The Kansas City Chiefs will have a tough decision to make in the offseason on free agent Dexter McCluster. He is coming off of a career year in which he earned his first Pro Bowl selection. With minimal cap space to play with, the Chiefs may not be able to offer him as much as he could get elsewhere.
McCluster got his Pro Bowl nod specifically for his outstanding season as a punt return man. He led all players at the position with 686 return yards and two touchdowns, but he brings a lot more to the table than just his services in the return game. He is a versatile offensive weapon who has a Darren Sproles/Danny Woodhead-type of skill set that is becoming more popular in the NFL.
It would be a shame if McCluster were to move on from Kansas City. He’s been a fan favorite since his first game with the Chiefs back in 2010. On Monday Night Football against the San Diego Chargers, McCluster electrified the Arrowhead crowd with a 94-yard punt return for a score, which was vital to the Chiefs 21-14 victory.
Unfortunately for Kansas City fans, the NFL is a business and his popularity around town won’t really count for anything during contract negotiations. The front office has a simple question to answer — is his price tag worth the competitive advantage he brings?
Unless McCluster is willing to take less money to stay in KC, it’s tough to see a scenario where he is worth re-signing for the Chiefs. Dave Toub is the best special teams coordinator in the business, and Kansas City’s special teams will be okay without McCluster. Andy Reid and the city love him, but with the lack of cap space right now, it doesn’t look like he will be worth the cost at full price.