Leftridge: NFL Free Agency Starts, Chiefs Departing Left and Right



As is custom this time of year, the NFL free agency period is underway. There have been some big (though mostly unexpected) moves, like the Chicago Bears releasing DE Julius Peppers, the Dallas Cowboys releasing DE DeMarcus Ware (who is likely to sign with the Denver Broncos, which is absolutely terrifying), and the New Orleans Saints promising to release former K-State Wildcat and current Always Fun Guy to Watch Darren Sproles, but then deciding that “due to high levels of interest from multiple teams,” they’d trade him instead. Dicks.

So far, my favorite moment has been the San Francisco 49ers trading a 6th round pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars for the services of former Mizzou QB Blaine Gabbert, who has been an absolute flop in his first three NFL seasons. (And—hilariously enough—will be making more than current San Fran QB Colin Kaepernick, provided there are no contract restructurings.)

Back in Kansas City, the ol’ Chiefs are HEMORRAGING (mediocre) players, and BOY ARE MY FACEBOOK FRIENDS FREAKING OUT! HOWEVER WILL WE SURVIVE WITHOUT DEXTER MCCLUSTER?! I LOOOOVE HIM! #sad #StupidChiefs. (Then they post a Buzzfeed quiz informing us all which Golden Girl they’d most like to bang, and the world moves on.)



Unless weird things happen, it appears as though guard Jon Asamoah and defensive end Tyson Jackson will land in Atlanta (under new assistant GM Scott Pioli, because of “Patriot’s Way” and “incestuous decision making”), tackle Branden Albert will end up in Miami, guard Geoff Schwartz is headed to the New York Giants, and Dexter McCluster will do his rascally little squirrel act in Tennessee.

Meanwhile, they announced the re-signings of linebacker Frank ZOMMMMBBBBO (whose name is more fun to say than it should be) and safety Husain Abdullah (who I’d like to see get a little more playing time, so, good.)

The thing is, the departures aren’t exactly surprising, nor are they debilitating.



Asamoah was a third-round pick who never quite turned into a third-round-pick-worthy player. He lost his starting job midway through last season (to Schwartz, actually, who might be the biggest loss of the bunch), and will probably never amount to more than what he is right now.

Former third-overall pick Jackson isn’t exactly a huge loss, either. Though he started to blossom a bit last season under new coordinator Bob Sutton, he never was—and likely never WILL be—the player anyone completely expected. I think he still has room to grow, but his ceiling appears to be “slightly above average,” and nothing more.

Same goes for McCluster. He made his first Pro-Bowl last year on the strength of his return skills—which, don’t get me wrong, WILL be missed—but he’s a small, fragile man, and eventually, as the speed subsides, he will become a liability. He’ll never be more than a 3rd or 4th receiver because his hands are mostly awful, and when he gets tapped, he falls down. (BUT WHEN HE GETS INTO SPACE, LOOK OUT, ERRYBODY!)

Which brings us to Albert, to which I say, “bye, Branden.”

Look, I think he’s a very solid, above-average offensive lineman. Nothing more. He’s CERTAINLY not worth the nearly $10mil a year the Dolphins are forking over ($25mil of which is guaranteed). In his career, he’s only managed to start 16 games once (2011). Hampered by leg issues last season, he started only 12 games; in 2012, only 11.



As Imaginary GM, I’d be far from comfortable offering that kind of a deal to a player who isn’t exactly an Iron Man at his position.

So what’s left? Well, obviously, they’ve got some holes to fill. The Chiefs need a kick and punt returner. They have offensive line needs. They have defensive line needs. But the thing is, they had a lot of these same needs before the losses, and I’m not sure that any of the recently departed would have been reasonable solutions, given the price tags.

Unfortunately, they’ve only got about $9mil to work with in cap-space, so I wouldn’t be looking for a lot of wheeling and dealing on the open market. (GM John Dorsey has stated multiple times that he doesn’t believe in building a contender via free agency; a successful team, he feels, should be built organically using the draft. The thing is, they’re also without a surplus of picks in this year’s draft, so, well, this could get interesting.)

If you believed in the initial hiring of General Manager John Dorsey, now is the time that will test your faith. The Chiefs were due for a regression in 2014, based off strength of schedule alone; what they do with the roster-building this offseason, however, could have a gigantic impact on years to come.


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42 Responses to Leftridge: NFL Free Agency Starts, Chiefs Departing Left and Right

  1. Hot Carl says:

    I’m with you Lefty…replacing McClusterf*ck’s 500 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns won’t be easy.

    *Glazer, that was sarcasm. Just in case you actually read this far.

