Is Peter Boulware an Option for Chiefs?

When news hit on Wednesday afternoon that the Baltimore Ravens had released linebacker/pass rushing specialist Peter Boulware; immediately speculation began that the Kansas City Chiefs might be one of the teams that might be willing to take a gamble on his services.

Though this has been the best off-season in Chiefs history with the addition of a plethora of free agents, a solid draft and some shrewd additions via the undrafted free agent route, Kansas City could still be in the market for another veteran or two along the defense.

That possibility could have increased when the Ravens released their all-time sack leader Peter Boulware. For a moment, I had thoughts dancing in my brain about the late Derrick Thomas who some compare to Boulware. The former Florida State product came into the NFL with a reputation of getting to the quarterback and he's done nothing in his NFL career to suggest he's still not capable of continuing that feat for another team.

He became the Ravens all time sack leader with 67.5 back in the 2003 season. But the 30-year old defensive player missed the entire 2004 season due to his second major injury in two seasons in Baltimore and so the team felt justified that his best days were behind him.

By releasing the Boulware, the Ravens will take a $1.5 million cap hit this year. Now the question becomes; can he get the kind of money he's expecting from any other NFL team.

Linebacker Chad Brown who was cut by Seattle in April might have set the bar for veteran linebackers when he signed a two-year deal worth $2 million per season with the New England Patriots. But Boulware is much younger, so it's reasonable to expect that he could command more money. In order for that to happen, NFL teams would have to be 100% convinced that he's healthy.

As the Chiefs did with linebacker Kendrell Bell who they signed as a free agent in March, they'd have to be sure that Boulware could get on the field by September. Like Bell, Boulware has had a career riddled with injuries. Now that pattern can follow a player from year to year. Still talents like Boulware who will be entering his 8th professional season; should give teams hope that he has another couple of productive years ahead of him.

Still this move might have had more to do with money than his previous injuries. The Ravens have been active this off-season in free agency most notably signing cornerback Samari Rolle and wide receiver Derrick Mason away from Tennessee.

Boulware would give the Chiefs another pass rusher opposite Jared Allen and newly acquired defensive end Carlos Hall. The good thing about playing for the Chiefs, Boulware would not be an every down player and that could reduce his propensity for injuries.

Regardless, if he wants to come to Kansas City, then he'll have to agree to the NFL league minimum and agree to play for one year under those terms. If he has a great year, then the Chiefs can sign him to a long term deal. Granted Boulware would be a luxury for Kansas City but having him on the roster gives Gunther Cunningham more toys to play with on defense this season. And that's not a bad thing to have in your hip pocket.


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