It was a simple plan. The Chiefs targeted center Jeff Faine and kicker Josh Brown. Together, they wouldn't come cheap, but with $25.5 million in cap space it was doable.
Kansas City had been unofficially courting Faine over the last month as free agency's top center. It was a two-team race between the Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the Chiefs fell way short of the finish line.
By 12:20 AM on Friday, Faine had agreed to a deal paying him $15 million in guarantees with an average salary of $3.5 million per year over five seasons. Those are the real dollars of the deal, which would have easily fit in KC's budget.
Even though Faine is slightly undersized, he has a reputation as one of the NFL's fiercest linemen. He would have been a perfect fit in Chan Gailey's new offensive system.
Instead, the Chiefs are left to pick over few options in free agency. Warpaint Illustrated has learned that the team might consider bringing back Casey Wiegmann, who has thus far received only marginal interest from other NFL teams.
Otherwise, the Chiefs have three choices. They can move guard Brian Waters to center, hope that Rudy Niswanger can recover from knee surgery, or draft a center in April.
Kansas City's other early free agent target, kicker Josh Brown, told the Chiefs he would visit the St. Louis Rams before traveling to Kansas City. Friday, the Chiefs kept in touch with Brown's agent all day long, but when veteran Rams kicker Jeff Wilkins retired, a void opened up.
Brown signed with the Rams Friday evening after turning down an offer from the Chiefs and the Seattle Seahawks, both teams that were willing to make Brown the league's highest-paid kicker.
With Faine and Brown gone, the Chiefs will move to plan B. In the next four days the Chiefs have players such as cornerback Randall Gay (New England), cornerback Jacques Reeves (Dallas) and linebacker DeMorrio Williams (Atlanta) coming in for visits.
FB Boomer Grigsby - Kansas City's starting fullback the last four games of 2007, Grigsby was not tendered a contract by Kansas City, thus making him an unrestricted free agent. He's already garnered offers from the Miami Dolphins and Carolina Panthers. Boomer told Warpaint Illustrated.com he still hopes to work out a one-year deal with the Chiefs, however.
CB Drayton Florence (San Diego) - The Chiefs had scheduled a meeting with the former Chargers cornerback. He visited Tampa Bay Friday morning but received a strong offer from Jacksonville, where he flew Friday evening. If Florence leaves Jacksonville without signing, he could land in Kansas City for a Sunday visit.
Chiefs and Free Agency: Day 1 recap
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