Dreaming of Larry

The Warpaint Illustrated message boards began rumbling this past weekend at the mere mention the Chiefs and Cardinals were discussing a deal that would have reunited Todd Haley with Larry Fitzgerald. But as the trade deadline passed, I closed my eyes and began to daydream about what could have been – and what could still be.

I can hear the Arrowhead crowd erupt as Larry Fitzgerald sprints out of the tunnel and jogs across the thick Bermuda grass on game day. I can see his tangled locks hang out the back of the KC-stamped helmet and bounce off the number 11 of his crimson red jersey.

In fact, the Chiefs Nation will get their chance to see Fitzgerald up close and personal on November 21 when Kansas City hosts the Cardinals. But will the dream of seeing him in a Chiefs uniform ever become a reality?

I say why not?

Regardless of the improved play of Dwayne Bowe, the Chiefs are in desperate need to add a deep threat. Even more they need an elite offensive players on their roster. The Chiefs marketing department has been struggling to put a face on this franchise for years and the injection of a star like Fitzgerald could ignite a sleeping giant for the Arrowhead faithful.

Chairman Clark Hunt invested millions in the restoration of the New Arrowhead. I've heard many fans throw stones at Hunt for his perceived lack of spending on top-notch free agents, but for the most part, these jabs are completely unfair.

Hunt opened his pocketbook this past offseason and assembled one of the highest paid coaching staffs roaming NFL sidelines in 2010. You don't hire the world's best jockey if you don't have a horse for him to ride. And you don't stock up on top tier coaches, without the intent of giving them some toys to play with.

Fitzgerald could be that toy if Pioli and Hunt are willing to pay the price.

At this point, everything we hear out of Arizona, indicates the 27-year old is on the decline. And the Cardinals would love to start a rebuilding process by acquiring draft picks for their current stars. However, in the offseason, when Fitzgerald will be available for trade, that asking price will be mighty steep.

But I don't hear many Minnesota Vikings fans complaining after benefiting from their acquisition of Jared Allen from the Chiefs three years ago.

It would have been nice to see Pioli make a move prior to the trade deadline – other than dumping Alex Magee. But realistically his hands are tied until the spring. At that point, Pioli needs to evaluate every position on his roster and then he can think about adding a luxury position to his roster.

But any move he makes could be determined on his quarterback. The Chiefs could save a significant roster bonus in March if they dump Cassel. At the moment, the Chiefs are fighting for a playoff spot. If that's still the case in December, Pioli might have to keep Cassel and make other plans in March or April.

Chiefs fans would love to see Larry Fitzgerald in St. Joe next summer.
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But regardless of the Cassel decision he has to make in March, would Pioli really give up a first or second round pick for Fitzgerald? Will any of the projected rookies, in what could be a very deep and talented draft, be as good as Fitzgerald?

He is the epitome of what Todd Haley refers to as the "right 53". And if he could pair him up with Bowe, the Chiefs offense could take a major jump in 2011.

But despite the lofty price tag that it would take to land Fitzgerald or any other significant free agent, Pioli generally takes the cautious approach. But if he feels that any player is the final piece to his roster puzzle, history suggests he'll get the deal done.

In New England, he traded for then-Raider Randy Moss. Although at the time it only took a fourth round pick to land Moss, it shows that Pioli is willing to pay for marquee playmakers.

You won't find a bigger cheerleader for this trade then Haley. They spent two years together at Arizona. In fact, on WarpaintIllustrated.com over the weekend, our Chiefs Insider Nick Athan, heard Fitzgerald would love to be reunited with Haley.

And although I awake from this dream a little discouraged, I awake with optimism that my dream is not yet lost. Because maybe someday, I could be watching Fitzgerald in a Chiefs jersey hoisting the Lamar Hunt Trophy.

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