To say those moves hit the Chiefs 53-man roster hard, can only be identified with a singular word – puzzling. Suddenly the team that started 9-0 last season losses five starters and a quite possible a sixth, Akeem Jordan, in the opening day of free agency.
Granted only the loss of Schwartz really has me upset. Still it's never wise to lose that many starters unless they're ready replacements on the roster.
A year ago the Chiefs had roughly $30 million in cap space heading into free agency. To that light, the Chiefs had no choice a year ago to spend some money because the draft success under Pioli during his tenure was abysmal.
To prove my point, after Tuesdays mass exodus in Kansas City, only a pair of Pioli draft picks remain on the starting roster, Safety Eric Berry and Kicker Ryan Succop.
The latter was the final pick of the 2009 NFL draft and Pioli wasn't even in the draft room when the selection was made – it was made by the head of college scouting. So technically, Berry is the sole remaining Pioli draft pick on the Chiefs 2014 roster.
Yes Pioli did nab both Donald Stephenson and Jeff Allen but despite the Chiefs lost three offensive linemen on Tuesday, neither is an absolute lock to start next season.
Think about that for a minute?
So if you're wondering why the Chiefs are sitting on the sidelines with a mere $10 million in cap space at the early stages of free agency, you could place the blame of their situation squarely at the feet of Pioli.
In his tenure in Kansas City, he didn't draft well or garner any significant free agent bodies that forced the Chiefs new regime a year ago to dump over 30 players that had been assembled during the Pioli era and spend all their cap dollars on rebuilding over half of the roster.
Add that depressing item with this one – the Chiefs are taking a $22 million cap hit in 2014 for one aging veteran, Linebacker Tamba Hali and the aforementioned Berry.
In my view, neither are long term fits for the Chiefs. Further if Pioli had the foresight before he handed off the baton to the new guys, perhaps the Chiefs 2014 cap restrictions would have been unshackled.
So if the team wants to be aggressive in day two or three of free agency, either Hali or Berry may have to be cut in the coming days to begin the new overhaul of the Chiefs roster. And wouldn't it be ironic if Pioli orchestrated a trade in the coming days with the Chiefs to get Berry in an Atlanta Falcons uniform?
In reality, there's certainly a lot of blame to go around for the "Patriot Tab' that new General Manager, John Dorsey and Head Coach Andy Reid, have to swallow this season.
However, there is good news. A year from now the Chiefs will have much more cap flexibility. But that won't help the team rebuild its roster this season.
Still if you're looking for an absolute silver lining in regards to the money the Chiefs spent a year ago in free agency will be eligible to clear significant cap room a year from now setting up the new golden ages of free agent spending with a salary cap that could approach $145 million in 2015.
But that number will be a moot point if the Chiefs don't do a better job in the 2014 NFL draft. Last years class can be categorized to date as incomplete. If we're being real and not acting to bitter over the Chiefs lack of action in day one of free agency, last years class didn't fair much better than those guided by Pioli.
So looking ahead, this franchise faces a brutal 2014 schedule, huge question marks in who will replace the starters they lost in free agency makes the next moves this franchise makes the next few months the overriding factor if the Chiefs can exceed an 8-8 record this season.
But no matter what unfolds between the players the Chiefs acquire in free agency the next few months, or those they hand select via the NFL Draft, the totality of the wins and losses this franchise ultimately achieves this season, we can definitively say are directly related to this singular fact - the entire Scott Pioli era was an absolute bust for the Kansas City Chiefs.
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
Do you agree paying off the Pioli tab will ultimately make the Chiefs a better team?
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