    • Brandon Leftridge says:

      We DO need a viable return option, though. Special teams last year was greatly improved (field position was this team’s best friend), but return specialists can be drafted late and coached.

      • Hot Carl says:

        Agreed. But I also think our quality returns seemed to be more a part of the system than of any one guy. I believe Demps and Davis also scored on returns.

    • hot harley says:

      chiefs didn’t realize how to use dexter….he’s too easy to bring down…
      and didn’t they do something with the guy from cfl who
      was all star receiver and punt returner? dressler???????
      ask glaze….he knows everything!!! he knows nothing…probably
      cant even tell ya houw to getto arrowhead.

  2. Richard Cranium says:

    Good God. Someone with a brain talking sports. This is what this site needs. A person with wit and actual information to back up an opinion. Thank you sir, for showing how a competent sports analysis is presented. Please get that acne-backed coke head off the sports info, and more people will frequent this site discussing said sports takes.

    Thank you again for being literate.

  3. Orphan of the Road says:

    Albert’s back issues and his reported refusal to consider switching sides make him expendable.

    McCluster might be the biggest loss though kick return guys burn out quickly. He’ll be missed at Baccala’s too.

    Miami is desperate for linemen so they overpaid as did the Chiefs when they drafted him.

  4. jimmy says:

    I find McCluster to be entertaining and I think he was a pretty solid member of the team. He was not an A-lister but he was pretty damn good and made some big plays. I don’t agree that he is “fragile” but I would say that my main issue with him was always his longevity due to his size. Maybe we see differently on his toughness but he often seemed like he had this devil may care attitude when it came to taking big hits. I cringed more than a few times when he took those hits. I will miss him because he seemed like one of those players who is a bit of a spectacle. This little guy who was (occasionally) capable of making me jump right the hell out of my seat due to either his play making ability or just the fact that he would take a monster hit and then just jump up like nothing happened. He may not be one of those players that you need but I bet games will be a little less fun to watch without him.

    • hot harley says:

      could chiefs make move for hestor??????

    • All very good points. And perhaps “fragile” was too harsh of a word. You’re right, he can really take a big hit time and time again… I just wonder for how long.

      • Bob says:

        Fragile isn’t the wrong word. Didn’t you cringe every time he got hit? Physics don’t lie. He doesn’t have a long shelf life. Not worth the money. While Hester’s time may not have passed, he is too expensive. I am not offering a solution, but I feel confident this won’t be that big of a deal next year unless the replacement has fumblitus.

  5. CG says:

    Really, its a sinking ship, but it was never going anywhere was it…hasn’t in 45 years, oh there was that moment with Joe in 93 and another one with Elvis in 97…uh, that’s it. Some call it a SHIP OF FOOLS. Lots of holes to fill. Hey look at the bright side maybe in two or three years we make the playoffs again as a wild card, lose in round one and then we get that harder line up of teams in 2017 and go back to what you have this year: REBUILDING YEAR…see that’s what all failed franchises have after a tiny bit of luck, they are rebuilding…it really means WE STINK, HAVE STUNK AND WILL CONTINUE TOO DO SO as long as the fan base will take it…we have for 45 years.

    I love it, now I have that sure bet in Vegas when KC faces an elite team early on and gets jacked, as they do 100% of the time when they face a top tier club, we NEVER win. NEVER…remind me of that last big one will you since I don’t know what I’m talking about, hmmmm….no not Green Bay when we upset them, we stunk, they rested the win meant nothing…tell me when we won that big one in regular season over a top team…lets see do we go back to MARTY on that one, I think so…

    • Bob says:

      You hammering the Chiefs to get attention reminds me of Hearne hammering KU and Self to get attention. Nothing wrong with that. It is the way of the internet.

      I am going to laugh my ass off at the Broncos next year when Peyton finally gets hurt. They have put all this money into one last push.

      • CG says:

        Well Bob unlike our loser team at least they are trying…we’re rebuilding, as you have learned a word for GIVE UP WE SUCK…and have for years. I think you already know that. I pick Denver to win this division EVEN if Manning goes down for a few games…I like the Pats, Broncos, Colts and Ravens to battle it out for AFC title…NFC..early pick is S.F. of course Seattle will be solid again, the Packers … those three look best right now, its early…

        • Bob says:

          Detroit, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Washington, Buffalo, Houston, San Diego, and Minnesota disagree.

  6. Terri says:

    Agree that those leaving are not a huge loss, do not understand the panic. However, I do panic about Denver and I think we need to hire away their capologist. You know it is not Elway making that happen.

    • It’ll catch up to them, eventually. But yeah, until it does, yikes.

