Why The Kansas City Chiefs Should Be Skeptical Of Free Agent WR Jerricho Cotchery

By DanFlaherty

Jerricho Cotchery, an unrestricted free agent at wide receiver has drawn the interest of the Kansas City Chiefs, although at this point in the process it seems difficult to call it “burning interest”, given that the reports of the receiver’s visit to Kansas City was a week ago and we still haven’t heard of an impending deal.  The seeming skepticism on the part of the Kansas City front office is a good thing.

I don’t have anything against the idea of signing Cotchery per se. He’s a nice supporting piece at wide receiver. ESPN’s Scouts Inc ., praises his ability to run routes in a disciplined manner and terms him “deceptively quick.” If he can be obtained on the cheap, by all means go for it and slot him alongside Dwayne Bowe.

My issue is more that of the incremental options that are out there for Kansas City Chiefs’ general manager Scott Pioli—including Aubrayo Franklin and Chris Carr—I’d rank Cotchery last on the list because of the position he plays.

Kansas City’s challenge in this coming season is going to be staying true to their identity as a team built around running the ball and playing tough defense. With the division rivals airing it out behind either Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers or Carson Palmer, it will be tempting to think you have to open up the attack to compete. This would be competing on your opponent’s terms, and football coaches shouldn’t want to do that anymore than military generals or political campaign strategists do. Matt Cassell will lose a passing war against any of those three quarterbacks regardless of how good he is.

On the flip side though, Kansas City plays better defense than any of their division rivals. They can have a better running game than any of the three. Cassell can integrate a controlled passing game into that and lead a division title run, just as he did in 2010. It’s not that signing Cotchery would be prevent that—it’s just that adding more defensive help is a better way to win the war than adding more wideouts.

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