The National Football League began its new league year March 15 and with the turn of the calendar came the free agency signing period.
Out of the various phases in the NFL's lengthy offseason, free agency tends to take a backseat to the draft, combine or training camp. This year was different in many ways despite the COVID-19 pandemic giving free agency virtually zero competition.
Tom Brady marked the highest profile move as he signed to play two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Philip Rivers left Los Angeles to bridge the Indianapolis Colts to wherever they plan to go at quarterback in the future. Marcus Mariota officially surrendered in his duel with Ryan Tannehill to start in Tennessee and will give Derek Carr a run for his money when the Raiders start a new era in Las Vegas. The Carolina Panthers are gambling on Teddy Bridgewater after he went 5-0 in Sean Payton's elite offense last season in New Orleans. And that is just the quarterbacks.
But what have the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs been up to? Not much, in fact, the biggest news has been Kendell Fuller reuniting with Washington on a big payday and Emmanuel Ogbah cashing in with Miami. The Chiefs have signed former Giants cornerback Antonio Hamilton, known mostly for his skills on special teams, and former XFL quarterback Jordan Ta'amu to back up Chad Henne, who was also brought back.
There are still plenty of serviceable players on the market that could make an impact on the Chiefs roster but they will struggle to fit them into their budget at this point. Monday Morning Quarterback's Albert Breer reported Monday that the Chiefs currently had the least cap space of any team in the league with 555K.
In order to fill a big need at cornerback, they will need to restructure contracts or release players like Sammy Watkins and Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff to make room for a free agent addition. They could look at drafting a cornerback but their picks, as they stand, are late in the rounds.
With Rashad Fenton and Charvarius Ward being the only experienced cornerbacks currently under contract, the Chiefs will desperately need to acquire at least two players who can play regularly in Steve Spagnuolo's scheme. Bashaud Breeland remains unsigned but I have a hard time getting behind his return due to his tendency to take ridiculous penalties. Logan Ryan and Nickell Robey-Coleman are two options I believe would fit well with the Chiefs but the cap situation has to improve before those deals are possible.
If they choose to fill the need in the draft there are plenty of prospects projected to fall to the late first or early second round. Alabama's Trevon Diggs is projected to be picked 30th in many mock drafts and could make a quick impact as the third corner for the Chiefs next season.
Either way, the Chiefs will need to free up money in order to fill the need of cornerback as well as linebacker and offensive line before next season.
Jason Brown is the sports editor of the Leavenworth Times. Contact him at email@example.com