WPI Roundtable - Week 12

This week we discuss Chris Chambers, Brodie Croyle, quarterback prospects and lunchpail Chiefs.

Is there any chance the Chiefs extend Chris Chambers before the offseason? He's unrestricted, and his resurgence could be attractive to teams looking for a veteran wide receiver.

Nick Athan: This is unlikely unless the Chiefs determine that Dwayne Bowe is not in their future. Will they offer Chambers a one-year deal for next season? Probably, but based on his performance, he probably wants to be a free agent. He has a shot at one more big-time contract.

That might mean he'll find it somewhere other than Kansas City. While the Chiefs need Chambers, and in particular his veteran leadership, they have so many needs they may not be willing to sign him to a large, long-term contract.

Michael Ash: The Chiefs will surely make an attempt, but as we discussed in last week's roundtable, it would be surprising if Chambers accepted a new contract without testing free agency. Not only is this probably his last chance to get a good payday, he might have contending teams in the market for his services.

But you never know – perhaps he's bought in to what's going on in Kansas City and wants to be here when good things happen. You couldn't fault him for that.

C.E. Wendler: Can anyone provide a reasonable explanation for why the Chiefs shouldn't attempt to extend Chambers immediately? The team has no other proven wide receivers who can start, outside of Dwayne Bowe, and as many plays as Chambers has made in recent weeks, it's clear KC's offense desperately needs him next season. He has a place in Kansas City.

Let's not forget, however, that this offseason may be uncapped, making it unlikely that Chambers will even hit the open market. The Chiefs will have plenty of money to throw at him. While Chambers may not have an overwhelming desire in Kansas City, money talks. At this point you'd have to say Scott Pioli would look foolish if he let Chambers escape.


Should the Chiefs re-sign Brodie Croyle to a two or three-year deal to back up Cassel?

Nick Athan: Yes, there's no one else out there who can be as solid a backup to Matt Cassel. If head coach Todd Haley had his way in Week 2, Croyle would have started against the Raiders. That was the plan until general manager Scott Pioli made the call. Croyle has talent and could still be a starter in this league someday.

His best shot to catch on with another team in that regard would be Cassel missing a few weeks while Croyle shows the rest of the league that he can win games. But the Chiefs are not going to spend money at the top of the draft on a quarterback so they'd be wise to lock up Croyle.


Will the Chiefs re-sign Brodie Croyle?
Al Bello - Getty

Michael Ash: Croyle should be re-signed. He's young, can be effective, and he'll probably continue to be KC's best backup option because he's been learning the offense all this time. Unless Kurt Warner or Matt Leinart suddenly become available, there's no one else out there too familiar with Haley's system. With Croyle's injury history, it's unlikely any other teams would be interested in him as a starter, so keeping him around shouldn't be much of an issue.

C.E. Wendler: Why not? Before the season dumping Croyle seemed like a good option, simply because he couldn't stay healthy. Who wants a backup quarterback that is knocked out of the game shortly after he comes off the bench? Seems like a waste of time, right?

But maybe Croyle proved something with his performance in Baltimore in Week 1, not to mention the 2009 preseason. He was rocked, hard, in five consecutive games behind a terrible offensive line that included players who aren't even in Kansas City anymore. Croyle kept picking himself up off the turf and throwing lasers.

Did Croyle prove he can stay healthy this year? How can you argue otherwise? Good luck finding a more talented backup quarterback in the NFL. The Chiefs should definitely find a spot for him.


If a quarterback like Sam Bradford or Colt McCoy is available in the first round when the Chiefs pick this April, will they jump on him? Do you think they might pick a quarterback at some point in the draft if a good one becomes available?

Nick Athan: The Chiefs are not going to draft McCoy or Bradford nor will they pursue any other quarterbacks unless they don't resign Croyle. But they also love Matt Guiterrez and believe he can be Cassel's backup. The Chiefs already have $63 million wrapped up in Cassel, and they aren't going to add another hefty quarterback contract regardless of the potential talent.

Michael Ash: They could always pick up a quarterback in the later rounds. It's something the Patriots did on occasion -- most notably with Matt Cassel, of course. But there's no way they'll use a first-round pick on one.

A case could have been made (and, in fact, was made by some) for the Chiefs to use their first-round pick on a quarterback last year. That way, they could have auditioned Cassel for the job while grooming someone behind him. If Cassel didn't work out, there would have been a first-round pick waiting in the wings. If Cassel was great, they would have had a young, blue-chip passer they could trade.

But they never seemed to consider that option, so why would they do it now. A year ago drafting a quarterback could have come off like a situation where they wanted the best player to win the job. But to do that now would come across like a total lack of confidence in Cassel.

C.E. Wendler: Why should the Chiefs even consider drafting a quarterback before the sixth round this April? There are simply far too many needs the team already has to take the luxury of adding another quarterback when they already have three they appear to like. A fifth-round pick could really help Kansas City out at safety, linebacker, offensive line, maybe even wide receiver. Passing up that for a backup quarterback would seem extremely foolish.


What players have made a case for themselves to be a part of the Chiefs in 2010? We all know the obvious answers, I'm looking for the lunchpail player that teams are made of.

Nick Athan: Jovan Belcher and Andy Studebaker come to mind. The linebacker crew has some holes to fill but you have to like the way these young players have performed. They may not be long-term answers and aren't great pass rushers, but they make plays in open spaces.

But because KC's roster is going to have even more turnover this offseason, especially if Haley returns, beyond those two players we really don't know who else can mature. Defensive end Alex Magee has amazing upside, however, and may indeed be a better player than Tyson Jackson before it's all over.


Alex Magee has flown under the radar this season.
G Newman Lowrance - getty

Michael Ash: There are several under-the-radar players who have earned their keep. In terms of their performance on the field, Wallace Gilberry, Jovan Belcher, Andy Studebaker, and Lance Long are the most notable.

Pierre Walters hasn't played much, but based on comments he's made throughout the season, Todd Haley seems to like him. Studebaker was also a Haley favorite, but it wasn't until Mike Vrabel's injury that we got an opportunity to see why. Knowing that, there could be a few players we wouldn't think to name here, but who have earned their place by what they show on the practice field.

C.E. Wendler: Here are five lunchpail Chiefs who deserve to stick around at least until the end of next season: Alex Magee, Ryan O'Callaghan, Lance Long, Wallace Gilberry, Jon McGraw.

Magee's pass rush has been phenomenal for a rookie. He looks much quicker to me than either Tyson Jackson or Glenn Dorsey, and he has a motor that never quits. There's definitely potential there. O'Callaghan hasn't been a Pro Bowler, but he has solidified the right tackle position for the Chiefs. He's not a turnstile by any stretch of the imagination and as a young player, deserves a shot to compete next season.

Long is a more athletic version of Bobby Wade and has done enough to earn a chance like O'Callaghan next season. Gilberry has tied for the team lead in sacks and really appears to be a solid off-the-bench pass rusher. McGraw, despite being owned by Darren Sproles this year, made some strides compared to last season. He's still a liability but has a place as a third safety, and maybe even a decent starter at strong safety if the Chiefs draft someone like Taylor Mays.

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