Pryce Could Be Right in Kansas City

That cheer you thought you heard earlir last week were from the Kansas City Chiefs faithful reacting to news that defensive lineman Trevor Pryce was released by the Broncos. That's right. The one man wrecking crew who personally dismantled each of the Chiefs offensive lineman last season has been let go and Kansas City should make a run for him when free agency begins later this evening.

So how did Pryce end up on the streets? Money. The Broncos were way over the salary cap, and had to make some drastic moves to get under what looks to be a 95-100 million dollar salary limit. Cutting Pryce loose saved the Broncos 8.5 million dollars and gave the rest of the AFC West piece of mind.

Once, when Will Shields was asked which players were toughest for him to block, he named the four time Pro Bowler Pryce.

In the first game against the Broncos last season, Pryce abused the vaunted Chiefs line. He didn't record any sacks, but he terrorized quarterback Trent Green, disrupting the timing of the Chiefs offense. Pryce finished last year with 33 tackles and 4 sacks. Sure, those numbers aren't great, but they don't tell the full story.

The Broncos defensive scheme doesn't turn their defensive linemen loose to go after the quarterback. The job of the defensive linemen in that scheme is to occupy blockers to allow their speedy linebackers to make plays. Unless a play takes a very long time, their defensive linemen don't get a lot of shots at the quarterback. The Broncos generated only 15 sacks from the defensive line last year.

Now, if Pryce went to the Chiefs, he could be turned loose to get after the quarterback. The Chiefs want their defensive linemen to get upfield and disrupt the other team's timing. This could be the perfect scenario for Pryce, who despite turning 30, is still athletic enough to pursue the quarterback. In defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham's aggressive scheme, Pryce would be the perfect bookend for young gun Jared Allen.

If Pryce took the field opposite Allen, offenses couldn't just double team the Chiefs finest sack artist. He'd create the classic "pick your poison" dilemma for offensive linemen. Double team Allen or double team Pryce? Either way you're screwed.

The Chiefs know firsthand how troublesome Pryce can be to offenses. Plus, with his age, he could be one of the best values at the position in free agency. The marquee defensive end this offseason, John Abraham of the New York Jets, was hit with franchise tag. The Jets are shopping Abraham, but they want big compensation in exchange for him. Darren Howard of the New Orleans Saints is a good player, but he comes with question marks about his motivation.

Aaron Kampman of the Green Bay Packers, is a great player, but the way he's played the last couple of seasons, his asking price will likely be high. Pryce won't be cheap, but he adds the most bang for the bucks. He's also very familiar with the AFC West, having spent his entire career to date with the Denver Broncos. That's significant. Pryce has been around long enough to know the tendencies of each offensive lineman he'd face in the division.

The Chiefs are going to need help on the defensive line if they want to improve on last season's 10-6 record and get to the playoffs. Adding Trevor Pryce would be a huge step in improving not just the defensive line, but the entire defense.

Now, if Pryce does something like demand a double digit signing bonus, all bets are off. If he's reasonable, the Chiefs should jump on him. Pryce could give the Chiefs maybe two or three more good years. At least take a look.

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