1. WR Jeremy Maclin (Eagles) - This might be the biggest free agent acquisition since Running Back, Marcus Allen came to the Chiefs over two decades ago.
Maclin has impeccable credentials and has proven his worth on the football field. Though I suggest we forget the stats that afforded him to earn a whopping $55 Million contract from the chiefs. Instead we should focus on the fact he’s an outstanding human being, who has shown a breath of fresh air humility that is second to none in my twenty years of covering NFL football.
During his tenure in Philadelphia he was a leader on and off the field. The fact he’s being reunited with the man that drafted him, Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid, says a lot about his overall character.
Reid was nervous at the onset of free agency because he coveted Maclin more than any other player on the open market. He stated after the signing that nerves ruled his thoughts until the deal with Maclin was consummated.
For Maclin, it’s a chance to return to his Midwest roots and bring a level of excitement at the receiver position this organization has lacked for over a decade.
2. LG Ben Grubbs (Saints) - Acquired in a trade for a modest fifth round pick from the New Orleans Saints, Grubbs will open at left guard for the Chiefs. He was a stellar two-time pro bowl player for the Saints and he brings a maulers mentality to the offensive line that’s been missing in Kansas City for quite sometime.
Though Grubbs is 31 years of age don’t let that be a hindrance to the impact he can make on this offensive line. In fact, should the Chiefs avoid taking a left tackle in the 2015 NFL Draft later this month, he will do wonders for incumbent, Eric Fisher, as his sidekick on the offensive line.
3. RG Paul Fanaika (Cardinals) - As a member of the Arizona Cardinals starting offensive line last season, not many Chiefs fans knew much about Fanaika. Like Grubbs, he’s a mauler on the offensive line. Though Arizona let him go without much of a fight the Chiefs quickly identified him as a player that could help settle the right side of their line.
Though he’ll compete with second year guard, Zach Fulton for the starters role, the Chiefs see Fanaika as the type of lineman that best fits their offensive style. Reid likes big physical guys on the line of scrimmage. Though Fanaika has some work to do in pass protection, his addition allows the Chiefs to give Fulton more time to develop and allow them to focus on other areas in the NFL Draft.
4. WR Jason Avant (Chiefs) - As a member of the Chiefs a year ago, Avant brought a work ethic to the receiver position that was sorely lacking in 2014. Forget the touchdown record the Chiefs set for futility, he was an upgrade to the group.
Reid worked with Avant and Maclin in Philadelphia so it made sense to re-sign him for the 2015 season. What Avant brings to the Chiefs is a receiver who runs great routes, has solid hands and understands Reid’s complex offense. However, the biggest item he gives the Chiefs offense is the fact he understands his role on offense.
5. WR Da’Rick Rogers (Colts) - There isn’t much risk in signing a former undrafted free agent who had some off the field issues cutting short his 2014 season. As a member of the Indianapolis Colts, he was arrested for a DUI and was quickly jettisoned from the roster last season.
In Kansas City, the former Tennessee standout will get another chance to revive his career. Though his NFL credentials are light on numbers, stats and experience, the fact the Chiefs are taking a flyer on him constitutes a very low risk for the organization.
6. QB Terrelle Pryor (Seahawks) - As a supplemental pick of the Oakland Raiders in 2011; Pryor comes to the Chiefs hoping to extend his NFL career. The competition at the back up position behind starter, Alex Smith, might be a bit crowded.
Currently Chase Daniel has the understudy role locked down. That means Pryor, Tyler Bray and Aaron Murray, will compete for the final roster spot at quarterback. Pryor certainly has the experience over Bray and Murray but that doesn’t guarantee much.
7. S Tyvon Branch (Raiders) - When the Oakland Raiders released Branch in February; the Chiefs were quick to get him under contract. Always considered a solid safety at the NFL level, injuries leveled his playing time. The Raiders felt he was finished but the Chiefs felt he’s just getting started.
Though he only signed a one-year (prove it) deal in Kansas City, he could line up as the teams starting safety opposite Ron Parker. Even if he plays in Nickel situations, he brings vast experience to the Chiefs secondary.
8> CB Ron Parker (Chiefs) - His remarkable story to the NFL has been quite amazing. He’s been cut more times than you can count yet the Chiefs awarded him with a long term contract that justified his place as the teams starting safety in 2015 and beyond.
Though he bounced back and forth between Safety and Cornerback, his best spot might indeed by in the deep secondary for the Chiefs. With the likelihood, Eric Berry, sits out the 2015 season, Parker’s experience is invaluable to Chiefs defense at both positions.
9. LB Josh Mauga (Chiefs) - After five seasons with the New York Jets, he came to the Chiefs as back-up player in 2014. The former Nevada standout had some success with the Jets under, KC Defensive Coordinator, Bob Sutton.
In March, the Chiefs gave him a new contract hoping he could compete for a starters role in 2015. That might be difficult based on his overall talent, but with the jury still out on the injury recovery of Linebacker, Derrick Johnson and the departure of Joe Mays via free agency, the Chiefs had little choice but to re-sign Mauga.