Providing in-depth coverage and analysis of the Chiefs and NFL for 8 years!

-  -

Gentlemen, Start Your Wallets … Friday Cup O’ Free Agents

The 2010 NFL season has officially begun, kicking off Thursday night with the start of free agency.

Some teams were busy right when the clock struck free agents. Despite the new economic landscape of the league operating without a salary cap, the free agency scene does not figure to change much. There will be a lot of action in the first few days of free agency and then the big money trail will grow cold.

Names like Julius Peppers, Karlos Dansby, Antrel Rolle, Chester Taylor, Dunta Robinson and Darren Sharper should be in the headlines very quickly.

The chances are slim that any of those names will end up wearing the red and gold uniform of the Chiefs. GM Scott Pioli said last week the Chiefs would be active like they were last season. That translates to signing eight to 10 free agents, but none of the big names and none of the big contracts. They will focus first on their own free agents that they want to keep, like the new contract for LB Mike Vrabel (right).

Each of those players named above would be a big transfusion of talent into the Chiefs roster. But so far it doesn’t look like the Clark Hunt-Pioli way includes spending big money on UFAs.

It sounds like the Chiefs were a player for San Diego RB Darren Sproles who seemed on his way to becoming an unrestricted free agent. And, they may still be pending further developments with the Chargers. After making Sproles their franchise player in ’09, the Chargers said they were not going to tender Sproles in ’10. But the Chargers had a change of heart and gave Sproles an offer on Thursday that requires first and third-round compensation if another team signed him. According to Sproles’ agent Gary Wichard, the interest of other teams got the Chargers attention. But grumpy G.M. A.J. Smith may be willing to settle for far less than a first and third. How about a second-round pick for Sproles?

While they don’t appear to be a player for the major actors in this free agency play, the Chiefs were busy yesterday. So far, here’s what we know about what the Chiefs have done:

RE-SIGNED VRABEL - It’s hard to argue with this move given no salary cap and the tiny payroll the Chiefs held going into this weekend. Yes, Vrabel will be 35 years old and in his 14th season and he does not have the physical skills he once had. Haley and Romeo Crennel need to be making every effort to get Andy Studebaker on the field in some fashion this season.

With Vrabel around the team he helps in the locker room and the defensive meeting room. Also, on the field and sidelines; Haley talked about how Vrabel would come up to him on the sidelines and whisper things in his ear. “He’s so into the game, every moment of what’s going on,” Haley said. “It’s great to have that. Brian Waters is the same way. We need guys like that.”

(LEFT) – It will be interesting to see how Johnson handles this move. He wants to play – start – and it’s hard to imagine Haley and Crennel gave him assurances that he’ll be on the field for the opening play each week.

But there’s no question that D.J. is one of the few defensive playmakers the Chiefs have on their roster. It’s unlikely any team will give Johnson an offer, so the tender likely keeps No. 56 around for at least one more season. It’s now up to Haley and Crennel to figure out how to get him on the field and making plays on a consistent basis.

It will also be interesting to see when Johnson signs his tender. Players can’t take part in the team’s off-season program without a signed contract.

SECOND-ROUND TENDERS FOR NISWANGER/PAGE/O’CALLAGHAN/NDUKWE – The only surprise here would be the tender to Ndukwe. His performance early in the season when he was the starter at right tackle was pedestrian at best. In three starts he was flagged for two penalties and allowed 1.5 sacks. Ndukwe will be 28 in July, so there’s not a lot of career left for him. It will be very interesting to see if he’s on the roster for the first-day of training camp at $1,684,000.

Niswanger, Page and O’Callaghan all got raises from last year. As restricted free agents last year, Niswanger and Page were tendered at $1,545,000. This year their tender offers are worth $1,759,000. O’Callaghan is the guy who gets the big raise; his base salary last year was $460,000, so his tender of $1,759,000. That’s almost a 400 percent increase for a guy who started 12 games and allowed four sacks in ’09.

