Fortunately, the Kansas City Chiefs are not one of those teams. In fact, they will be hefty spenders and they have their eye on one linebacker who might just be a cap casualty.
As we've been touting for over a month, the Green Bay Packers are expected to cut starting inside linebacker Nick Barnett. The Super Bowl champs must trim some significant payroll and Barnett's 2011 cap number is $7.4 million. Should they indeed cut one of their premier defensive players, they'd safe roughly $4.5 million this season.
There is no secret in Kansas City that the Chiefs defense is light at inside linebacker. With Derrick Johnson emerging as a prime time player a year ago, this team must find another backer that can give him some help.
Enter Barnett, who from all accounts is about to be set free, once the players ratify a new CBA.
According to Bill Huber, who runs
Packer Report.com for Fox Sports, said that outside of the Chiefs, AFC West division rival San Diego, the Tennessee Titans, New York Giants, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers might also be good fits for Barnett.
So is he a good fit for the Chiefs?
As Huber points out, Barnett has decent coverage skills but hasn't had a single interception in three seasons. Sure he can pile up tackles. But so can the player he'd be replacing in the starting lineup for the Chiefs, Jovan Belcher.
But to sign Barnett, assuming he is indeed cut by the Packers, he's not going to come cheap. In fact, because of his fiery nature, leadership and solid overall skill set, he might be one of the leagues top free agents at his position.
The Chiefs have to spend money because of their low cap number. But they need to be wise in how they do it. Barnett, despite the fact he turned 30 years old this past May, could be a perfect infusion in what could eventually be a solid linebacker core that includes DJ, Tamba Hali and Justin Houston.
And the Chiefs have not had that type of talent across the board at that position, since the Glory Days!
Chiefs FA Target: Aurbrayo Franklin
Chiefs FA Target: Vernon Gholston
Chiefs FA Target: Plaxico Burress
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
Should the Chiefs make a run for this Nick?
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