5 Free Agents the Kansas City Chiefs Should Target This Offseason
5 Free Agent Targets for the Kansas City Chiefs
Even though it did not end how they would have liked, I think it is fair to say that the 2013 season was a success for the Kansas City Chiefs. One year removed from having the worst record in the league at 2-14, the Chiefs turned things around and finished the regular season at 11-5, and reached the playoffs.
Unfortunately, Kansas City fell victim to an improbable comeback by Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts in the Wild Card round last week, ending their season. They may not have made a deep run in the playoffs like they had hoped, but Kansas City built a solid foundation for the future.
In his first season in Kansas City, head coach Andy Reid did a nice job of putting his best players in a position to make plays. Jamaal Charles is one of the most explosive players that the NFL has to offer, but he never seemed to be used correctly under past coaching staffs. Reid and his staff did an incredible job of getting Charles the ball in space, in both the running and passing game. This led to Charles having a career year, playing at a near MVP level.
When he was hired in K.C., Reid targeted Alex Smith to be his quarterback. Reid did a nice job playing to Smith's strengths, using his abilities in the short passing game effectively. Smith did not put up huge numbers, but he rarely made mistakes and kept the Chiefs in every ball game. Down the stretch, the Chiefs seemed to open up the playbook for Smith and he performed nicely pushing the ball down the field in the passing game. That may be a sign of things to come.
Defensively, the Chiefs were one of the best units in the league for a large portion of the season. Led by their incredible pass rushing duo of Justin Houston and Tamba Hali, Kansas City did a nice job defensively, especially early on. Down the stretch, the defense faltered, giving up big point totals, including 45 against Indianapolis in the playoffs.
While Kansas City was very good in 2013, there is plenty of room for improvement. Additional weapons in the passing game for Smith and help on defense are obvious places where the team can improve. Here are five free agents that the Chiefs should be considering.
5. Dennis Pitta, TE
Dennis Pitta missed most of 2013 with a hip injury, but he was a huge part of the Baltimore Ravens' Super Bowl run in 2012. Pitta is fantastic at running routes in the middle of the field, and would instantly become one of the most talented receivers on the team. Anthony Fasano was decent for the Chiefs last season, but Pitta would be a nice upgrade.
4. Brandon Spikes, ILB
Brandon Spikes may not be great in pass coverage, but he is one of the best linebackers in the NFL at stopping the run. The Chiefs were not very good against the run last season, giving up 120.2 rushing yards per game (22nd in the league). Their other linebackers specialize in defending the pass, having an elite run-stuffing linebacker like Spikes would do this team some good.
3. Chris Harris, CB
The Kansas City secondary was torched late in the season. Brandon Flowers is a Pro Bowl corner back, but the options that the Chiefs have opposite of him are not very good. Guys like Sean Smith, Marcus Cooper and Dunta Robinson were getting picked on all season long for the Chiefs. Chris Harris would be a tremendous upgrade over this group. The fact that their division rival Denver Broncos would be losing him would just be the cherry on top.
2. Jeremy Maclin, WR
This just seems like an obvious fit. Aside from Dwayne Bowe, the Chiefs do not really have any good WR options. Donnie Avery was OK at times, but the team could really use another receiving option. Jeremy Maclin is coming off of a tough knee injury, but he is a very talented player and Reid is extremely familiar with him. Unless he returns to the Philadelphia Eagles, I think K.C. are the favorites to land Maclin.
1. Golden Tate, WR
The Seattle Seahawks are probably the most talented team in the NFL. Eventually, they are going to have to pay all this talent. Golden Tate will reach free agency this offseason, and I am sure that he would like to return to Seattle. That being said, I do not believe that they will be able to afford Tate. Kansas City would be a perfect fit for him.
Tate had 64 receptions for 898 yards and five touchdowns this season. He is a very sure-handed receiver with impressive athletic skills. Tate would be the perfect receiver to compliment Bowe, and would give Smith another much needed target.