Copper (5) and WR Jeff Webb (3).

Right now, the list of available wide receivers as free agents doesn’t provide much of an upgrade for the Chiefs in talent or experience. Here are the available free agent receivers with the most yards receiving last year:

Player Club Exp. Catches Yards
Matt Jones Jacksonville

4

65

761

Marvin Harrison Indianapolis

13

60

636

Amani Toomer N.Y. Giants

13

48

580

Brandon Lloyd Chicago

6

26

364

Reggie Williams Jacksonville

5

37

364

Shaun McDonald Detroit

6

35

332

Dane Looker St. Louis

8

23

271

Marty Booker Chicago

10

14

211

That sample does not include Plaxico Burress, who faces legal problems in New York after 35 catches for 454 yards in the ’08 season. Matt Jones has similar problems with a probation violation. Earlier this week the Bengals released Chris Perry, the talented but often troubled wideout.

Booker worked out for the Chiefs at the end of their mini-camp several weekends ago. No one is sure what Harrison views as his future.

OFFENSIVE LINE

The Chiefs have very little experienced depth on the offensive line.

The starting five on the offensive front has a great deal of NFL experience. LT Branden Albert is the baby with 15 games and starts and LG Brian Waters has played 132 games and 118 starts. At center Rudy Niswanger has 30 games and 15 starts. At RG is Mike Goff is the most experienced lineman on the team with 163 games and 147 starts. Damion McIntosh is at RT with 115 games and 111 starts. That’s a front five with an average of 91 games and 81 starts.

Right now, the sixth man on the O-Line is C/G Wade Smith, who has played 60 games and made 25 starts over his six seasons. Ghiaciuc (left) has 48 games of experience with 42 starts.

After that, the roster holds no experience. Without counting the rookies added through the draft and college free agents, there are five blockers on the roster after the first six. Combined, Brian De La Puente, Edwin Harrison, Barry Richardson, Herb Taylor and Tavares Washington have played in 26 NFL games with one start; that came when Taylor filled in for an injured Albert at LT early in the ’08 season. Breaking it down further, among those 26 games played, only nine were on offense; the rest was special teams work.

The Bengals have told starting left tackle Levi Jones that they plan to release him after selecting OT Andre Smith in the first round of the Draft. Jones has played seven years, with 94 games played and 89 starts. After missing just one game during his first four seasons, Jones has missed 17 games during the past three years. He missed the last six games of last season when he suffered a leg injury.

SAINTS STAYING IN NEW ORLEANS

While the deal must still be approved by the Louisiana legislature – a body that could screw up a one-car funeral – it looks like the Saints will be staying in New Orleans through the year 2025.

That’s the result of a deal worked out between the team and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal that was announced on Thursday.

The structure of the deal is very good for both sides. The state must pay at least $85 million in improvements to the Superdome, but their current financial obligation to the team that this year is $23.5 million, will drop to no more than $6m million. And that figure could shrink even more.

The improvements will bring additional seating and suites that will provide expected revenue streams f or the team.

On top of that, Saints owner will buy the New Orleans Centre shopping mall and the Dominion Tower office building which are next to the Dome. He’ll then lease back to the Louisiana space for state agencies.

The attractive part of the equation for the Saints is that the team will assume its own financial risk.

“The bottom line is, we don’t like getting a check,” Dennis Lauscha, the Saints’ senior vice president/chief financial officer told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “We don’t like getting a check. We’re not immune to the criticism. We hear it; we don’t like it. We want to generate and earn what we can. The thing that put us over the top is having the improvements.”

SIGNINGS & MOVEMENT AROUND THE NFL

BENGALS – signed franchise player K Shayne Graham.

BRONCOS – released RB Selvin Young.

BROWNS – claimed LB Bo Ruud on waivers from New England; released RB Allen Patrick.

BUCCANEERS - traded TE Alex Smith to the Patriots for undisclosed 2010 draft choice.

COLTS – re-signed LB Freddy Keiaho.

FALCONS – signed RB Vernon Haynes.

JAGUARS – released OT Charles Spencer and FB Anthony Catrone.

LIONS – released CB Travis Fisher.

SEAHAWKS – signed
franchise player LB Leroy Hill, 6-year, $38 million deal, $15.5 million guaranteed.

STEELERS – released LS Jared Retkofsky.

SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY …

Born on May 1, 1967 in Los Angeles was LB Marvcus Patton (right). He came to the Chiefs in the 1999 season from the Washington Redskins and spent four seasons with the club, appearing in 64 games with 61 starts. Patton had 13 sacks and seven interceptions during his time with the red and gold. He ended up playing 13 seasons in the league, appearing in 208 games.


45 Responses to “Friday Morning Cup O’Chiefs”

  • May 1, 2009  - Merwin says:

    I would not be expecting Pioli to be signing a lot of big name players this year. I see a pattern of signing the lesser known players for less money and trying to win with a no name team. I do believe that by the time the season starts there will only be about ten percent of the team left over from Herm’s tenure. I think by the start of training camp a lot of left overs from last year will be quickly weeded out unless they can prove their worth. I fully expect that by the first game of the season I will know very few players on the roster. Should be interesting!


  • May 1, 2009  - Marvin Lewis says:

    Bob-
    The Bengals Chris Perry is a running back…recently released. The troubled Bengals wideout you spoke of is Chris Henry.

    The Chiefs don’t want either of them.


  • May 1, 2009  - Randy says:

    Merwin says: I do believe that by the time the season starts there will only be about ten percent of the team left

    Hey math whiz: Ten percent of a 53 man roster would be 5.3 players. I really think pioli will keep more than that.


  • May 1, 2009  - byzkit says:

    Of the recently released I think the Chiefs should look at signing Selvin Young. That would be an awesome signing.


  • May 1, 2009  - MenInRed says:

    Didn’t Marvin Harrison rework a deal with the Colts?


  • May 1, 2009  - arrowhead1978 says:

    Marvin didn’t, he probably is reworking a deal with the philadelphia police though. Im going to be happy to see the team win, but I can’t stand the fact that we are going to do it the same way that the Dick Vermiel used to. Why would they want Levi jones? Did Pioli not like what he saw from Alberts last year??

    also im curious as to what Cincinatti is doing? They are about to let there whole O-line go this year, stacy andrews left and went to the eagles, center to us, LT being released…


  • May 1, 2009  - arrowhead1978 says:

    also what gives with the proshop.patriots.com banner across the top of a KC chiefs page?? Sell outs??


  • May 1, 2009  - chiefsfan says:

    Randy you are absolutely right. This team will definitely be Pioli’s once the season will begin, but I can easily think of more than 5 players (10 percent) Pioli would hold onto.


  • May 1, 2009  - Josh says:

    arrowhead1978,

    Why are you always so grumpy? Haha


  • May 1, 2009  - colby says:

    I really don’t get the comparison of Pioli to Vermeil. Sure Pioli has signed some older players, but this team was in desperate need of leadership. I like what Pioli is doing, namely, blending the young up-and-comers with the grizzled veterans. Carl and Herm signed D. Williams and Darling last year and just handed starting jobs over to a bunch of young kids without giving them real competition or on the field leadership. Look what that produced.

    Of the players Bob mentions, I just can’t imagine Jason Taylor would want to come here. He seems like Tony Gonzalez: a HoF player trying to win a championship. He would be wise to sign with the Pats, not us. I still like the idea of signing LaBoy if he’s healthy. Heck, I’d take Babin back at this point.

    Not much to get excited about at WR, but Marty Booker makes a lot of sense as a short term fix. Not sure how Levi Jones could factor in as I doubt he’s an upgrade over Albert. Maybe Jones makes the switch to RT? Finally, I agree with byzkit, Selvin Young would be a nice pickup if he’s healthy and we don’t have to pay him too much. I’d imagine Houston and New Orleans will be in the running for him too.


  • May 1, 2009  - colby says:

    Cross WR Shaun McDonald off of the list. The Steelers apparently just signed him.


  • May 1, 2009  - Gary says:

    The perfect fit is about to be released Larry Foote.


  • May 1, 2009  - SG says:

    I agree with arrowhead! Was the link part of the deal to allow Pioli to come over to the Chiefs from NE?


  • May 1, 2009  - B in SC says:

    Why do we always want everybody else’s players? Most are released because of declining production and too much salary. If they were such high contributors they would still be with their teams. I applaud Pioli for being very selective. The only player I would like to see a significant move made towards is Julius Peppers, and that would require a trade.


  • May 1, 2009  - Niblick says:

    I hope we get in the running for Foote. I just saw on Pro Football Talk that Detroit and Indy are interesetd. It didn’t mention the Chiefs, but that doesn’t mean we’re not interested. I think we might be. He’s always been a 3-4 LB. Nothing ever comes out until the signing is complete under Pioli.


