On Friday, they cut Flowers and Houston likely will show up for the mandatory mini-camp sessions this week. Based on his current pay level, that $70K fine might be a bit steep for his relatively low NFL tax bracket to miss the this weeks practices.
After the release of Flowers, Houston is in a very good position to get a new contract. The same could be said for Quarterback, Alex Smith, who also wants a new deal - but his cash demands far exceed those of Houston.
Therefore General Manager, John Dorsey, could shift his signing focus by the end of the week from Smith to Houston.
But no matter how you slice up the current roster, there is concern the Chiefs won't be able to match last years win total of eleven in 2013. Still even the most optimistic person can't put that win quest out of the realm of possibility, especially if these five Chiefs elevate their games to a new level this season.
1. WR Dwayne Bowe - At the onset of OTA sessions, the Chiefs top paid receiver came into camp in the best shape of his life. That came about in large part to the fact he has a new diet and new attitude after his legal wobbles last winter.
With the past in the rear view window, Bowe is entering the second year of his mega-rich deal with Kansas City. He has much to prove. But there are indicators; a change of consistency may be on the horizon. If his playoff performance against the Indianapolis Colts was any indication of his potential, he could be poised for a good season.
However, if Bowe is going to reach that height as he did in 2010, then A.J. Jenkins has to step up as the teams other outside receiver. The good news is Jenkins has the skill set to complement Bowe. He's fast, smart, runs good routes and has solid hands. If the can do that and more, he'll garner some respect in the passing game on his side of the field which should directly benefit Bowe.
2. DT Dontari Poe - Pro Bowl season aside the Chiefs main force in the middle of the defensive line has to be more consistent in all16 games. He played great to start the year, but with no depth at the position, he wore down as the season got longer and the games more meaningful.
The good news in 2014 is the fact Kansas City has more depth along the entire defensive line than it did at any point a year ago. That should give Poe enough game day action to become a more steady force the entire season.
3. FS Husain Abdullah - With the departure of, Kendrick Lewis, via free agency, the Chiefs had a void to fill at free safety. Though the team danced with a few safeties in March, they never came close to landing any of their targets.
However, by putting Abdullah in the lineup next to strong safety, Eric Berry, the team is hardly putting up a white flag. The veteran made more plays in a part time role for Kansas City than Lewis did the entire season.
Abdullah has tremendous speed, solid ball instincts and the ability to get interceptions. Further, he compliments Berry very well. But can he cut off routes in the deep secondary and allow Berry to play up on opposing tight ends? That remains to be seen.
Regardless, this is the most critical position on the team. If Berry can earn his Pro Bowl status in 2014 and Abdullah becomes his steady sidekick, this team will win more games than it losses by seasons end.
4. LB Dee Ford - I just can't help myself. When I look at the Chiefs top draft pick, the similarities between he and the late, Derrick Thomas, can't be differentiated. When you see Ford's quick first step, the leverage he uses to get around the edge, if he ever becomes half the player of Thomas, I'd be ecstatic.
Ford has the tools to be a disruptive force on defense in 2014. With veterans, Justin Houston and Tamba Hali, in front of him, all Ford has to do is what he does best – get into the offensive backfield and create havoc.
Still he is a rookie and you never know how first round draft picks will adjust to the NFL game. However, if he can do it reasonably well, I could see double-digit sacks for the Chiefs rookie defender.
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
Will these four make a big impact in 2014?
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