In the first hour and a half of free agency, a storm blew through Kansas City.
The Chiefs lost five free agents before you could say Marty Schottenheimer, with three-fifths of their offensive line — left tackle Branden Albert, and guards Jon Asamoah and Geoff Schwartz — along with defensive end Tyson Jackson and receiver-returner Dexter McCluster all skipping town almost immediately.
From 2-14 to the playoffs to having to fill some serious gaps, all in a 14-month span.
[Be sure to check out Shutdown Corner's NFL free-agent rankings. Click here for the list of offensive players, and click here for the list of defensive and special teams players]
The Chiefs are by no means in major trouble here, but there is work to be done. Let's start up front. Eric Fisher was the No. 1 overall pick a year ago, playing right tackle, and though GM John Dorsey said that Fisher was the right tackle "for now" at the scouting combine last month, those plans now have changed. Really, the Chiefs have planned for Albert walking for about a year, when they decided to make Fisher the top pick. Now, he has to play like one — and at the demanding left tackle spot.
Fisher at left tackle and Jeff Allen at left guard is a bit scary. Neither player has shown it yet. Donald Stephenson is a good swing tackle, but he's the likely starter on the right side, unless Fisher is not yet ready. Center Rodney Hudson is a year out from free agency. We don't know who the right guard will be (Rishaw Johnson?). The Chiefs have time, money and the draft to fill these spots, but they need bodies up front.
The other spots might be better protected. Allen Bailey can step in for Jackson, and that might be a fairly even swap without a huge dropoff. Neither is a playmaker, honestly. CFL signee Weston Dressler could fill McCluster's role as a returner and, who knows? Maybe Junior Hemingway or a rookie will take that spot as a wideout.
Safety Kendrick Lewis also will walk at some point, but Sanders Commings will get the first crack at filling that spot.
So the Chiefs are far from crushed with Tuesday's pillaging, but that offensive line does scare you. Especially when Alex Smith is the quarterback and Jamaal Charles is the running back. These are two rather lean men who must be protected and well-blocked for.
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