Drum Beats: Chiefs Unrestricted Free Agents

In about a month the NFL's free agency extravaganza begins. Before the Chiefs decide who to pursue from other teams, they've got to make decisions on their unrestricted free agents. Here's a quick look at the guys up for either re-signing or being let go, with the exception of QB Damon Huard and LB Kawika Mitchell, both of whom deserve their own articles.

OT Jordan Black

As an offensive tackle, Black probably isn't the long term answer for the Chiefs. He would, however, be a pretty good candidate as a guard, and a better one than restricted free agent Kevin Sampson. Black has a nasty temperament, and can be strong at the point of attack. He just doesn't appear to have the ability in space you'd expect from an NFL caliber left tackle. In his defense, he's been moved all around the offensive line since arriving here. Unfortunately, I'm not so sure he's going to get the chance to show what he can do at guard for the Chiefs next season. I don't think he'll be back.

RB Dee Brown

This is a tough one. On one hand, Dee Brown is a fantastic special teams player. He blocks well in pass protection, can catch the ball and has good speed. On the other hand, his vision isn't very good, which unfortunately doesn't bode well for a running back. Second-year back Derrick Ross made strides last year, learning a few lessons the hard way, but indications out of Arrowhead are that he'll be given every opportunity to be the third back. Brown probably won't be back next season.

DT Ron Edwards

The Chiefs need an upgrade at defensive tackle. Although Edwards played the run fairly well at times, he never got a consistent rush up the middle, and that was an absolute killer. The Chiefs need a starter that can at least pressure the quarterback from the middle of the defensive line. Edwards would make a fine rotation player - look for him in that role when he returns to the Chiefs.

DT James Reed

Reed is a decent player against the run, but like Edwards lacks the ability to push the pocket and put pressure on the quarterback. Despite pushing Ryan Sims and Lional Dalton out of their starting spots last season, Reed will likely be looking for a new team next year.

LS Kendall Gammon

What to do with Kendall Gammon? He gives head coach Herm Edwards peace of mind in the kicking game, knowing that at least the snap will be dead on. That's the sort of thing that gets taken for granted, until one gets botched. We've seen the Dallas Cowboys drop a game this postseason on a fumbled snap. The question is the same as it's been for several years now - do the Chiefs want to burn a roster spot and contract dollars on a guy who does one thing? He's the best in the league at it. Look for him to come back next year.

CB Lenny Walls

The Chiefs were pleasantly surprised by Walls in training camp last season. At 6-foot-5, it's hard to believe Walls is so fluid in coverage. Unfortunately, he may not be as fluid as the Chiefs would like him to be. He's the polar opposite of Benny Sapp in coverage - the Chiefs can't put him on the inside, because he tends to struggle against the smaller, quick twitch slot receivers. When Sapp went down, the Chiefs moved Patrick Surtain to the inside, and put Walls on the outside. He gave up more than a few big plays, although some of those plays could be attributed to the safety. The Chiefs like Michael Bragg and Marcus Maxey, and they'll get the opportunity to improve this offseason. Right now, it's unclear whether or not the Chiefs will ask Walls back.

DL Jimmy Wilkerson

Wilkerson's one of the guys in this class the Chiefs really can't afford to lose. Sure, he doesn't start, but he's the Chiefs most versatile defensive lineman. He gives the Chiefs an above average rotation player at both the defensive tackle and defensive end position. The Chiefs are high on him. He's been a steadily ascending player since he arrived in Kansas City, and he'll likely get an offer from the Chiefs to return, if a deal isn't already in place.

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