Not A Good Move . . . Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

Sorry, Clark and Scott, but this one doesn’t make sense. In four seasons of moves at the top of the Chiefs, this one may be the worst.

The Chiefs allowed CB Brandon Carr to reach free agency and it took all of 24 hours for Carr to get scooped up by the Dallas Cowboys for a 5-year, $50.1 million contact.

And it leaves Hunt and Pioli with egg on their faces once again. There is only one reason Carr is gone – money. Pure and simple, the Chiefs did not want to open the wallet to keep one of their best players. Cap space, cash dollars were all available to them.

Yet, they could not get the job done. Now they have a hole in their defense, one big enough that Raiders reject Stanford Routt is not going to be able to fill.

Allowing Carr to walk out the door goes against everything that Hunt and Pioli have spoken about when it comes to their vision of what they are trying to build in Kansas City. Pioli has said many times that the key to free agency isn’t jumping into the pool on the day all the players get their freedom and flailing about with wads of money. He’s said the key is keeping your own free agents out of the water, signing them up early and making sure that your team gets the dividends from the investments made in that player from the time he was first drafted or signed.

That didn’t happen with Carr. Not only didn’t it happen, they all but pushed Carr into the free agency water.

 There was all this chatter back when they signed Routt about how the move didn’t signal the end of Carr’s time with the organization, that they wanted to have him back and they were going to continue to work hard on getting him signed.

Turned out that was nothing but false chatter. Pioli thought that by signing Routt he had the trump move against Carr and his agent, Ben Dogra. From that point in time, any real negotiations that would have moved the situation towards an agreement between Carr and the Chiefs did not happen; he did not budge off his offer.

Ultimately, the only reason Carr is gone is that the money was too rich for the Chiefs. They didn’t want to hook up their player with that kind of pay day. Cap and cash dollars were available, and are still sitting there because they did not want to spend the money.

That’s happened over and over again with Hunt and Pioli. They acknowledge the money is there. They say there are not restrictions on spending to acquire and keep talented players. When those opportunities arise, they only grab the money for bargains (see Routt or the deal Jamaal Charles signed last year.) They are reticent on spending for quality and when the smoke clears, that money is still sitting there.

Yes, a five-year, $50.1 million deal for Brandon Carr is a lot of money. But they had every opportunity over the last two years to negotiate a deal that would not have come close to matching that total package Carr got from the Cowboys. Those types of numbers only happen in the open market, where there’s the potential for other bidders to become involved.

Hunt and Pioli are not interested in diving head first into the waters of free agency and there’s nothing wrong with that approach. History shows us the cautious/conservative approach to free agency is far more sensible than throwing dollars around willy-nilly like the Redskins have done for year after year after year.

That makes it all the more imperative that they sign their own free agents before they reach the open market. For a team that has a roster with so many holes that need to be filled, they could not afford to allow another one to be created at right cornerback with Carr going out the door.

Here’s the real kick in the pants for Chiefs fans – at a time when Peyton Manning won’t even take their call, the Chiefs had a player who wanted to be in Kansas City. Carr made it plain from the start he had no desire to leave. He wanted to stay and play with all the faces that have been his family for the last four years, particularly fellow 2008 draft choice Brandon Flowers.

Fans and pundits that want to believe in the Hunt-Pioli approach speculate that there must be something involved here that the average fan doesn’t know about. There must be something about Carr that doesn’t fit. I would not be surprised if the front office rumor wire starts churning out slick comments of that nature in the coming days.

Don’t believe it. Brandon Carr is a good young man, dedicated to his craft, determined to become the best cornerback in the NFL and with his talent and work ethic he has a shot at doing just that. He’s a team player that because of his small college background from the Division II level has a great appreciation for the league and what it stands for and what it provides him.

No, Brandon Carr is now a member of the Dallas Cowboys because of one reason and one reason only – the Chiefs would not spend the money to keep him.