  • May 1, 2009  - ED says:

    I would love to see this team make a move for Boldin. With Tony gone we need another playmaker at the wideout spot. We could trade a 2nd and a 3rd in nxt year draft for the guy. And we have the money under the cap to give him a long term deal. And did I mention he would know the offense seeing that his former coordinator is our head coach. It would be an excellent move in improving our receiving core with the lost of Tony.


  • May 1, 2009  - colby says:

    Perhaps Brian Waters now becomes part of a trade package that would bring Boldin in here.


  • May 1, 2009  - SG says:

    Perhaps Waters now becomes a successful part of a more successful line.


  • May 1, 2009  - SG says:

    Is it just me – or is it a wonderful-sounding thing each time one of Herm’s draftees or former leftovers previously dragged over from the J-E-T-S get moved out of the starting group?


  • May 1, 2009  - SG says:

    “After missing just one game during his first four seasons, Jones has missed 17 games during the past three years. He missed the last six games of last season when he suffered a leg injury.”

    I’m wondering – doesn’t this sound a lot like Damion McIntosh? A potentially substantial cap number and apparent health concerns?


  • May 1, 2009  - anonymous says:

    Right on jt!

    How quickly some forget that he would rather be on TV. This F’n guy is looking for one last pay day. Damn! What part of “guys that want to play football” are some of you have a problem comprehending? How many times do Pioli and Haley have to say that before it registers?


  • May 1, 2009  - RedandGoldRice says:

    Jason Taylor is about what we were getting from Tony G. He was shipped off as well. Pioli wants some team chemisty built. You’re not getting that when “the elders” want to take off the off season and show up on game day.
    Maybe we could work out some trade/ package with Arizona to get Boldin for LJ and one of our 2nd round picks (whichever is the lower one) and then replace LJ with James who also is familiar with Haley’s offense.
    On a foot note, I’d have to say the James deal if it were to happen shouldn’t be any more than a 2 year deal MAX. That would give us some time to aquire some younger legs to replace him.


  • May 1, 2009  - alex k says:

    If waters is not all in, then he will be moved, and not as part of another player trade, i see a 3rd rounder coming from a team like philly, that is on their last leg with mcnabb trying to make a run.


  • May 1, 2009  - JohnNdallas says:

    Chiefs 4-12 2008 with Peterson and Edwards

    Chiefs 0-16 2009 with Pioli and Haley


  • May 1, 2009  - tm1946 says:

    Sort of believe Waters will play in KC in 09 or be released. His vocal demand to get out of KC reduces his trade value. Either way it will not supprise me. Part of the new deal here.


  • May 1, 2009  - B in SC says:

    Not exactly sure why everyone is so high on signing Edgerin James? How many more part-time players do we need? I don’t believe he has done anything without Peyton Manning and the Colts offensive line. He adds nothing to the team that we don’t already have. I don’t believe you will see Pioli just signing “names” to satisfy writers and fans like Peterson did.


  • May 1, 2009  - anonymous says:

    ^5 (high five) B in SC!


  • May 1, 2009  - Scott says:

    B in SC says:
    “Not exactly sure why everyone is so high on signing Edgerin James? I don’t believe he has done anything without Peyton Manning and the Colts offensive line.”

    I wouldn’t say I was “high” on it…but Edge rushed for over 1,000 yards with Arizona in ’06 and ’07. He can catch a pass…and he can block. He sat out 7 games last year (benched). He’s probably not the player he once was…but I think the guy still has some gas in the tank. I think he’d be a great addition to our team…if, IF the price was right. I wouldn’t throw a HUGE contract at him.

    What’s wrong with “part time players”? Guys that don’t have to play every down don’t get worn down as fast. Especially over the course of an entire season. I’d rather see most every guy on the team get in and play in every game…as opposed to having 30 guys on the bench who NEVER see any action.

    JohnNdallas says:
    “Chiefs 4-12 2008 with Peterson and Edwards

    Chiefs 0-16 2009 with Pioli and Haley”

    John…we only won TWO games last year. And do you REALLY think we’ll be as bad this year as the Lions were last year?


