Change Is Good

Tuesday afternoon the Chiefs acquired another draft pick for a player who no longer fits their 2007 plans. No, that player was not quarterback Trent Green. Veteran kicker Lawrence Tynes was sent to the New York Giants for a conditional 2008 seventh-round draft pick.

The Chiefs continue to stockpile draft choices. To date they have all seven of their original 2008 draft choices and they've added two seventh-round picks by trading defensive tackle Ryan Sims and now Tynes. They'll eventually receive a pick from the Miami Dolphins for Green, giving them 10 picks.

When you factor in the likelihood the Chiefs will get compensatory picks for the free agent defections of tackle Jordan Black (Houston) and linebacker Kawika Mitchell (Giants), the team will likely have 12 picks at their disposal. If the Chiefs are able to find a buyer for the services of veteran safety Greg Wesley before training camp, that would give them a baker's dozen in next April's draft. That's how you rebuild an aging roster.

The Chiefs drafted seven players this past April, and from the outside looking in each of them has a shot at making the final roster. When you factor in a couple of un-drafted free agents, that's nine or 10 new players on the roster.

Herm Edwards has a plan - get younger or get fired trying to turn over the age of the roster. I've talked about this a million times, but the cupboard was empty for the most part when Edwards inherited this team from Dick Vermeil.

Don't think for a minute that Edwards didn't know what he had to do to make this organization more competitive year in and year out. The fact the team went to the playoffs a year ago was a bonus.

If Edwards learned anything from last year's 9-7 squad, it was that he didn't exorcise as many players from the 2005 roster as he would have liked to. He cut a few of them but knew he had a roster filled with players he didn't really want. But you can only do so much in one NFL season.

Tuesday's trade should signal to the fans that Edwards is putting together a roster of players who he believes can win NFL games now and in the future. That doesn't mean this team is going to repeat as a playoff participant this season, but it does signal he's learned almost everything he can about the players on his team a year ago.

Since the season ended, the team has replaced deep snapper Kendall Gammon with a younger player in JP Darche. Tynes was jettisoned for a younger kicker in Justin Medlock. Gone is defensive end Eric Hicks in favor of rookie Turk McBride. Eventually, Green will be replaced with second-year man Brodie Croyle.

As I mentioned before, the Chiefs traded Sims. His job will likely go to rookie Tank Tyler, based on nothing more than the coaches' evaluation that a young kid is a better football player than the old one who never lived up to expectations.

A player like Samie Parker could be replaced by rookie receiver Dwayne Bowe. Safeties Jarrad Page and Bernard Pollard have already replaced Sammy Knight - who was cut in March - and Wesley, who will be cut if not traded.

There are a host of other veterans who will be looking over their shoulders as the roster purge continues until opening day in September.

When Edwards served up the youth in New York, the Jets started winning more games. It didn't happen right away, but three playoff seasons in five years was not a fluke. Now in Kansas City he's about to embark on a new challenge, one that has him optimistic in year number two because he has overturned at least half of his roster.

This will be a big year for Edwards, but you have to like what he's done in the offseason. He's made this football team younger and tougher while serving notice that the new Sheriff is truly in charge.

And for those veteran players who still don't believe it, they better think about next year's offseason, when the Chiefs will select 12 or 13 new bodies to compete for jobs in 2008 and beyond.

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