With the 2016-2017 season already behind us, here’s an update of what the Kansas City Chiefs are up to in the early offseason.
Defensive linemen Dontari Poe, Kendall Reyes, Jarvis Jenkins and T.J. Barnes are all current free agents, along with defensive back Eric Berry. The best bet for Kansas City is going to be to keep Berry, and Poe if it’s not too financially challenging for the franchise. Berry, who is a five-time pro, is a crucial addition to the Chiefs defense but is now a hot commodity in the pool of free agents. Poe made a name for himself this season with big plays (can’t forget Hungry Pig Right in week six at Oakland) and is said to be in his prime. While he is great on the defensive stack, it is unlikely that the Chiefs will let Berry go, leaving Poe to potentially end up somewhere new.
It’s not the first time Andy Reid has added a former player of his to the coaching staff, and this time it’s Mike Kafka, who spent two seasons with Reid and the Eagles. Kafka will be fulfilling the role of an offensive quality control coach. In addition to Kafka, former Bears and Buccaneers linebacker Rod Wilson will replace Brock Olivo as the assistant special teams coach.
It’s no secret that the KC offense completely flat-lined in January’s AFC divisional playoff game against Pittsburg that resulted in an 18-16 loss. Going 2-for-9 on third down conversions along with a pair of turnovers left the Chiefs in an all too familiar position – a stunning regular season performance capped off with a devastating playoff choke. Quarterback Alex Smith has been blamed for a lot of the season’s lackluster offensive performance, but in the playoff game vs. Pittsburg running back Spencer Ware had a measly eight carries, compared to his average of four yards per carry and a touchdown in the regular season. The offseason will be a good chance to sharpen a dull passing and rushing game, and Chiefs fans are hoping for a rise-from-the-ashes kind of comeback in 2017.
With two torn Achilles in three years, middle linebacker Derrick Johnson is anything but young and healthy. At 34 years old and riding the bench most of last season, he left a hole in coverage that linebacker Ramik Wilson couldn’t quite stretch to fill. Johnson has told several sources that he’s planning to be healed and ready by training camp, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea for the Chiefs to take a look at the linebacker position in the upcoming draft.