Insider Blog: Key Word is "Value"

Posted Mar 11, 2010

Evaluating the Chiefs free agent season begins with evaluating value

Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli has said on multiple occasions this offseason that the Chiefs will be active in free agency. He’s also said that it’s key that this team doesn’t spend money on players, simply for the sake of spending money on players. The key word that keeps coming to mind is VALUE.

Are the Chiefs getting value out of their pickups? Are they the right players at the right price?

Kansas City isn’t going to roll out the red carpet for players simply because of their name recognition across the league. The Chiefs perceived silence over the first weekend of free agency is a testament to that (the team did, however, extend the contract of UFA to-be Mike Vrabel before the weekend began).

However, Kansas City’s free agency strategy is also met with resistance. The Chiefs have had to walk the line of acting in a vigilant manner this season, based off of last year’s record and the overall depth across the board of the Chiefs roster. Walking the fine line of being picky, but urgent, amongst a thin free agent pool is a difficult thing to do.

As free agency continues to roll along, we need to ask ourselves a few questions in order to evaluate the results of the Chiefs free agency approach. Thus far, Kansas City’s front office has delivered what they’ve promised. The show, however, is far from over.

Q1) Are the Chiefs being “active” in free agency?

A: Yes. Although the first three days of free agency were relatively quiet, the Chiefs have announced three (key) signings in as many days and are expected to announce a fourth is as many today (reports are that the Chiefs have signed former Arizona WR Jerheme Urban).

There were also the reports of a near-deal with WR Anquan Boldin, as well as numerous other reports of free agent interest heading into this week.

Q2) Are the Chiefs addressing positions of need?

A: There are a number of positions that need upgrade across the Chiefs roster. Thus far, Kansas City has re-signed a key vertical threat at receiver (WR Chris Chambers), added a dangerous and respected supplement back to starter Jamaal Charles (RB Thomas Jones) and brought in veteran competition at the thinnest and most important position on the defense (NT Shaun Smith).

Overall, we won’t know the complete answer to this question immediately, but the Chiefs are off to a good start this week. Pioli has mentioned that he’s still looking to acquire a starting safety (whether that happens via free agency, the draft, trade or in-house promotion remains to be seen).

Q3) Are the Chiefs getting value in free agency?

A; This is the most important piece of the Chiefs free agency puzzle because it directly relates to the strategy that Pioli has publically stated will carry the Chiefs through the 2010 offseason.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, “yes.”

“After the Bears paid $7 million in guaranteed money to Chester Taylor, the Chiefs landed Thomas Jones for two seasons for $5 million. Talk about value. The $5 million also was $800,000 less than Jones was scheduled to earn this season in New York before the Jets released him. Taylor was a solid pickup, but Jones’ signing topped it.”

Jones ranks as the second-best UFA value across the league by Schefter.

Stay tuned, things are still cooking in Kansas City behind the scenes.

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