Free agency has begun and the Kansas City Chiefs have busy in all the wrong ways. In fact, one could make a strong case that they’ve created more holes than they’ve plugged by losing three key performers from last season’s offensive line in Branden Albert, Jon Asamoah, and Geoff Schwartz as well as Pro-Bowl punt returner/wide receiver Dexter McCluster.
They have attempted to offset their losses on the line by signing former Indianapolis Colts lineman Jeff Linkenbach. Linkenbach is versatile, having logged starts at both tackle and guard in the course of playing in 60 games, including 33 starts, over the last four seasons.
No matter how you slice it, you can’t replace three guys with one. Clearly, offensive line has become another position of need requiring some attention this year.
The loss of the multi-faceted Dexter McCluster, robbed the team of one of its few offensive weapons. Some might argue that McCluster’s inability to consistently catch the ball, his lack of prototypical NFL size, and his durability issues were things the team couldn’t afford.
The fact is he creates match-up problems for opposing defenses and he was without question, one of the best punt returners in the league, a talent that has game changing impact.
There was speculation that perhaps the Chiefs would aggressively pursue Darren Sproles from New Orleans to offset the loss of McCluster but that speculation ended when the Saints traded Sproles to the Philadelphia Eagles.
A popular sentiment among Kansas City Chiefs fans was that they needed help at wide receiver, even before losing McCluster, but in the wake of the defensive collapse suffered in the second half of last season. In the face of the productivity the offense actually displayed, most NFL experts had determined the team’s highest priorities this off-season would likely be on the defensive side of the ball.
The Chiefs offense actually performed well last season, particularly in the second half of the season, averaging 31 points per game. So, while it was arguable as to whether the Chiefs had significant offensive needs coming into the free agency period, with the all the above free agent losses, it is now undeniable.