22 Responses to “Not A Good Move . . . Thursday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • March 15, 2012  - Graig says:

    Great post Bob! I totally agree. The Chiefs defense got worse with Brandon going to Dallas. He wanted to stay here, but the front office was crunching numbers($). As I believe one of your members put it: “profit hoarding”. And I hate to see another Herm Edwards defensive back go.

  • March 15, 2012  - KC_Guy says:

    Boing … once again to the point.

  • March 15, 2012  - Shock says:

    I can’t believe the front office couldn’t get the Bowe deal done so they could franchise Carr. The Chiefs are still going to have to negotiate with Bowe after this season, and Bowe now has the record setting benchmark of the Calvin Johnson deal as leverage. Dumb, dumb, dumb move Chiefs. . . DBowe’s going to wind up with more money than if we had just got the deal done promptly, plus we lose Carr. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

  • March 15, 2012  - R W says:

    Any lingering wonder why the top rated free agents are giving Jr.Hunt/Pioli the finger? Those two are part of the problem that won’t be solved until THEY are. Simple as that.

  • March 15, 2012  - Mark VanCamp says:

    I wonder what Lamar would say to Clark about the way the franchise is being run … would be something like “you’re doing a fine fine job son” or would be more along the lines of “what the hell are you thinking!” I’ll never know, but I have to believe that Lamar is less than happy about what’s going on here.

  • March 15, 2012  - ED J says:

    Why is everyone so surprised that Carr is gone. Where was everyone sleeping under a rock. We all knew after signing Routt thay Carr would be gone. Take your emotions out of including you Bob. Carr is a number 2 corner didnt make sense for Chiefs to pay him like a number 1. Especially when you have a more talent Jalil Brown coming on that Crennel was impressed with and wished he could have got him more time on the field. Routt will be much better player in a more diciplined environment. Trust me if Crennel felt strongly about Carr he would have push Pioli harder to keep him. Losing Carr isnt as huge of a lost as Bob and some of you make it out to be. You guys act like we jus lost the next Darrelle Revis. Carr is more like brent grimes or duante robinson solid player but no gsme changer at the position he was expendable

  • March 15, 2012  - txchief says:

    I wish the Chiefs would have been able to retain Carr, but with several teams despirate for help in the secondary, Carr and his agent know that someone would likely overpay for his services. Remember, Carr was the number two corner in KC. Although reliable, he only averaged two interceptions per year in four years, hardly HOF numbers. The Chiefs still have Flowers and Routt as well as Jalil Brown. While we on this site are loyal fans of the Chiefs, many players care only about how much they are paid, not where they play. “Hometown discounts” are very rare in the NFL. And no matter what, no team can retain every free agent forever.

    Hope springs eternal (except on this site), and word has leaked out from the Manning camp that he’s not ruling out visits to other teams. Perhaps KC isn’t fully out of the hunt after all. I, at least, am still hoping that the other Peyton might wind up in a Chiefs jersey this fall.

  • March 15, 2012  - Canada Brad says:

    I am more frustrated that Carr was allowed to just walk than the fact that he got away. Clearly, it would have been a great market to have the franchise tag on him, so we could trade him to Dallas, instead of just let him go. People always wonder how the Patriots seem to have multiple first round picks almost every year. One of the reasons is when they have a player that they don’t want to pay enough money to (like Carr this year) they tend to franchise them and then get something for that player in a trade (think Branch and Samuel). Unfortunately, Pioli couldn’t get Bowe or Carr signed. All he had to do was pay Bowe a big amount (at least Bowe is an actual #1 – pay him like it) and then franchise Carr.

    Aside from Carr, it’s disturbing that KC couldn’t pay enough outpay the Dolphins for Soliai (a 2 yr contract would be perfect). Signing Hillis before even meeting with Tolbert seems odd, I see Hillis being a waste of money (unless he is here to be a fullback). Hopefully Winston stays in town and signs a contract. It would be really nice to say that Right Tackle is taken care of. Then depth along the line is the only OL issue.

    GO CHIEFS !!