      • CG says:

        I’m waiting to hear about that big regular season win over an elite NFL team here or away, well there are none away…still waiting…I do remember Marty beating the Niner’s here with Joe…nice…we also beat Green Bay in 97 I think here…maybe one more all in the 90’s….I can’t think of one in this decade or last decade…yep we stink.

        • Jess says:

          You are literally to stupid to insult…it is the freaking NFL they are all “elite” teams. Go back to doing blow and catching herpes from your ‘Hotties’

          • CG says:

            Wow Jess you just showed the readers what a true hater is…a moron, no education for the most part, all NFL teams are elite? What Junior High had you as a graduate? I’m sure that’s as far as you got.You got one thing right brother I have dated and do date hotties. Something you can only see on TV. People like you are the reason others read the comments to see what jack off comment you will make next. Your team is a bigger joke than you. Enjoy the continued losing and rebuilding…it goes on and on…want to see a well run franchise…look at the Broncos and John Elway. Winners.

          • Jess says:

            Ahhhh, ok…..right…..

  7. mike t. says:

    “If you believed in the initial hiring of General Manager John Dorsey, now is the time that will test your faith. The Chiefs were due for a regression in 2014, based off strength of schedule alone; what they do with the roster-building this offseason, however, could have a gigantic impact on years to come.”

    man, ain’t it the truth! I don’t completely buy CG’s assessment, but I don’t think he’s too far off either. as outside observers, we don’t know what the coaches know. on the surface, we can see where the holes ‘might’ be without really knowing what the coaches have planned. all we can do is look at the roster. there might be players who step up big time that we didn’t expect to.

  8. Libertarian says:

    “If you believed in the initial hiring of General Manager John Dorsey, now is the time that will test your faith.”

    Brandon, that statement pretty much sums it up for me. We’ll be able to see what Dors is made of come draft day.

    Nice breakdown you did there.

    • Brandon Leftridge says:

      I appreciate that. And for what it’s worth, I think Dorsey is completely correct with his plan… now whether or not he can actually make the right choices remains to be seen.

  9. chuck says:

    Glazer is right about the Chiefs not winning against any serious competition in quite a while. Still, predicting the over/under on March 12th is crazy. The only thing we can realistically take aim at, is where the Free Agents went and who came out on top.


    Now that that subject is put to bed and we in the AFC West can start thinking about 2015, lets see if we in KC, can’t petition “The Clarks” to aquire the “Capologist” from Brazilian Soccer Team, Montes Claros. That dude got a guy named Bruno Fernandes de Souza out of prison and signed him for 5 years. This is noteworthy, because a few short years ago, in 2010, Bruno, in an effort to dodge some upcooming child support related to an anticipated “Blessed Event”, hired an ex cop to rid him of a troublesome inamorata/groupie. The ex cop, in what I assume was an effort to impress his new boss, by passed the traditional “2 behind the ear” and kidnapped the young lady in question. Over the next week, while the sounds of loud music drowned out the sonic wail of her screams, he tortured and killed her, then fed her body to his Rottweilers.


    He, Bruno, will be available for duty in the upcoming World Cup (OJ and Rae Carruth high 5.) to defend what little is left of Brazil’s honor.

    Now THAT is working the Free Agent Market and making it work for you.

    Elway, eat your heart out.

    • chuck says:

      There is this consolation, Oakland! Lets get those trucks backed up for a warehouse full of schadenfreude! In Oakland, Reggie Mac, has somehow, managed to screw up the dumpster fire that has been for so many years The Raiders. From Bleacher Report-

      “On Tuesday, I made Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie the biggest loser of Day 1 of free agency.

      Thanks to an almost unfathomable series of events, McKenzie has topped the list for a second consecutive day, an impressive feat considering the Raiders possess more salary cap room than any team in the league.

      Shortly after the free agent period opened on Tuesday, the Raiders lavished tackle/guard Rodger Saffold with a five-year, 42.5 million contract, including $21 million guaranteed, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

      It was an easy and obvious first guess to call it an atrocious signing. Just last week, I wrote that Saffold, who missed 17 games over the past three seasons, represented one of the biggest risks on the market.

      On Wednesday night, a little over 24 hours later, the situation devolved into theater of the absurd.

      Schefter reported that Saffold and the Raiders had a “disagreement” about his health status, and Saffold will return to the St. Louis Rams on a five-year contract. Schefter went on to say that the Rams had “no concern whatsoever” about Saffold’s shoulder, citing agents Alan Herman and Jared Fox.

      To reiterate: McKenzie gave an injury-prone offensive lineman $21 million guaranteed, and then the aforementioned lineman failed his physical (per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network) the next day and will return to his old team.