  • May 1, 2009  - SG says:

    John-in-Dallas Edwards,

    Aside from the obvious fact our offensive line will not be as sucky as last year (even with no linemen drafted early)…Be realistic…they’ll win at least 3 games – we still have 2 division games with the Raiders and 2 with the Donkeys.


  • May 1, 2009  - arrowhead1978 says:

    Yea I would like to see at least 1 probowler stay on the offensive side of the ball, dont get rid of waters, also Im not so sure if Haley would want Boldin in here, I think there was something more the shouting match on the sidelines now since there has been no news on haley getting Boldin…


  • May 1, 2009  - Scott says:

    I’ll go on record here…

    Chiefs in 2009 will be 10-6, and maybe even win our division…depending on how well the Chargers play. We’ll surprise everyone…who will all expect nothing from us.

    Count on it.


  • May 1, 2009  - anonymous says:

    Another contradiction by a dumb ass, that can’t get over the fact that the past regime F’d this team up beyond all recognition!

    Hey Conehead1978! You pitched a bitch about the Chiefs trading Gonzo, what the hell do you want to trade to get Boldin? He’s not a free agent, dumb ass!


  • May 1, 2009  - colby says:

    If the Chiefs were to bring in an older RB to play a situational role, I’d rather see Warrick Dunn than Edge. Dunn is a tough pass blocker for his size and he can catch a pass as well as James can. In addition, he’s a class act on and off the field who would do great things in the community and give the young players another great example of what a hard working PRO does. Dunn has been an excellent role player for the past couple of seasons and obviously doesn’t make headlines with his mouth.

    Finally, if Waters doesn’t want to be here, then he needs to be moved. I know he’s a good player, but he’s getting older and may only have one or two good years left anyway. If he changes his tune then I’d love to see him back, but he hasn’t demonstrated a desire to be here as of yet.


  • May 1, 2009  - Scott says:

    Colby,

    Good point on Dunn. I’d have no problem with him being on our team at all. He had almost 800 rushing yards last year…and had 47 receptions. Not too shabby for an “old” guy.


  • May 1, 2009  - SG says:

    Since Bob has all these ideas on players to look at…here’s a few WR names to toss around:

    -Mike Furrey – probably low cost guy who reminds a bit of Welker and can return punts too
    -Dante Hall – depending on injury status…remember this guy?? now that Carl/Herm are gone – would he come back?
    -Brandon Lloyd – another injury risk – but he produced when he was on the field for CHI. Low cost potentially?


  • May 1, 2009  - Behind Enemy Lines says:

    Scott, I hope you’re right. 10-6 would be awesome. However, I’m not quite as confident as I look at the schedule we play this year.


  • May 1, 2009  - Behind Enemy Lines says:

    The best I can come up with is 8-8…and that would be overachieving IMO. Of course that is based on how teams played last year.


  • May 1, 2009  - ILChiefsFan says:

    I think the Chiefs will possibly win 6 this season. They have a lot of obstacles to overcome.

    I also think that someone has assumed the identity of JohnNdallas, and that person should seek professional help for their problem.


  • May 1, 2009  - B in SC says:

    Scott says:
    “What’s wrong with “part time players”? Guys that don’t have to play every down don’t get worn down as fast.”

    I don’t disagree, I just think we have more than our share of part-timers already. Instead of signing other teams’ castoffs shouldn’t we be more interested in developing our own talent? Peterson went the UFA route and destroyed some good teams with poor chemistry and lack of motivation. I agreed with the philosophy of going young, but there needs to be “some” veteran leadership in there. I think we are close to that mix now.

    The only signings I see now are ones that would be a definite upgrade for a position. I don’t really see any veterans on the open market that would fit the bill. If they were, they wouldn’t be free agents.


  • May 1, 2009  - tm1946 says:

    Many good comments. Adding Goff and the Center have added depth to OL and moves I appreciate. But there is nobody to replace Tony’s production and now the Star is saying LJ may have a dominate role in 09 with the Chiefs which may be true but sad. We all accept the 09 Chiefs are a work in progress. I feel if the defense dominates your cannot miss picks you better figure some way to cover your rear on offense. So far Pioli/Haley have neglected the offensive side of the game, Cassel trade not withstanding.


  • May 1, 2009  - Gump says:

    ILChiefs fan,

    Have noticed that also.


  • May 1, 2009  - ILChiefsFan says:

    I apologize for my earlier poor comment. It was in bad taste. I’m ashamed of myself and deeply regret it. Forgive me for I am dense.




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