The difficulty of evaluating NFL offseason moves is they happen is that we don’t yet have the benefit of seeing the entire picture come together—the complete package of free agent signings, along with the NFL draft. That’s my disclaimer, as I say that I’m completely baffled by the early moves of Kansas City GM Scott Pioli during this free agency period. Signing Peyton Hillis was a mistake. The addition of tight end Kevin Boss is just mystifying.
If we look at this move in a vacuum, apart from Kansas City’s larger needs, then it isn’t bad. Boss was an unproductive receiver in Oakland last year, but he has enjoyed success playing in a run-first style with the New York Giants prior to that, and it’s that type of offense he’s joining in Kansas City. Furthermore, Leonard Pope was a liability, so Pioli has effectively upgraded the position. Therefore what’s the problem?
The problem is the same one I outlined in my criticisms of the Hillis signing. Kansas City has a problem at right tackle, at center and at backup quarterback, all of which are more likely to hinder an AFC West title run than the problem at tight end. Going out and fixing the tight end spot—which is just a case of a mediocre player replacing a bad one—is the equivalent of Nero fretting over his fiddle while Rome burned.
Perhaps Kansas City is about to sign Eric Winston or Chris Myers, offensive lineman who are both good players and fill bigger needs. Maybe Pioli has another plan for a backup quarterback. Maybe when all this is said and done, the signing of Boss will fit neatly into an overall package of good offseason moves. But sitting here right now, it looks none too swift.