On to 2012

Posted Feb 9, 2012

The NFL off-season is underway with teams releasing players and preparing rosters for 2012

The new NFL Calendar won’t officially flip to 2012 until March 13th, when contracts expire and free agency begins, but that doesn’t mean the off-season hasn’t already begun for each of the NFL ‘s 32 clubs.

For the Chiefs, the off-season started some five weeks ago.

Within the past 30 days the Chiefs have named a new head coach, hired a new offensive coordinator, ushered in a new special teams coach and hinted that Matt Cassel would face competition at the quarterback position.

Head Coach Romeo Crennel and General Manager Scott Pioli have also keyed an upgraded offensive line as an offseason priority and, while choosing their words carefully, have indicated they’d like to bring back unrestricted free agents Dwayne Bowe and Brandon Carr back for another season (or more).

Oh, and Phil Emery, the team’s Director of College Scouting, is now the General Manager of the Chicago Bears.

A lot has happened over the past month, but the off-season in Kansas City has only just begun and the next month of events won’t leave much time to breathe.

Here’s what’s coming up…

Right Now: Crennel is in the final phase of putting together his coaching staff for the 2012 season. The big questions are out of the way with Crennel heading the defense and Brian Daboll serving as offensive coordinator, but Crennel still needs to fill staff vacancies on the offensive line and at wide receiver.

Expect a final staff announcement to come sometime within the next week.

Also, the Chiefs are free to extend contracts of in-house players, release players, submit waiver claims and sign players currently without a contract. A handful of transactions have already gone down across the league this week, but the Chiefs have yet to make any moves since signing seven practice squad players to reserve/future contracts last month.

February 20th – March 5th: This is a key 15-day stretch for the Chiefs front office, Chiefs fans, Brandon Carr and Dwayne Bowe. Teams must announce a decision to apply the franchise tag to a pending free agent during this window.

What role this window could play in contract negotiations will be interesting to watch unfold.

The Chiefs franchised Tamba Hali at this time last year and reached a long-term deal shortly after the NFL Lockout lifted. Six Chiefs have received the team’s franchise tag in the 19-season history of NFL free agency.

All-Time Franchise Players: Kansas City Chiefs

DE Neil Smith, 1993

DE Dan Williams, 1998

G Will Shields, 2000

TE Tony Gonzalez, 2002

DE Jared Allen, 2008

OLB Tamba Hali, 2011

*QB Matt Cassel was issued the franchise tag in 2009 by the New England Patriots

February 22nd – 28th: Chiefs Brass will be in Indianapolis for the 2012 NFL Combine evaluating and interviewing this year’s class of draft hopefuls. The Chiefs 2012 NFL Draft positioning will become finalized during the week in Indianapolis as well.  

On Friday, February 24th, Chiefs General Manager Scott Pioli and Seahawks General Manager John Schneider will take part in a coin toss to determine the 11th and 12th draft positions. Likewise, the Dolphins and Panthers will join up for a coin toss to determine the 8th and 9th draft slots.

I’m not sure who gets to call this one in the air, but #TailsNeverFails.

March 13th: Free agency begins at 3:00 PM (CST). Players with expiring contracts hit the market.

Get ready.

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