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Time to Start Looking at the Off Season

More by Ed Fulda
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With a 4-8 record, itís a safe bet that the Chiefs wonít be going to the playoffs. So, other than speculating whether the Chiefs can win any of the remaining four games and whether Herm Edwards is going to get fired when the season ends, the only thing left to do is to speculate about the off season.

The team will have to make some serious decisions regarding its potential free agents. The most important player, DE Jared Allen, wonít be departing for greener pastures despite his request for a trade. If a long-term deal canít be negotiated, Carl Peterson will use the Franchise Player tag on him. Punter Dustin Colquitt is a potential restricted free agent and you can bet the Chiefs want to keep him. DE Jimmy Wilkerson and DB Benny Sapp will be resigned as long as the salary demands are reasonable. The other potentials are a mixed bag: WR Samie Parker, WR Eddie Drummond, PK John Carney, T Kyle Turley, and T Chris Terry have done absolutely nothing to warrant a new contract offer. C Casey Weigmann is getting long in the tooth and his lack of bulk is a liability. FB Kris Wilson hasnít really done much. LB Keyaron Fox is talented but canít stay healthy. T Will Svitek is another one whose development has been hindered by his inability to stay healthy.

Decisions also have to be made on a bunch of players who arenít eligible for free agency. WR Eddie Kennison has obviously hit the wall and heíll be 35 before the start of next season. TE Jason Dunn will be 34 and is no longer a great blocker due to back troubles. DT James Reed hasnít contributed a thing all season. LB Kendrell Bell hasnít contributed a thing since he was signed as a free agent in 2005. CBs Ty Law and Patrick Surtain are old and are starting to lose their speed. S Greg Wesley gets too much money to be relegated to special teams again next year. It would not be a surprise to see most, or all, of these players cut loose.

The coaching staff is going to come under close scrutiny. Even if Edwards retains his job, it would be shocking if several assistants arenít fired. The Mike Solari experiment at Offensive Coordinator has been a dismal failure. The performance of the offensive line, under the tutelage of John Matsko and Bob Bicknell, has been pathetic. Mike Prieferís special teams are anything but. And donít even get me started about Dick Curl.

Finally, we get to the draft where the Chiefs appear to be on-target to get a top 10 spot in the first round. Given the extensive ďneedsĒ list, do the Chiefs trade down to acquire more picks or do they stay where they are? If they keep the pick, the Chiefs are going to be able to acquire a blue-chip prospect but the strong prospects in the upper half of the draft are QBs, RBs, LBs, and Defensive linemen; not really positions where the Chiefs need help. The Chiefs desperately need receivers, offensive linemen, cornerbacks, and a reliable place kicker. Still, it may be difficult for the Chiefs to pass up a chance to draft a potential franchise QB like Colt Brennen, a stud RB like Darren McFadden, or a top defensive lineman like Glenn Dorsey or Chris Long.
The only sure thing about this coming off season is that it will not be dull.

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