CHIEFS – The Week In Review

What happened lately in the world of Chiefs football? What does it all mean? Nick Athan is here to recap the week and offer his analysis.

Tony Gonzalez to Atlanta? – April 13, 2009

I've heard the rumors about possible interest from the Atlanta Falcons in acquiring Tony Gonzalez from the Chiefs. Michael Lombardi recently informed readers via his weekly blog that the Atlanta Falcons are considering offering the Chiefs their 2009 second-round pick (#55) for KC's disgruntled tight end. On paper, I think it's a good trade. In addition, I'd ask for a fifth rounder in 2010, but that might be the greed in me.

Everything I hear indicates Gonzalez still wants out of Kansas City. I'm not sure I fully understand his reasoning but nonetheless the Chiefs must make a decision on Gonzalez before the draft begins. Teams are calling and based on the fact he had another solid season in 2008 despite his age, he has more value now than he did a year ago. The Chiefs are working diligently to get back into the second round. To do that they may have to part with Gonzalez, Brian Waters and/or Larry Johnson.

In fact, if each can garner a second-round pick, I say trade all three. None of them really fit into the Chiefs' new system and Gonzalez might be the first to go. Kansas City will never get more value for him than right now, and in Atlanta he has the chance to get deep into the playoffs next year.

The Chiefs to me, on paper, with a good draft and few more veteran pick-ups can win the AFC West. Depending on what the Chiefs do in the first round in regards to trades and selections, they could be the favorite when it's all said and done.

They can still be the favorite if they part way with all three of the unhappy players.

The Chiefs should dump any player who does not want to be part of the team. I like the moves Scott Pioli has made to date and I'm beginning to really like the attitude Todd Haley has brought forth as the head coach.

I wasn't thrilled about the hire initially but I like what he's saying and he knows now what he has and doesn't have on this roster as the team gets ready for the draft. I'm sure the Chiefs have a few surprises up their sleeves in the next 13 days.

Trading Gonzalez might just be one of them.


Peppers to KC? – April 14, 2009

Our good friend Adam Schefter is making the rounds again on the radio. He was on WEEI in Boston, where he once claimed Scott Pioli wouldn't be a Chief. This time he's claiming that Kansas City could acquire Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers on draft day.

It makes sense considering the Chiefs' cap room and the possibility of trading the third overall pick to Denver for their 12th and 18th selections. One of those picks might be enough to land Peppers.

The scuttlebutt in NFL circles is that Peppers would play outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme and based on the Chiefs' recent addition of inside linebacker Zach Thomas, the move to land Peppers makes a lot of sense. Too much, in fact.

Thus, I'd make the trade, even though I'm not a big Peppers fan. He takes far too many plays off and I can't stand NFL players who don't give 100 percent on every snap. Even if you can't make a play, at least try to make one.


Peppers could spice up KC's pass rush
Kevin C. Cox - Getty

The Chiefs could obviously use Peppers, though. They don't have a pass rusher on the roster at the moment outside of linebacker Mike Vrabel, who has the ability to get eight or 10 sacks this season. Remember, he has a big chip on his shoulder after being traded and has something to prove.

I'm so down on Tamba Hali right now that his chances of making the Chiefs roster in 2009 is less than 50/50 in my opinion. I like the upside of Brian Johnston and Turk McBride. But adding Peppers and drafting someone like LSU's Tyson Jackson would really add to KC's pass rush, and allow some of the young players more time to develop. It would also enhance the roster's depth.

If Hali is ever going to shake off the departure of Jared Allen, he needs Peppers on the field. If Johnston or McBride are going to be anything but backups they need a better cast around them. Peppers is an upgrade.

With the news that Tank Tyler is going to likely start at nose tackle, and the fact that last year's top pick, Glenn Dorsey, has been mentioned in previous trade talks with Carolina, the Chiefs appear to have a plan.

Does that plan include Peppers?

Schefter thinks so despite the fact he declared Peppers would end up in New England shortly after the Cassel trade. The key to getting this deal done will be the price tag - not the dollars on a new contract but what the Panthers want in return. If Carolina will take Dorsey for Peppers straight up, I make that trade. If they want two first-round picks, I'd pass. If they want Gonzalez, Waters or Johnson, trade any or all of them to land Peppers.


Larry Johnson Update – April 15, 2009

After working the room last night at a Chiefs event, it became clear that this team isn't all that interested in keeping Larry Johnson around this season. Per one of our spies, LJ has been trying to make amends simply so he can cash in on his 2009 salary. He has said all the right things and showed up for volunteer workouts. Apparently, his new agent Peter Schaffer gave him a tongue lashing and set him straight the day after he plead guilty to his legal charges.

Johnson is trying his best to show he's a changed man, but I think it's an act. Even though I could see Johnson giving it his all this season, it still isn't enough based on his history. The Chiefs have cut every single player who has had an off the field incident and keeping LJ around just doesn't fit the new hierarchy.

As far as his future, the scuttlebutt last night was that Johnson would be at the OTA sessions but likely wouldn't be with the team after April. That could change, but call me skeptical.


Anquan Boldin Update – April 17, 2009

It appears from all accounts, especially after the release of Will Franklin, that the Chiefs are hoping to add a veteran receiver at some point this offseason. The hottest name on the market is someone Todd Haley coached a year ago – Anquan Boldin. On Wednesday, Boldin made it clear he wants no part of playing for the Cardinals again.

In an interview with NFL Sirius Radio on Thursday, he said he wouldn't mind playing for the New York Giants or Philadelphia Eagles. But he made a point that if he were traded to the AFC, he'd like to play for the Kansas City Chiefs.

So much for the reports that Boldin and Haley didn't like each other. A part of Boldin's interest may have something to do with the fact the Chiefs have the cap room to make him a rich man. He also provides a solid target for KC's new quarterback Matt Cassel, and he's someone who will push Dwayne Bowe.

Everything is falling into line for the Chiefs and Boldin if Kansas City and Arizona can work out some sort of trade scenario. A first-round pick might get it done. But not the third overall pick.

The Chiefs will have to come up with a better trade package for Boldin than the New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens, who are also in on this. The Jets and Ravens, however, will have to maneuver some cap money around to get it done. The Jets stand about $4.5 million under and the Ravens are $4.6 million under the salary cap. Right now the Chiefs sit a shade over $30 million.

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