Chiefs look to free agent market to bolster QB, WR positions
5:06 PM, Mar 12, 2018
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Could Chase Daniel return to the Kansas City Chiefs? Free agency is just around the corner and the Chiefs might be looking to add some impact players.
Players who hit the market all come with some kind of wart; otherwise they would have been retained by their current employer.
Typically it’s an asking price that doesn't match the skill set, multiple injuries or they aren’t a fit for the current coaching staff's scheme.
Below are the best fits on the open market for the Chiefs headed into Wednesday. Most are headed into their second contract and in the prime years of their football career.
QB Chase Daniel, New Orleans Saints The former Kansas City Chief and Missouri Tiger will likely find himself on the market looking for a new home for the fifth time in his career. Daniel is a quality backup quarterback for the west coast system. He combines good athletic ability to scramble or be elusive outside of the pocket. Daniel is an accurate game day quarterback and he knows the system very well to help tutor Patrick Mahomes. The Chicago Bears will likely be the Chiefs biggest competition.
WR Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars
Robinson is hitting the market after his rookie deal because he is coming off an ACL injury. The 24-year-old receiver has a great combination of size and speed (6'3, 211) that allows him to get the necessary separation. He has experience in adjusting to poorly thrown passes that helped to show off his catch radius. Robinson has the ability to fight through attempted reroutes by corners with his speed and size. He smartly uses his body to keep defenders away from the ball to make clean catches. Robinson looked close to Martavius Bryant in the combination of speed and size before his ACL injury occurred. The five-year veteran does a great job of waiting till the last moment not to give away any cues of when the ball is coming to make the catch. Robinson's downside is likely a hefty double-digit per year price tag coming off the injury.
WR Sammy Watkins, Los Angeles Rams
Watkins showcased early this season that he had home run speed similar to Jamaal Charles or Tyreek Hill. Once Watkins got into the season however, his separation and burst started to wane. Corners show him respect by playing off and soft because of his speed but his inability to adjust quickly to reroutes by the corner is a reason why corners can likely play closer to the line of scrimmage. Watkins needs to learn how to fight through contested catches, adjust to poorly thrown passes and show the ability to adjust routes based on coverage. The 24-year-old receiver appears at his best when running predetermined routes through the voids in coverage at full-stride. The five-year veteran has the speed to be a difference maker. It remains a question if he can stay healthy after six injuries since entering the league.
WR Paul Richardson, Seattle Seahawks
Richardson has top end speed that is close to Tyreek Hill but not fully there. He can be sloppy in some of his cuts with a lack of fluidity in his footwork which causes him lose part of his speed. Richardson doesn't explode out of his cuts and gets himself off-balance because of the footwork. The 25-year-old receiver has the best understanding of ad-libbing with a quarterback when the play breaks down and finding a void in coverage for the quarterback to throw to. It is arguably his most marketable feature when potentially pairing with Mahomes. Richardson is explosive once the ball is in his hand. He can stop and start without losing the explosiveness when changing direction. He needs to work on is his strength to help break through arm tackles by defenders on short routes.
WR Taylor Gabriel, Atlanta Falcons
Gabriel was previously used correctly by Kyle Shanahan during their 2016 Super Bowl run. His skill sets weren't featured correctly in 2017. He is explosive in and out of cuts, creating big opportunities for yards after catch (YAC). He has great vision in the open field and is very elusive with the ball in his hand. The 27-year-old receiver can effectively run reverses, screens and gain great separation in bunch formations. He is likely a slot receiver but has the speed to effectively move the chains and take it for a touchdown.
WR Bruce Ellington, Houston Texans
Ellington is an explosive receiver that has come a long way in his craft. He is precise in his route running and cuts out of his break. He has good vision in the open field and catches the ball cleanly. The 26-year-old receiver will fight for every yard and plays with a chip on his shoulder. Ellington's injury history includes a torn hamstring that caused him to miss significant time in San Francisco. The Chiefs placed a waiver claim on Ellington when he was waived by the 49ers last August, so keep an eye on his name.
DE Muhammad Wilkerson, New York Jets
Wilkerson was released from his contract by the Jets last week and immediately became a free agent that could meet and negotiate with teams because he is a vested veteran (4-years of experience or more). The former first round pick reportedly met with the Chiefs over the weekend. Wilkerson keeps blockers disengaged when reading the backfield and shucks blockers to make the tackle when the ball carrier is close. He maintains his ground in double teams and fights through the blocks. He is arguably one of the better looping pass rushers for his size. Wilkerson has a good bull rush when motivated and a good swim move and solid club combo to get with it. He runs hot and cold at times in his play similar to Chris Jones. The 28-year-old defensive end likes attacking the offense rather than reading and reacting. Wilkerson reads throwing lanes well and gets his hands up and closes well down the line of scrimmage on runs while closing on quarterbacks quickly outside of the pocket.