WHAT’S UP WITH CROYLE & MAYS? – While word has not leaked on whether the quarterback and linebacker received tender offers it would be a major upset if they did not. Haley identified Croyle as one of the team’s core group of players and in this quarterback-market it would be a mistake to allow him to leave. Mays was a surprise on the Chiefs defense in ’09, earning a starting spot at inside linebacker. Certainly, the Chiefs need improved play at ILB for the defense to take a step forward, but it’s more likely than not Mays will get the chance to compete in Crennel’s defense.

Both players have four years of experience. The minimum offer would be $1,176,000 and that would bring no compensation, but give the Chiefs the right to match any offer. Again, a second-round compensation offer would be $1,759,000 and again that would be a significant raise; both players made $535,000 last season in base salary.

OTHER UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS – With Vrabel’s signing, that leaves six UFAs who were on the Chiefs roster. It’s unlikely that S Mike Brown or TE Sean Ryan will be re-signed, at least not at first.

That leaves WRs Chris Chambers, Bobby Wade and Terrance Copper and OL Wade Smith.

NO TENDER FOR ALLEMAN – Why Ndukwe would get a tender offer and Alleman did not seems odd. Alleman was much closer to playing as a backup at both guard spots and center than Ndukwe was. Alleman was not a standout performer and dealt with some nagging injuries late in the season. Being unavailable may have been his ticket out of town.

Or maybe the Chiefs just couldn’t see slapping a tender on Alleman of $1,101,000, the lowest offer they could have made and kept the right to match.

By the time the dust settles before the NFL Draft, the Chiefs will have many more decisions to analyze.


As we mentioned the other day, combing the words restricted and free in the same title doesn’t make much sense.

That’s especially true for the 18 or so RFAs who were slapped with the highest tender offer possible. They all got offers in excess of $3 million for the ’10 season, but their chances of finding a bigger contract from another team are slim because the compensation is a first and third-round draft choices.

Here are the tied up RFAs:





Thomas Davis



Matt Moore



Miles Austin



Elvis Dumervil



Nick Collins


Green Bay

Owen Daniels



DeMeco Ryans



Logan Mankins


New England

Jahri Evans


New Orleans

Braylon Edwards


New York Jets

Stanford Routt



Darren Sproles


San Diego

Vincent Jackson


San Diego

Shawne Merriman


San Diego

Malcom Floyd


San Diego

Marcus McNeil


San Diego

Barrett Ruud


Tampa Bay

Donald Penn


Tampa Bay




  • BENGALS – released WR Laveranues Coles.
  • BRONCOS – signed RB J.J. Arrington.
  • BUCCANEERS – released P Josh Bidwell, P Dirk Johnson and CB Torrie Cox.
  • CARDINALS – released S Antrell Rolle.
  • CHARGERS – released NT Jamal Williams and RB Michael Bennett; signed DT Antonio Garay.
  • FALCONS – LS Mike Schneck announced his retirement; re-signed DB Brian Williams.
  • 49ERS – re-signed LB Matt Wilhelm.
  • JAGUARS – signed DL Atiyyah Ellison and G Kynan Forney.
  • JETS – released CB Lito Sheppard; will acquire CB Antonio Cromartie from the Chargers for a third round choice in the 2011 Draft.
  • LIONS – released CB Philip Buchanon; will acquire DL Corey Williams from the Browns in a trade that should be consummated on Friday. Cleveland will receive a draft pick in the later rounds.
  • PANTHERS – released DT Damione Lewis; expected to release QB Jake Delhomme.
  • PATRIOTS – released TE Chris Baker.
  • RAIDERS – expected to release RB Justin Fargas and DT Gerard Warren.
  • REDSKINS – released DT Cornelius Griffin, QB Todd Collins, RB Marcus Mason, FB Eddie Williams, DL J.D. Skolnitsky, RB Ladell Betts, CB Fred Smoot, G Randy Thomas, RB Rock Cartwright and WR Antwaan Randle El.
  • SAINTS – released G Jamar Nesbit and LB Mark Simoneau; will release DE Charles Grant on Friday.

55 Responses to “Gentlemen, Start Your Wallets … Friday Cup O’ Free Agents”

  • March 5, 2010  - MenInRed says:

    Ho Hum the day of free agents has begun.

    Lets see what KC has done.

