Buy low, sell high. It’s good advice in the stock market but applies to football, too.
This offseason, the Chiefs believe they have done that. By letting CB Brandon Carr depart in free agency and replacing him with free-agent pickup Stanford Routt, the team believes it will see little drop-off in production while saving money under the salary cap. Carr is coming off the best season of his career and Routt is recovering from one of his worst. But if both players return to their standard level of play — which one Chiefs observer believes is highly likely — Kansas City still will have one of the NFL’s top cornerback tandems while adding cap flexibility.
Carr was terrific for the Chiefs last season, intercepting a career-high four passes and limiting long throws in his direction. However, some within the team believe the incentive of a new contract was motivation for Carr, and that after being given a five-year, $50.1 million contract from the Cowboys in March, his production drop back to where it was prior to 2011
On the other hand, Routt struggled for the Raiders last season. With Nnamdi Asomugha no longer in Oakland, Routt had to face the opponent's No. 1 wide receiver, a role he wasn’t suited to fit well. He committed 17 accepted penalties last season, second-most in the NFL, and struggled on deep throws.
PFW spoke with a team observer who believes that with returning starter Brandon Flowers filling the No. 1 CB role and Routt at No.2, where's he's best suited, the Chiefs' pass defense won’t take a step back despite the absence of Carr. The team was also able to use the money saved to fill other needs on the depth chart.