DE Sheldon Richardson, Seattle Seahawks
Richardson has the athletic ability to be effective in both a 3-4 scheme and at either defensive tackle position in sub packages. The former Missouri Tiger has a good bull rush combined with his athletic ability for his size. He fights off blocks well and closes quickly. Richardson does a solid job of finding the ball in the backfield.
DE Adrian Clayborn, Atlanta Falcons
Clayborn had a strong game against the Cowboys back-up left tackle in Week 10. The Falcons used him in their wide-nine alignment as an edge rusher. He showed good bend for his size, solid hand fighting skills to disengage the blocker and great burst on his loops. The Cowboys found success in stopping Clayborn when they had a back or tight end help chip him on their way out of the backfield but it didn't stop him from getting six sacks in the game. He showed a relentlessness in pass rushing in multiple games and a willingness to try different combinations to get to the quarterback. Clayborn would be a welcome addition in sub packages. The Falcons rotated him in and out to keep their rushes and run defense fresh.
NT Dontari Poe, Atlanta Falcons
The former Chief looked healthier during his 2017 campaign in Atlanta at a reduced weight. Poe had a little more quickness to him at times but nothing like his 2014 run before his back injury. Poe is still able to lockout and hold blockers at the line of scrimmage. He is disruptive in one-on-one blocks with his combination of strength and quickness. Poe is still capable of holding the line of scrimmage, splitting the double team and making the tackle.
NT Star Lotulelei, Carolina Panthers
The former top-15 pick in the 2013 draft will likely find his way to free agency. Lotulelei can take on double teams and is stout at the line of scrimmage. He lacks the athletic ability to be an effective pass rusher and won't give much outside of a bull rush. Lotulelei is a two-down nose tackle that is a run defender and would benefit from coming out on pass rushing downs.
ILB Avery Williamson, Tennessee Titans
The first thing that jumps out about Williamson is his blazing speed. He is lightning quick, similar to Derrick Johnson in his prime. He refuses to lose on any play and is relentless in getting to the ball carrier. Williamson disengages from blocks better than expected for his size. He has a quick change of direction and explosion to close the difference. He can stay in a tight-end's hip pocket on crossing routes. The Titans didn't utilize him a lot in their zone coverage.
CB Kyle Fuller, Chicago Bears
The Bears placed the transition tag on Fuller last week. He is able to negotiate with other teams and sign an offer sheet that the Bears can match or an interested team could work out a trade. Fuller played at the left cornerback position. He was in mostly off-and-soft man coverage with some zone blended in. He is gifted athletically in his ability to stay with a receiver and close on the football at just the right time. Fuller takes pride in baiting a quarterback to throw the football and then jump the route for the pick. He has good quarter turns and explodes quickly out of them. The 26-year-old corner is willing to lower the shoulder on tackle but was juked at times because he didn't always keep his head up.
CB Bashaud Breeland, Washington Redskins
Breeland spent a portion of his time at the right cornerback position this past season. He is capable of playing in press man and zone coverage. He has good athletic ability and ability to close. He is still getting a feel for spacing with the ball in the air to avoid pass interference. The 26-year-old corner is very competitive and doesn't back down against the challenge of covering some of the better receivers in the game. Breeland is willing to make aggressive tackles and plays with an attitude. His biggest challenge is working on his timing while making sure his head is turned to avoid a penalty.
CB Aaron Colvin, Jacksonville Jaguars
Colvin plays with the Jaguars defensive mentality. He hits hard, doesn't back down and plays with a fearlessness. Colvin played in the slot corner position for the Jaguars and showcased high end quick twitch ability. He is an aggressive tackler and wants to punish the ball carrier regardless of their size. He sees the ball well and was comfortable playing in both press and zone coverage. The 26-year-old cornerback is also great off the wing on field-goal blocks.
FS Tre Boston, Los Angeles Chargers
The 25-year-old safety played a lot of single-high zone coverage for the Chargers last season. It’s a role Eric Berry and Ron Parker both found themselves in during their time in Bob Sutton's scheme. Boston has the athletic ability to cover half of the field and also maintain discipline in single high. He doesn't put himself out of position in coverage and has good athletic ability similar to Parker. Boston lacks the change of direction speed to adjust quickly in his pursuit angle but closes well once he gets built up. He has good ball tracking skills when it is lofted in the air and closes well. He is also an aggressive tackler and wasn't afraid to lay a shoulder into Kareem Hunt coming at him full steam this season. He also has a really good shuffle that keeps him from over pursuing the ball carrier. Boston is a hard hitter that wraps up when he gets chance to lay a shot at full speed.
Players' agents were officially allowed to talk to other teams as of 11 a.m. Monday, but no deal can officially be agreed to or signed until after 3 p.m. on March 14th.