    Go Chiefs!

  • March 5, 2010  - KC_Guy says:

    Adam Caplan reports both Croyle and Mays received 2nd round tenders as well.

  • March 5, 2010  - KC_Guy says:

    Bob, didn’t find any information about the Ndukwe tender anywhere but on your site. As you said: it’s a major surprise the Chiefs are going to fan out that much money for a guy who didn’t make the active roster on gameday several times. Care to share where your information comes from?

  • March 5, 2010  - TimR says:

    As I said many time last season, Ndukwe is a guard. He started 12 games or so for Miami 2 years ago when they had a great ground game. He did so well they thought he might be able to make the move to tackle, so they moved him last preseason before they traded him to us. It didn’t work. I believe they’ll move him back to his true position of guard.

  • March 5, 2010  - el cid says:

    TimR, do not know much about the subject but if Ndukwe is starting guard material, why did he not start over Wade Smith, a backup C/G? Seems with new coaches, neither had a edge on the job after Goff flopped.

  • March 5, 2010  - el cid says:

    I did notice Cromartie was traded from SD to Jets for a 3rd round pick in 2011. Hope the Chiefs have their eye on some FAs over trades like that.

  • March 5, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    I think what some seem to forget…just because a player is “tendered”, doesn’t mean they can’t be traded or cut. It’s no guarantee that they’ll be on the roster. I think you’re simply seeing teams protecting their assets. In the case of the Chiefs…you need to keep these guys in place until you can find someone better. No sense in letting guys go, and then be pressured to replce them.

    Was reading the rumor that we’re going after Chester Taylor. And Nate Burleson. Also, that the Chargers would still entertain offers for Sproles…at less than what they “tendered” him for.

    Justin Fargas might be interesting. I don’t know that much about him, really. I don’t follow the Raiders (except when we’re playing them) much. He’s kind of a bigger “bruising” back, isn’t he?

  • March 5, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    el cid says:
    “I did notice Cromartie was traded from SD to Jets for a 3rd round pick in 2011.”

    I saw that. Man…the Jet are going to be impossible to throw on with Revis and Cromartie back there. That’s just crazy!

  • March 5, 2010  - Anonymous says:

    Fargas still has some gas in his tank,if you need 3yrds or a pass out in the flat he is your man.When given the chance again’est the chiefs he would hurt us .With all the draft picks in front of him he didnt have a chance to play much in Oakland.Glad to see we keep Croyle,I hope he vindicates my belief in him.As I recall Croyle was calling plays in the red zone for the chiefs.Just one of the reasons I like him again’est some fans reactions on here.

  • March 5, 2010  - PnS says:

    That was my post if you could’nt tell.

  • March 5, 2010  - PnS says:

    Still banging the drum for Croyle even if you are damn tired of hearing it.

  • March 5, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    Thanks for the insight on Fargas, PnS. That’s kind of what I was thinking about him. Good third down / short yardage guy. Could be a player for us to consider?

    It’s just a little difficult to judge a RB by what they’ve been able to do against us the past few years…if you know what I mean.

  • March 5, 2010  - el cid says:

    Peppers gone to DA BEARS. Rumor Taylor will be next they sign. I believe they have no early draft picks so they are spending their money on vets. I guess they did their due diligence before the free agent period started.

    Supposedly one head coach grabbed a LB he want at 1201 last nite, do not know the details.

  • March 5, 2010  - jimbo says:

    I don’t see us getting any big name, high dollar free agents this year. (maybe Sproles, somehow)Just a gut feeling.
    I hope we can sign Chambers up for a couple of years, he was our spark the second half of the year. With “bone head Bowe” out for 4 games, Chambers made us look respectable. He was our only deep threat as well.
    I do remember in the final Denver Game The long pass to Copper on the 1st or 2nd play from scrimmage. Maybe he has something more to offer than his excellent Special Team skills.
    Go Chiefs.

  • March 5, 2010  - gorillafan says:

    I was thinking the same thing about fargus, that the kind of back we could use, short yardage and pound the ball. Can probably pick him up rather cheap too. Id be good with it, you?

