Kansas City Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli said Tuesday that signing cornerback Stanford doesn’t necessarily mean Brandon Carr will be playing elsewhere in 2012. In a radio interview with 810 WHB, Pioli said the team has already conveyed that fact to their cornerback and that Carr said he wants to remain in Kansas City.
I’ll say this: The signing of Stanford Routt does not impact where we’re at with Brandon Carr. As a matter of fact, Romeo and I both reached out to Brandon yesterday as this was unfolding and talked to him. I spoke personally with Brandon, and without getting into the details of what that conversation was, he knows and he’s known before that he’s someone that we want to try and keep here and he’s still someone we want to keep a Chief. This signing doesn’t eliminate the feelings that we have for Brandon and how we want to have him here. He knows that. He wants to be here. We want him here. And we’re going to try to work. If both sides find a deal that makes sense for one another, we’d love to have Brandon back. Part of the big-picture philosophy between keeping a large amount of cap room and managing the cap the right way is that when opportunities come to improve your football team with good players, you keep trying to do it. So, we had conversations not only with Brandon, but his agent and told him, "We’ve been talking, let’s continue to talk, let’s see how things work out." If we come to a deal that makes sense for everybody, let’s do that.
Still, Carr will likely sign elsewhere. The Chiefs signed No. 1 cornerback Brandon Flowers to a five-year, $52 million deal last season and they signed Routt to a three-year, $19 million-plus deal. Carr will likely sign a deal in the $7-9 million per-year range and will likely get a lot of offers. Keeping all three cornerbacks with big-money deals may be difficult even though the Chiefs expect to have more than $30 million in salary-cap room once the league year begins.
The Chiefs could put the franchise tag on Carr to either keep him in Kansas City or trade him, but that may be risky. If Carr signed the franchise tag and Kansas City couldn’t trade him, the Chiefs would have way too much money tied up at the position.
Plus, at this point, giving receiver Dwayne Bowe the franchise tag would likely be more beneficial to the team because Routt is fully capable of playing opposite Flowers. In the radio interview, Pioli hinted that Bowe could be franchised when he said “we’re hopeful to re-sign Dwayne. One way or another, we would love to have Dwayne back here as a Chief.”
It is surely interesting to hear that the Chiefs haven’t closed the door on bringing back Carr, but it would still be surprising to see that scenario play out.