      McKenzie and the Raiders entered free agency with the most salary cap room in the league, and now their plans have gone to hell. Former Raiders left tackle Jared Veldheer signed with the Cardinals. The two other top tackles, Eugene Monroe and Branden Albert, signed with the Ravens and Dolphins, respectively.

      In addition, many of the top free agents are now off the market. So yeah, it’s great that the Raiders won’t have to pay Saffold, but where will they spend the money now?

      Anyone that is spinning this as a positive for the Raiders doesn’t have a clue. This is a total, unmitigated disaster. McKenzie never should have given Saffold the money in the first place…..”

      Seriously, any, ANY bul*sh*t fantasy football fan you stopped in a car in Belton could do a better job in his/her first hour on the job.


  10. Lance The Intern says:

    To follow up on Jess’s “elite” comment, for every 100,000 high school football players graduating this year, only 215 will make an NFL roster. That’s just over 0.2%.

    Of the 9000 that make it to the college level, only 310 are invited to the NFL scouting combine. That’s 3.4%
    That is the definition of elite, and yes, Glazer, that includes the Chiefs.


    • Jess says:

      Exactly, the worse player on a NFL team was an all American that kicked everyone’s ass in College.
      But, I guess when you really have nothing else to get your crap read, just throw the “1000th story about the hometown team sucking story” turd against the wall and see if it sticks long enough to generate interest in in the act that is coming to your club. Glazer’s “Chiefs/Royals/KU/MU/Kstate/you name it stories = Look at me and come see carrot top this weekend at my club.

      • CG says:

        Jess these stories have nothing to do with my club! By the way I wish I could have Carrot Top he makes more than most Chiefs players, just so you’ll know. Had him in the 90’s in Westport, good guy.

        I write about the Chiefs and attack them cause our media usually won’t be honest. I speak with on air guys behind the office so to speak, most agree our program is bad and has been, but nobody wants to piss off Chiefs fans so they pretend there is hope when there is no hope. Nobody else in the media will tell you what you don’t want to hear. 45 years no Super Bowls, none, Cleveland, Jets, Detroit and KC…3 play off wins in 45 years, the worst….I say it cause it needs to be said and I know the Chiefs PR reads this site and Tony’s and Hears me on 610 or other radio…they need to know we aren’t all suckers.

        I don’t think Clark Hunt or Andy Reid are bad guys. I think the KC fans are entitled to better, they’ve earned it. Our franchise just doesn’t have the ability to get the job done, to be a top team. We never were since 1970…I can give Marty credit for being close, his 90’s teams were very good, just not good enough. Not once. Yes I hate that this is the case. Like you I wish for better, but 45 years is long enough to be waiting. So you go ahead and wait. Me I’m on their ass. I don’t like the attitude of the players on defense. They are not trying hard enough to win. Look at the Indy play off game. That said it all. Talk about quitters. Offense played well. D was a joke, AGAIN.

    • CG says:

      Well Lance my mistake according to you any player or team in the NFL is elite cause they are in the league. I was wrong the Chiefs are a top notch group, an elite program, an elite NFL team with guys like Romeo and Todd running the ship. Losing all playoffs games except 3 in 45 years is ok, no super bowls in half a century is also ok. We watch them lose and they are still one of the elite. Yes this makes me a dumb ass. I was wrong. I see your point Lance….Lance you need to grow up son. This is a failed organization, the fans get jacked year after year, we have no choice but to watch them and pull for their sad asses. NO WIN OVER A TOP FOOTBALL TEAM IN REGULAR SEASON FOR HOW LONG?

      Hey I wouldn’t want them to move out, but boy ownership was poor after Stram and Marty era…its just a sad mess, but just wait til next year.

      • Lance The Intern says:

        I’m not your son, you herpes-ridden POS.

        But here’s a question for you, Glazer…All of these franchises have something in common:

        Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, San Diego Chargers, Tennessee Titans , Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans.

        What is it?

        Do you consider any of these to be “elite”?

        • CG says:

          LANCE since I am a POS and have dick ills ask someone else: Man of the World.

        • CG says:

          ANSWER: NOT any of them right now no..some have had their moments, most are better current teams as of late than KC, except Cleveland..maybe Detroit and the Bills, though the Bills had those four Super Bowls, losing them all but nice run..

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  12. chuck says:

    Mike Martz and a number of other NFL wallahs have pointed to Emmanuel Sanders being the best reciever in the Free Agent Market. He is coming to KC today. This would give Bowe some relief and with Kelce healthy, would give Smith 3 quality targets.

    Nick Saban has said that passing on AJ Mccarron would be a “huge mistake”. If he goes any higher than the 4th round, it will be because his girlfriend is so hot.

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