  • March 5, 2010  - TimR says:

    el cid,

    Don’t know if he’s starting G material or not. Its just that he did start at G for about 12 games 2 seasons ago when they won 11 games & ran the heck out of the ball. They may have wanted to keep him around to work him back into G. Worst case scenario, he’s experienced depth at G. Wade Smith played because he was a better & much more versatile lineman being able to play more than one position. I think they’re just hedging their bets. You have to have quality depth as well.

  • March 5, 2010  - Big Vess says:

    Eleven hours has passed and no movement on the Chiefs part this is ridiculous.This organization is the lowest in payroll . OK STOP!!!! Let me stop !I am not going get to frustrated because it is still going on but this is not a good sign.I will try to be patient they don’t want to just bring in just anybody but let’s get it moving.

  • March 5, 2010  - SG says:

    Anyone have any info on any contacts with O-linemen (with any teams)?

  • March 5, 2010  - el cid says:

    A few free agents, big named ones, are starting to sign. Has anyone heard of the Chiefs interviewing anyone?? You cannot sign them if you never talk to them. Rolle only talking to NY and MIA, it is reported. Burleson signed with DET, you get the idea. Anyone seen or heard anything happening in KC?

  • March 5, 2010  - Niblick says:

    I heard Sproles was scheduled for a visit here and other places but they were all cancelled when he was tendered. I still think SD would be willing to trade him for less than a 1st and 3rd. He’s the only big name I’ve heard that was scheduled for a visit.

  • March 5, 2010  - SG says:

    I’m wondering if it’s Pioli’s kids’ spring break or something.

  • March 5, 2010  - Enrique says:

    I get the feeling that the Chiefs’ big moves will come via trades and the draft. I don’t see them pulling the trigger aggressively on any of the true “free” agents (with the exception of Chester Taylor perhaps).

  • March 5, 2010  - colby says:

    Calm down gentlemen. The Chiefs will make some moves, but even though their payroll is small, they aren’t going to overpay a washed up vet just because it’s the first day of free agency. If they sign all their RFAs mentioned (with Croyle and Mays included) then that will be about 11.5 million in payroll. Not super exciting, but they are keeping their own guys first. Sproles would have been nice.

    I’m worried about Chambers now that Burleson got 11 mil guaranteed from Detroit. Chambers has every reason to ask for similar money now. He and Burleson are about on the same level in terms of what they can bring to an offense.

  • March 5, 2010  - Anonymous says:

    “Free agency is almost 12 hours old now, abd we haven’t done anything yet. OMG!!!”

    Haha. You guys crack me up.

  • March 5, 2010  - Danny W says:

    Lito Sheppard still has a lot left he is better than any Nickle D Back we currently have and he is free. Jamal Williams the nose guard out of S.D. he is free. At that position we have no depth why not grab him. Is the Poili administration just putting there heads in the sand or what I sure hope not. Any time you can pick up a guy like Fargas do it. He is a good back, and will bust his but against the Raiders who we usually play close scores with. Why didn’t they sign Chambers? Coles is out there. Randell El is out there. I feel like there not doing anything at all. I know were just like 12 hours in but I need me some good Chiefs news.

  • March 5, 2010  - jimbo says:

    Be patient guys.
    I assure you all that Pioli is working on something big. You just won’t hear anything until the ink is dry.
    Go Chiefs.

  • March 5, 2010  - Alex(The Great) says:

    Pioli cant get any FA in here b/c no1 wants 2 play for Haley the manic……the sad part about all of this is we arent even being mentioned in a players top 3 of interest. Well looks like we will be building through the draft for the next 4-5 yrs(or maybe 2 yrs if we draft a real franchise QB for a change).

  • March 5, 2010  - KC_Guy says:

    Anyone remember last year? The Chiefs started picking their FA when all the others were done. Not many of the pre-camp FA pickups survived though. Most were jettisoned halfway through the season.

    So – that was to be expected. I’ll check back March 20.

  • March 5, 2010  - Alex(The Great) says:

    Oh yeah,Pioli is not that secretive we all knew about the Casssel deal days before it happened…if we arent hearing any rumors about the Chiefs trying 2 make a play on an impact FA, more likely than not Pioli isnt…..

