Decision Day in Kansas City

Posted Mar 4, 2010

Chiefs must submit restricted free agent tenders today

D-Day = Decision Day in Kansas City.

We’re guaranteed to have a full day of news at some point (or at various points) today. Outside of Draft Day (aka D-Day, part deux), the NFL restricted free agent tender deadline/opening of unrestricted free agency is the most anticipated day of the offseason. For the Chiefs, we haven’t seen RFA tender decisions this interesting in quite a long time.

Consider this as part of your RFA handicapping worksheet.

If you need to brush up on the rules of tenders and who’s in the mix for the Chiefs, there was a cheat sheet posted on Tuesday – Insider Blog: Tick Tock, Tender Clock.

If you’ve got your tender bearings and are ready to head into Chiefs RFA tender class 202, then this is the spot for you. Let the handicapping begin.

We’ve spent the last few weeks reviewing the candidates, now it’s time for one final break down based off of recent news and relevant quotes. The Chiefs eight restricted free agents are listed in alphabetical order below.

Let’s see what last-minute clues we can gather. Predicting the future isn’t easy, particularly with these Chiefs, but we’ll see what we can do.

D-Day candidate #1 = OL Andy Alleman

Recent News: On Tuesday morning, Adam Caplan of revealed via Twitter that a source tells him the Chiefs will not offer a tender to Alleman.

Caplan is generally a solid source of league news when it comes to the transaction wire.

Recent Quotes: Not much since mid-season.

“I think Andy is a guy who has some experience, who has played and we got him for a reason. He’s worked hard and he’s battled some things physically but I think he’s a tough guy who wants to play and show what he’s capable of.”

- Todd Haley, 11/11/2009, when discussing Alleman relative to replacing an injured Mike Goff

D-Day candidate #2 = QB Brodie Croyle

Recent News: The Chiefs have signed both QB Matt Gutierrez and QB Tyler Palko over the past seven days, leaving some covering the Chiefs and the NFL, questioning whether or not Croyle gets a tender offer. Previously, the general consensus was that Croyle would be tendered.

Recent signings raise eyebrows, but offseason quotes point in another direction. The Chiefs also carried four quarterbacks to training camp last season.

Recent Quotes: Post-season press conference: Croyle listed as “core” player.

“Brodie Croyle you can’t overlook. I perceive him playing a critical role for us as we go forward. That’s a critical spot and he developed as the year went on and gained confidence in what we were doing. That role is pretty critical that there is cohesiveness in the [quarterback meeting] room and it’s not always the case. Everybody wants to play and everybody can’t play.”

- Todd Haley, 1/6/10

D-Day candidate #3 = LB Derrick Johnson

Recent News: General manager Scott Pioli goes on KSHB-TV 41 and tells Jack Harry that the Chiefs plan on keeping Derrick Johnson.

Recent Quotes: See above, and also below. Both point to the Chiefs tendering DJ.

“Derrick is another guy who has a chance to help us as we go forward. It’s easy to point out those two plays he made in the [Denver] game. There are only 25 who ever did that [return two interceptions in a game for a touchdown]. But Derrick has really made strides. He handled a difficult year very well and I think a lot of positives will come out of it for him. I spent some time with Derrick and I think he has made big strides in a lot of different areas and I hope that those pay off for him and for us.”

- Todd Haley, 1/6/10

D-Day candidate #4 = LB Corey Mays

Recent News: Quiet.

Recent Quotes: Also quiet. The general consensus going forward from training camp was that Mays is a classic “overachiever.” Mays went on to start 13 of 16 games at inside linebackers (all three non-starts were due to Chiefs opening the game in nickel sets) despite entering training camp with a role likely revolving around special teams.

“I think that Corey is again been a pleasant surprise from the standpoint that I didn’t know a lot about the player. He is a player who hasn’t had a lot of playing time other than on special teams. First and foremost, and knowing we were going to have more linebackers on the field, we were looking for special teamers. Then he comes in and you see he can play some linebacker. I think he’s been a bright spot for sure. He’s got to continue to get better every day and he can’t be a yo yo. He was real good in the first (preseason) game. In the second game he was not as sharp as he was in the first one. That’s part of the deal: you’ve got to be the same guy every day.”

- Todd Haley, 8/24/09

D-Day candidate #5 = OL Ikechuku Ndukwe

Recent News: Quiet.

Recent Quotes: Quiet.

D-Day candidate #6 = C Rudy Niswanger

Recent News: Quiet.

Recent Quotes: Quiet.

D-Day candidate #7 = T Ryan O’Callaghan

Recent News: Quiet.

Recent Quotes: O’Callaghan drew positive comments from the head coach once he was placed into the Chiefs starting lineup in week four. Outside of injury, O’Callaghan wouldn’t relinquish his starting role for the remained of 2010.

“Our right tackle yesterday, Ryan (O’Callaghan) was a bright spot. I kind of like that guy. He competed and going against some pretty good competition. He showed some signs that he might want to stick around.”

- Todd Haley, 10/6/09

D-Day candidate #8 = S Jarrad Page

Recent News: Page’s calf feels great as he continues off-season rehab on the injury that sent him to injured reserve in early November. The news is self-proclaimed, coming courtesy Page’s Twitter account.

Recent Quotes: Official quotes have been scarce since Page landed on injured reserve November 4th.

Final Words

“We’ve had conversations with most all of our players that are free agents, including some restricted free agents. We’ve had conversations with all of them, but as you know, we’re talking to almost every one of our free agent players and trying to keep some guys. That’s a big part of free agency, as well. It’s not just going out and signing other players, it’s trying to hold on to the ones that you want to keep here as well.”

- Scott Pioli at the NFL Combine

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