  • March 15, 2012  - ChuckXX says:

    Lets do a real quick assessment to date: We get Routt-they get Carr. We get Hillis-they get McClain. We lose Orton- we get nothing in return. The Routt deal is a loser because Carr is much better. The Hillis deal is a winner as he is much better than McClain. The Orton deal really sucks. We should have resigned him. Looks like so far we are losing, not winning in free agency. Just watch as Tolbert and Winston sign some place else. Then watch management go out and find some old players on the scrapheap that are 35 years old to come in and fill the gap. Thats the Hunt/Pioli way. Nothing ever changes. By the way now we have no decent backup QB again.

  • March 15, 2012  - TimR says:

    Right you are Bob. Once again, Boy Wonder Hunt & his sidekick Pioli, are doing the exact opposite of what they’ve been telling us they will do. They say they want to keep their own, but yet we lose them. I woulda rather created cap space by somehow getting rid of T Jackson et al rather than lose Carr & possibly Orton. What we’ve learned in this new era that came in with such promise is that FANS cannot put a lot of credibility in what they say about the team. Additionally, they refuse to admit a mistake on a player.

  • March 15, 2012  - Paul Albert says:

    The Chiefs signed Flowers at $50M. Giving Carr $50M that the Cowboys gave him would tie up $100M at CB. That’s unworkable from a budget and cap perspective. On top of that…Carr may be a great guy…but folks…he’s not a great CB. The Cowboys got duped if they were looking for a #1, shut down CB.

  • March 15, 2012  - Rich Davis says:

    Substantively a bad move and stylistically, too– it won’t help ticket sales.

    The Chiefs need to re-ignite the Arrowhead Advantage. Every seat must be sold to give a QB like Cassel any chance of winning games at home against superior QB’s. And, it would have been nice to have claim to the best secondary in the NFL bar none.

    The Chiefs could have tagged Carr and signed Bowe to a long term deal. They could have tagged Carr and traded him, yes?

    Seems like there were options here— including as Bob points out the Chiefs getting a deal done with Carr last year. That should have happened with Bowe, as well.

    Hope they can secure Winston. But, does he want to protect Cassel or someone better at that position? We’ll see.

  • March 15, 2012  - Niblick says:

    I also saw an article in Pro Football Weekly that signing Carr at 10MM a year was a desperation move by the Cowboys. The going market rate was 7-8MM. I’m happy for Carr, but grossly overpaid. Bob perhaps was correct that we could have gotten him for a lot less a year ago. I also agree Routt is probably not as good, but you just can’t keep everyone. We must sign Winston when he comes in today. He has other visits scheduled and it is essential we sign him when he’s here. I will be very disappointed if we can’t sign him. He’s that top tier free agent we need in a position of great need.

  • March 15, 2012  - Johnfromwichita says:

    Most of me agrees with everything that’s been said. I am truly disappointed that the front office works so hard to give the apperance that they are more concerned about saving money than they are in making money. I can see in a few years I’ll be tailgatng in section N, mostly by myself. That said, there is a part of me holding out that the front office has a plan; that they know how to build a stronger team. That’s the part of me that’s going to get another beer.

  • March 15, 2012  - steven smith says:

    i think its become increasingly clear that the Hunt family no longer care about fielding a consistent winner. priority #1 is the bottom line and to argue otherwise is pointless. the chiefs have become the pittsburg pirets of the nfl. a once storied franchise in a mid sized market who have become a joke to everyone else outside the city.(who am i kidding inside the city as well) i imaguine the brass is keeping their fingers crossed that baldwin has a 50 catch season in him next year so as to have a reason to not sign bowe to a extension. looking into the crysral ball he will hold out(and rightfully so) sign his tender in order to get credited for a season completed and leave via freeagency next year. we wont be able to re tag him because albert is set to become a free agent and then we will go through the same theing w/ him. this sucks and its really hard to put up with.the only way to have our voice heard is to start to hit the hunt family where it hurts, at the box office. maybe thein he’s think of selling and a owner who acrually likes football can swoop in and save us=) one can dream right

  • March 15, 2012  - Johnfromwichita says:

    Niblick, I agree Winston would fill the biggest need and probably change my attitude, a little, on the whole free agency attempt. Or lack of. I am trying very hard to have faith that the front office has a clue. On the bright side, the lines for the women’s restrooms might be a lot shorter if things don’t get better. Damn, I spend a lot of time outside waiting for wife and grandaughter.