  • March 5, 2010  - Alex(The Great) says:

    Oh and another thing, lets stop making excuses for why big tyme players dont wont 2 come 2 KC b/c Det. doesnt seem 2 be having that problem….

  • March 5, 2010  - Anonymous says:

    Alex(The Hate) makes two short posts and manages to get a shot in on his three favorite people-Pioli, Haley, and Cassel. What a surprise. Thanks for stopping by.

  • March 5, 2010  - Anonymous says:

    Yeah. just how has that been working out for the Lions, Alex? Last time I checked they sucked.

  • March 5, 2010  - Alex(The Great) says:

    Yes they do suck but they are atleast trying 2 make improvements by signing players who can make an instant impact and not just “any 53″ off the streets. I speak the truth Anon while u live in some sort of majestic fantasy land about what the Chiefs are/arent doing.

  • March 5, 2010  - Fansince93 says:

    What about Jamal Williams? I know he’s older, but that’s a big body at NT.

  • March 5, 2010  - Alex(The Great) says:

    If Pioli wants us 2 win he should draft Berry b/c he fills 3 position of needs for us not just 1 S,KR,PR……And he should dive head first in the Peppers sweepstakes and I can guarantee we compete for the AFC title game. Thats as far as Cassell can take us being he doesnt have any real big game experience…hehe

  • March 5, 2010  - Mad Chief says:


    I think Jimbo is the only one who “gets it”. It’s barely past lunch on the first day of FA…and you’re screaming for Pioli’s head because we haven’t signed anyone yet? Get serious.

    The reason we’re not hearing much of anything? Because that’s not the way Pioli conducts his business. And if you haven’t figured that much out by now…then there’s no hope for you.

    We need to fill some positions, yes. And we will. Just exercise a little common sense here, guys. It takes an amount of time. Let’s let the man do his job. I’ll take quality of the players we get…over the speed of their signing, personally.

  • March 5, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    Alex(The Great),

    Peppers scoffed at the $14 million the Panthers offered him per year. He wants more…and he’s just not worth it.

    If we were even thinking about paying a player that much…I’d rather try to strike a deal with the Pats, and give it to Vince Wilfork.

  • March 5, 2010  - SG says:

    “Let’s let the man do his job.”

    Agreed. While we wait for the results of his job performance…here’s some fodder…Chester Taylor apparently has signed a deal…with the Chicago bears…

  • March 5, 2010  - SG says:

    “We need to fill some positions, yes.”

    Yes quite a few of them… :-D

    Christmas season in the retail world…they hire extra workers when they know there’s a lot of extra business to tend to. I wonder if Don Pioli was a bit short-handed last night in figuring out what tenders to give his RFA’s.

  • March 5, 2010  - Alex(The Great) says:

    Your right Mad Chief, Im going 2 sit back and see what the 4X exec. of the year does 2 improve our team, but he seems a little slothful 2 me….but hey lets see what happens.

  • March 5, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    SG says:
    “here’s some fodder…Chester Taylor apparently has signed a deal…with the Chicago bears…”

    Yup…for like $7 million per year? That would have been an awful lot of money for a 3rd down “change of pace” back…which is what we would have used him for.


  • March 5, 2010  - jimbo says:

    The only position or player worth Peppers money. At least for the Chiefs needs is Vince Wilfork.
    We can draft our way into contention if we have him as our NT.
    Go Chiefs.

  • March 5, 2010  - SG says:

    “That would have been an awful lot of money…”

    What I read says…four-year, $12.5 million deal that includes $7 million gtd in year one. No cap this year…and of course, with our great offensive line, we’ve “never” had any of our starting running backs out with an injury for any stretch of time.

  • March 5, 2010  - Mad Chief says:


    Thanks for the clarification. I just caught half of it, I guess. Still a lot of money for one year. And he’ll have a chance to start in Chicago. Here, he wouldn’t.

    Thomas Jones, maybe? That’s the latest thing I heard. And Kevin Walter from the Texans.

