1. Justin Houston – It seems like a cruel joke that we keep talking about the fact the two sides can’t find common ground to get a deal done. As contract talks stand at the moment, the Chiefs have offered Houston a pile of guaranteed cash – yet that’s not good enough for KC’s All Pro Linebacker.
It’s no fault of the Chiefs for failing to secure Houston long term. Yet, it would appear Houston isn’t going to sign unless the Chiefs hit his number. Though we’re probably talking about $10 million in guarantees overall, Kansas City might be best served just caving into his demands and ending the stalemate.
2. Evan Mathis – Head Coach, Andy Reid, can deny it all he wants, but General Manager, John Dorsey, has spoke to his agent, Drew Rosenhous about getting a deal done with Kansas City. The issue for the Chiefs in delaying the signing, in what I perceive to be inevitable marriage between the two parties, rests solely on cap restrictions.
The addition of Mathis would give the Chiefs the best offensive line in the AFC West. Though he’s long in the tooth in NFL years, the man is the best guard in the game today. Still it’s not going to be cheap to sign himm but I suspect at some point, the two sides will ultimately find common ground or move on.
3. Mychal Kendricks – Though he’s still a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, the Chiefs were rumored to be in pursuit of the inside linebacker during draft weekend. On Thursday, he nicked his forearm and the severity of the injury has yet to be determined – so that could make this potential trade a mute point.
If training camp began today, the Chiefs would be perilously thin at inside linebacker. Though Derrick Johnson showed improvement the last two weeks, I still don’t think he’s ready for full time duty. Making a deal for Kendricks, who wants out of Philly, makes so much sense – it probably won’t happen.
4. Chase Daniel – It’s perplexing the Chiefs haven’t made an effort to restructure Daniel’s contract. With $4.5 million in cap space tied up to a quarterback in 2015, for a player that might open the season as the third man on the depth chart, something doesn’t equate.
Further, the improvement of Aaron Murray, the last two weeks can’t be overlooked. At the moment, he might not be the Quarterback of the Future, but it’s clear the lights came on this month and he might be ready to back-up Alex Smith this season.
5. Andy Reid – Though he’s scheduled to depart for some well deserved rest next week, the head coach has to be pleased with what he’s seen since OTA’s began. Still, he has one big item on paper he must cement before landing in St. Joe August 1st.
The biggest issue left on his plate will be to solve the five-man crew that will protect his quarterback. Putting aside the Mathis chase for a moment, Reid’s forte in the NFL has been building a mammoth offensive line that can create havoc for opposing defenses.
Though he’s clearly stated the best five will start come opening day, that unit needs to be penciled in between now and the beginning of training camp. The entire fortunes of the Chiefs offense in 2015 is quite latterly dependent on the men up front playing like Gods.
We can talk all we want about the trio of playmakers the Chiefs have in their midst, Running Back Jamaal Charles, Wide Receiver Jeremy Maclin and Tight End Travis Kelce, they won’t do very much this season unless Reid’s offensive line can protect Alex Smith.
Perhaps I’m regurgitating a bit but maybe signing Mathis is the final piece to this teams 2015 puzzle. Should they get that done, Reid can put his pencil away and enjoy his off time.
Photos: Denny Medley USA Today Sports