The offseason personnel changes for NFL teams are all in the books. Whether it’s free agency or the draft, teams have either fulfilled the hopes of February or left their fans frustrated again. I think that on balance, the Kansas City Chiefs did a good job this offseason.
It’s not that some of the Chiefs didn’t raise an eyebrow or lead to outright criticism. I think signing Peyton Hillis was a waste of time and could’ve been better addressed through the draft or a lower-profile free agent move. I would’ve liked to have seen them draft a center. I’m split on the first-round pick of Dontari Poe. But on the flip side, one bad free agent signing doesn’t define an entire offseason, there’s a strong case that Kansas City is doing the right thing in giving young Rodney Hudson a shot at the center job and being split on Poe means just that—I can see the case for him as much as I can see the case against.
Kansas City made solid moves in adding Stanford Routt to the secondary, I liked their selections in the second and third round of the draft, beefing up the offensive line. Brady Quinn was a nice addition as a backup quarterback, and even the late round draft picks have some promise, particularly at wide receiver.
But the defining moment of the offseason came with the free agent signing of offensive tackle Eric Winston. In one fell swoop, the Chiefs addressed a huge area of need in an area that couldn’t be neglected—a team with designs on running the ball can’t have a problem going off-tackle—and they did it with a proven, high-impact player.
More than any other sport the NFL has interchangeable parts in a lot of positions and success is ultimately determined by a small number of high-quality impact players. The Chiefs got the one they needed the most in Winston. That alone makes the offseason a success.