With offseason workouts and minicamps in the rearview mirror and training camps a few weeks away, we assess the Kansas City Chiefs' offseason moves and assign a letter grade in the video above.
Best move: The Chiefs had a desperate need for a big-play wide receiver and appear to have found the perfect fit in veteran free agent Jeremy Maclin. The Chiefs don’t have to wonder if Maclin will fit into their offensive system. He played for Andy Reid with the Philadelphia Eagles early in his career, so he should be able to immediately produce for the Chiefs. Kansas City was last in the NFL at wide receiver in almost every significant statistical category last season but that should change with Maclin in the lineup. Another good move was the acquisition of a former Pro Bowl guard Ben Grubbs, from the New Orleans Saints, in return for a fifth-round draft pick. The Chiefs were perhaps the NFL’s worst team at guard last season, so Grubbs should make a big impact.
Riskiest move: Cornerback Marcus Peters was thrown off the team last season at the University of Washington after a confrontation with an assistant coach. That incident dropped him down more than one draft board around the league. At least one team removed Peters from its draft board completely. But the Chiefs felt comfortable drafting Peters with the 18th overall pick. They cited their strong locker room and the presence of two former NFL corners, Emmitt Thomas and Al Harris, on their coaching staff as reasons the selection will work. Perhaps it will. For now, at least, it feels like the Chiefs are guilty of forcing a need with Peters. The Chiefs’ only established cornerback, Sean Smith, is heading into the final season of his contract and faces a possible NFL suspension this year for a violation of the substance-abuse policy after pleading guilty to DUI.
No contract for Houston: The thing that could have to most impact this offseason is what the Chiefs didn’t get done: agree to a long-term contract with linebacker Justin Houston, who led the NFL in sacks last season with 22. They retained his rights by making him their franchise player, but he has yet to sign the Chiefs’ one-year contract offer worth about $13.2 million and he didn’t show for offseason workouts or practice. If Houston’s absence is an extended one, it threatens to ruin the Chiefs’ season. They drafted one pass-rusher, Dee Ford, in the first round last year. They restructured the contract of another, Tamba Hali, to allow him to stay in Kansas City one more season. But Houston is a talented player and far more than just a pass-rusher. He would be missed.
Training camp outlook: Other than Houston’s possible absence, the Chiefs are in good shape heading into training camp. They have some issues to sort through at camp, the most notable being their offensive line. They tried several different combinations during offseason practice but need to identify the five best players and let them work once training camp begins. Only Eric Fisher at left tackle and Grubbs at left guard look like sure bets to begin the regular season in the starting lineup. Depending on health and the development of young players, the Chiefs also could need veteran help at wide receiver, tight end and center.