  • March 5, 2010  - SG says:

    “Thomas Jones, maybe? That’s the latest thing I heard. And Kevin Walter from the Texans.”

    Sounds good – more interested in KW signing, but TJ would be a strong complement to Charles – this team could shift to a more run-heavy team in a hurry if they got him.

  • March 5, 2010  - SG says:

    Banta-Cain apparently is staying a Pat…and Mr. Rolle could be going to the G-men…?

  • March 5, 2010  - Niblick says:

    We are apparently one of the three teams trying to trade for Boldin. The Ravens are supposed to be the front runner with the Chiefs and Bengals also in the mix. It’s rumored to be a 3rd rounder, but could be higher with three teams trying to deal.

  • March 5, 2010  - Niblick says:

    The third team trying to trade for Boldin was the Pats, not the Bengals. Our 3rd and Atlanta’s 2nd round are higher than either the Pats and Ravens. That could help us if Arizona is tring to get the best deal. I would love to get him for our 3rd.

  • March 5, 2010  - arrowhead1978 says:

    Jimbo, why do you keep saying Wilforks name?? he has the non-exclusive franchise tag he isn’t going anywhere, I hope the chiefs dont give up two first rounders for him, he aint worth it.

    And really Jamall Williams? Really? your serious lets pick up another SD lineman that was cut, might work out this time, I heard he has bad knees and he can’t move anymore… Whats the point of grabbing him, maybe Lito would be worth something, he wouldn’t be happy about playing nickel back though…

    Lets get Laverneaus coles because he was great six years ago!!

    Yea we could be a run heavy team if the chiefs were still led by Herm Edwards and we had a top notch O-line, other then that it isn’t gonna happen with Haley…

  • March 5, 2010  - SG says:

    Sounds like, based on at least one story, the Pats are out of the hunt…leaving the Chiefs…and the Jailbirds…I mean the Ravens…if Don Pioli can land Mr. Boldin, that’s a step in the right direction!!

  • March 5, 2010  - SG says:

    “Lets get Laverneaus coles because he was great six years ago!”

    The question is…is he better than the drop-happy guys on the roster? If so, maybe we should take a look… :-)

    I still am waiting for some offensive linemen news…

  • March 5, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    arrowhead1978 says:

    “Jimbo, why do you keep saying Wilforks name?? he has the non-exclusive franchise tag he isn’t going anywhere, I hope the chiefs dont give up two first rounders for him, he aint worth it.”

    Because he could still be TRADED for. If we traded for Wilfork…it would be whatever the two teams agreed upon.

    As for Wilfork’s value? One of the, if not THE best NT playing right now…that’s worth a lot. He would instantly make our D a force. I can’t think of one other single player in the NFL that would have more impact on our D than Wilfork.

    New England isn’t stupid, though. They won’t give him up for nothing. But, they WOULD give him up.

  • March 5, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    SG says:

    “if Don Pioli can land Mr. Boldin, that’s a step in the right direction!!”

    Well SG, he stepped in…something. Boldin is a Raven.

  • March 5, 2010  - jimbo says:

    arrowhead 78,
    As MadChief kind of explained, I want to finish…
    I was talking about us trading 1 or 2 of our “right 53″ guys for Wilfork. Not draft picks.
    Most All players can be traded as long as you fullfill the $$$ of their contract.

  • March 6, 2010  - SG says:

    “Well SG, he stepped in…something.”

    Failed action is better than inaction. He needs to keep moving now to avoid sitting in a puddle of excuse-making. Our opportunities to fill those areas of need we’ve all talked about still exist – so he needs to keep it moving and get the “right 53 to win 8 games or more” as the “right 53 to win 4″ just won’t cut it this year.

Get the Flash Player to see the slideshow.


AFC West Analysis 2014
Answer Bob
Chiefs 2014 Schedule
Chiefs Practice-Injury Reports 2014
Chiefs Roster Moves 2014
Game Coverage 2013
Game Coverage 2014
Minicamps-OTAs 2014
NFL Almanac 2014
NFL Combine 2014
NFL Draft 2014
NFL Draft 2015
NFL Free Agency 2014
Other News
Practice Reports 2014
Training Camp 2014