What we should do before the beginning of the 2009 season?
Well, it's post-draft. While we could all argue for the next few years whether the Chiefs draft was bad or good (and I thought it was great), I think everyone agree we have work still to do to present a competitive team on the field in 2009. Here are my suggestions:
1. Trade our 2nd rounder to the Cards for Anquan Boldin.
The Boldin/Haley spat last season has been massively overrported. Boldin has already said that he would play for Haley again. Trade our second rounder and immediately upgrade our WR spot. Bowe/Boldin/Bradley/Engram would be the best WR corps in the AFC West. And it would be fairly young. This seems like a no-brainer.
BTW, I said our 2nd rounder, not the 2nd rounder for TG, because that it the pick I think Arizona would want.
2. Sign Travis LaBoy to a two-year $3M contract.
A no-brainer. He would be a cheap reserve at OLB (in the 3-4) and DE (in the 4-3). He's familiar with the 3-4. He averages 13 games a season, which isn't great, but he isn't as fragile as people think either.
3. Sign Larry Foote to a two-year $8M contract.
Another no-brainer. He would be starting for us from Game 1 at ILB. Foote is a fantastic ILB who's started for two SB Pittsburgh teams. He hasn't missed a game since his rookie year.
This would give us a LB corps of DJ/Foote/Thomas/Vrabel. Beisel and Laboy would be our main reserves. Hali would be our project at the position. Our LB corps, which was so putrid in 2008, would actually be the strength of the defense.
4. Sign Mark Tauscher or Levi Jones to a one-year contract
Both are coming off injuries. Both are also better than any player we currently have at RT. A one-year contract will be insurance if they get injured again. It will also give the Chiefs time to bring Richardson and/or Brown along.
5. Entertain trade offers for Thigpen and Hali
I like Thigpen. I don't think any player in the NFL could have done much better than he did last season given our OL. He is a good backup. But as we get closer to the beginning of the season, teams like Seattle, Carolina, Tennesse, and Jacksonville with old starting QBs, no legitimate backups, and playoff aspirations might look at Thigpen as an excellent insurance policy. If we get offered a 3rd rounder or above, it might be in our best interest to take it.
As for Hali, he no longer fits our defense. He's a project to be a 3-4 OLB, and he won't even start at DE if we're in a 4-3. If we can get any value for him, let's do so.
6. Get our picks signed and in camp on time
I don't think anyone disagrees.
7. Don't trade LJ or Dorsey
Not only for the cap hit, but because their changed circumstances (LJ's no longer guarenteed and Dorsey's moving to DE) gives them more value than we'd ever get back in a trade.
8. Sign Cassel to a long term contract.
Just do it. Having your potential QBOTF spend a whole year auditioning is only going to lead to holdouts and hurt feelings. We don't need a Cutler situation here.
9. Don't sign Jason Taylor.
Not because he's too old, but because I don't see him having a great place in our defense, and because he doesn't play well in the cold.
Well, those are nine things I think could help the Chiefs in 2009 and beyond. The signings I listed (LaBoy, Foote, and a RT) would total about $9M, Boldin would be about $9M, so we would still have tons of cap room to sign our rookies, even before signing Cassel long term.
Feel free to agree/disagree, or to add your own.