  • March 15, 2012  - Ron Roberts says:

    Has everyone forgotten that Lamar once went on record publicly stating that making money was the Chiefs’ top priority? When asked about his view of Jack Steadman’s leadership of the organization – the period of complete ineptitude between roughly 1972 and 1988 – Lamar felt Jack had been one of the best in the NFL at his job. If winning was Lamar’s top priority, Steadman would have been fired by 1980. Lamar cared most about money. As fans, we don’t want to believe that about Lamar but the truth is too well documented in the press to ignore. Clark is simply following in his father’s footsteps. Lamar would be proud of Clark.

  • March 15, 2012  - txchief says:


    In case all of you detractors never thought of it before, the whole idea of the NFL, NFL players and all professional sports is to make money. Everyone, the owners, the players and the broadcast networks all want all the cash they can get. It’s called capitalism ,and it is what has made out country great. No one in professional sports makes their decisions purely out of the love for the game.

    All the owners care about winning because it is great for business and profits. However, like any business you have to watch your overhead and make sure you don’t overpay for your players/employees, unless they are truly superstars. Free agency has barely begun, and the draft is over a month away. Don’t condemn the Chiefs organization because they have not been able to make every free agency move possible. I’d love to see them sign a franchise player like Manning or Brees, but wasting money (such as $10M per year for a number two CB) could prevent the team from making more important acquisitions. The NFL is no socialist collective or free love commune.

  • March 15, 2012  - steven smith says:

    no1 is saying capitalism is a bad thing tx. in fact to take ur point one step further i’d bring up the old saying you gotta spend money to make money. if you show your ticket buying,merchandise wearing public that “we are going to be chaep and their is nothing you can do about it cause we know you cant help youeselves” people are going to eventually become disinterested. if the Hunts wanted to profit as much as possible on their “brand” why not invest back into your company and maximize you potetial earnings. the better teams don’t overspend in free agency but alwayse seem to sell out their building and you see multiple ass wipes in every city w/ a tom brady or troy polamalu jersey.

  • March 15, 2012  - txchief says:

    Steven, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING gets my goat more than seeing douches with out of town jerseys in my section. I’m way beyond tired of minor free agent pickups that seem to have little real impact on the team. The Chiefs are in a position this year to make a leap forward. NOW is definitiely the time for the Chiefs to “invest” in some talent. Hedging their bet on possibly losing Carr by signing Routt was a smart move. Boss and Hillis have the potential to make significant contributions on offense. I’m still holding out hope for some type of QB acquisition. If they can land Winston or another free agent RT, the draft possibilities could be wide open for the team.

  • March 15, 2012  - john vdovjak says:

    Thanks Bob for another great, thought provoking post. I wish I had some (like txchief or Ed J’s) faith and enthusiasm. Like JFW I’m torn between wanting to believe we’re headed in the right direction and our brain trust is just that and not a penny pinching lack of a brain trust. I also have a grandson who is just becoming old enough to be a fan and I am hoping we have a franchise he can enjoy and root for without having to wait the rest of his life to see us in the Super Bowl chase. As is usually the case I find myself agreeing with JFW about most of what’s being said… and yes that is the part of me going for another beer as well.

  • March 15, 2012  - cychief24 says:

    Why the surprise by anyone including Bob? Edj is correct. Routt was signed for what 3 yrs at $19M? Our 2nd corner is taken care of just fine. Jerry Jones overpaid for a 2nd corner who can’t catch.
    Meanwhile RB was addressed with a stud and now TE with a very good player.
    I guess some people enjoy being unhappy :(
    If we sign Winston for RT this will be a great free agent period. Add a NT too and that would be a home run before the draft.

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