a stab at a couple questions
The Answer Man is in the house. Heís ready, willing and able. Fire away.
Whatís up with Jared Allen and his contract?
Right now, not much. Allenís people and the Chiefs continue to have conversations and itís always good when the lines of communication stay open. But there is no sense that a deal is coming together any time soon.
When will Allen begin working out with his teammates?
That will come when he signs the franchise-player tender. Once he does, he goes back on the roster and can take part in the teamís off-season work. It will also guarantee him just less than $10 million for the coming season. Several franchise players have signed their tenders and are working out with their teams now. Two franchise players Ė Dallas Clark in Indianapolis and Marcus Trufant in Seattle Ė have signed new long-term contracts.
Is there a deadline for Allen signing the franchise tender?
He could not sign it at all, but that means he will not play in 2008. He can wait until 10 weeks into the season, sign it and that would give him enough weeks to qualify for another year of service. Or he could sign any time in between. The Chiefs and Allenís agent can continue to talk about a new contract until July, when those discussions must end.
Thereís no way that Herm Edwards went all the way to Boston to watch Matt Ryanís workout if the Chiefs arenít going to draft him. No way.
Way. Donít ever forget this: Edwards always falls back on his personnel background. He is truly a scout at heart. Edwards also attended the workout at the University of California and this week he went to the Pro Day workout at Louisiana State. He may take another trip or two as well.
Edwards may be the most personnel-oriented head coach the Chiefs have ever had. He will always go out and hit the road in the spring. Itís in his blood. Donít read too much into his appearance in Beantown. It guarantees nothing when it comes to the team selecting Ryan.
OK, so the Chiefs havenít signed any offensive linemen in free agency. If the season started tomorrow, who would be the starting five and will Brodie Croyle survive?
Now thereís a question. Just from some of the rumblings Iíve heard inside Arrowhead over the last few months, let me take a stab at the opening-day offensive line. This is a guess, only a guess. Please, no wagering.
First, figure Brian Waters will remain at left guard. There was some talk of him moving to center, but I think heíll end up staying at guard. The center would be third-year man Rudy Niswanger. He got some playing time at guard last year before suffering a knee injury that ended his season. His rehab has gone well and he should be ready to go for the start of training camp.
Now at right guard, how about Damion McIntosh; this move may hinge on what the Chiefs can find in the Draft. But his size would be just right for what the Chiefs want to get done with their running game: power.
At left and right tackle: who knows? Remember, the Chiefs claimed Adrian Jones on waivers at the end of last season from the Jets. They also grabbed Anthony Alabi on waivers back in February from the Dolphins. Both are tackles. Will Svitek is still around as well, along with Herb Taylor, last yearís draft choice. He actually played pretty well against Detroit in fill-in action at the end of last year.
Why didnít the Chiefs make a play for former Donkeys kicker Jason Elam?
Just like the situation with Josh Brown who signed with St. Louis, the Chiefs could not compete with the indoor environment that Elam will enjoy while kicking for the Falcons in Atlanta. One of the reasons they were interested in Brown was his age: heíll be 29 for the 2008 season. Elam is 42 years old.
I hear the Chiefs have a lot of money left under the salary cap, maybe more than any other team in the league. What are they saving it for?
Jared Allen for one. If they were able to work out a deal for him, they would need a healthy bundle to pay him. They will also have at least 10 draft choices and those donít come cheap these days, especially the fifth pick in the first round.
Also, with the signing in free agency of Casey Wiegmann (Denver), Kris Wilson (Philadelphia), Benny Sapp (Minnesota), Keyaron Fox (Pittsburgh) and Jimmy Wilkerson (Tampa Bay), they should pick up at least one, maybe two compensation picks.
Because they have spots on the roster to fill, the Chiefs figure to be very active in the post-Draft market for college free agents. Those cost money as well.
Also, expect the Chiefs to work hard to sign some of their young talent to new contracts before the reach free agency.
That money will get spent. If thereís one thing the Chiefs have not been deficient in over the last 10 years itís managing the salary cap. They are among the best in the business.
I thought the point about affording the 10-12 drafted players plus the college free agents is a good one.
I think it could be a really fun day if the Chiefs decide to trade out of the #5 pick and end up grabbing a couple additional picks. We could see the Chiefs with possibly 15 or so picks. That would be amazing.