2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Chiefs making bold moves under new leadership

    2013-03-09 15:22

(Eds: Also moved in advance. With AP Photos.)
By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The new group in charge of the Kansas City Chiefs is going right to work, making bold moves to turn around a franchise that went 2-14 last season.

They traded for a new quarterback in Alex Smith. They locked up two of their own in wide receiver Dwayne Bowe and punter Dustin Colquitt. They franchised left tackle Branden Albert and raised some eyebrows by releasing players once thought to be major free-agent signings.

In doing so, new general manager John Dorsey and coach Andy Reid have put their fingerprints on a franchise that has had one winning season in the last six, hasn't won a playoff game since 1993, and hasn't been to the Super Bowl since winning it under Hank Stram in January 1970.

They've also changed the culture of a franchise in a rut.

``All along, I think from an organizational objective, we said we were going to create a plan, develop a plan, and these just happen to be the first details of the plan,'' said Dorsey, a longtime Packers executive hired in January to replace the fired Scott Pioli.

``We have some talented players on this roster,'' Dorsey told The Associated Press this week. ``We've been able to retain them, and it made sense from an organizational standpoint. This was the way we felt it made sense to move forward to the next phase of the plan.''

That phase begins in earnest Tuesday with the start of the new league year.

The Chiefs will finally be able to announce their trade with San Francisco for Smith, whom Dorsey and Reid undoubtedly believe can shore up the quarterback position. They will also dive head-long into free agency, where they'll attempt to fill several areas of need, and then finish their preparations for the April draft, where they have the No. 1 overall pick for the first time.

There's also a decision to be made about quarterback Matt Cassel, who is almost certain to be released with Smith coming on board, and perhaps a couple other veterans on the roster.

It's a busy time for Dorsey and Reid in the offices at One Arrowhead Drive, but the gregarious Dorsey laughs about the flurry of moves and points out, ``It's always a busy time.''

``I mean, part of this movement was from a philosophical belief that has been ingrained in me,'' said Dorsey, who learned his trade under Packers executives Mike Holmgren and Ted Thompson.

``Winning organizations do moves like this, and what that does is it makes players realize that these guys are true to their word,'' Dorsey said. ``If we play and do what we're supposed to do, at the end of the day, they're going to give us what our just due is.''

In some ways, that viewpoint also was held by Pioli, his predecessor.

In the past few years, the Chiefs have reached long-term deals with linebackers Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson, running back Jamaal Charles, safety Eric Berry and cornerback Brandon Flowers.

But the speed and conviction with which Dorsey and Reid retained Bowe, who signed a five-year, $56 million contract, and Colquitt, whose five-year, $18.75 million deal makes him the NFL's best-paid punter, sent a message that the Chiefs intend to be serious players in the market.

``I'm very blessed to be a member of the Kansas City Chiefs,'' said Bowe, who at times had clashed with the Chiefs' previous regime. ``I'm looking forward to working with John and Coach Reid in the near future, (and) I'm excited to continue my career with the Chiefs.''

The signing of Bowe and Colquitt allowed the Chiefs to use the franchise tag on Albert, one of the league's premier offensive tackles. He'll make $9.83 million if he plays under the tag this season, though Dorsey said negotiations on a long-term deal are ongoing.

How did Kansas City pay for all these moves?

It freed up some money by releasing wide receiver Steve Breaston and starting right tackle Eric Winston, and then restructured the contract of defensive end Tyson Jackson, who essentially agreed to a pay cut from $14.72 million to a base salary of $4.2 million this season.

``Every organization would like to have a degree of flexibility,'' Dorsey said. ``Part of the thinking, the process, is to have the ability to give us options, so we can go into these different phases when the new league year starts ... and have the flexibility to do different things.''

The overhaul of the Chiefs has certainly captured attention around the league, and raised questions, too: How did they do all that so quickly? And what are they going to do next?

``Obviously, it was very important for them to start off quickly,'' said former Chiefs coach Herm Edwards, now an NFL analyst for ESPN. ``John's a good football man, and he worked with Andy in Green Bay, so they were able to get on the same page pretty fast.''

The maneuvering has caused quite a stir in Kansas City, where most years, fans have turned their attention to March Madness or the Kansas City Royals, with the Chiefs merely an afterthought.

Shortly after Reid was hired, he arrived on a private plane at the city's downtown airport, and helicopters from local TV stations tracked him driving to Arrowhead Stadium. Hundreds of reporters converged for introductory news conferences for him and Dorsey, and talk of the Chiefs - what they might do in the draft, or in free agency - has dominated sports talk radio.

New season-ticket sales are up 112 percent over this time last year, according to figures provided to the AP on Friday. Season renewals are also up 5 percent over last year, and the Chiefs are on pace to have their best renewal since coming off their 2010 playoff season.

Invoices were sent out to fans Jan. 7, three days after Reid was hired to replace the fired Romeo Crennel as coach, and five days before Dorsey was hired as GM.

The excitement is gratifying, of course, even if Dorsey seems unfazed by it.

As a player for the Packers, and as a longtime scout, it's only natural he prefers to keep his thoughts focused exclusively on what can best help the Chiefs be successful.

That means finding the best players available and keeping those already on the team.

In short, exactly what he's done the past couple weeks.

``The only thing important in my eyes is acquiring the best talent I can for this organization, so we can stack up the most W's as possible,'' he said. ``That's the way I go about it, and the way I view things. My sole responsibility is to get players here. That's what I do.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Deone BucannonJul 24 11:32a

Arizona Cardinals S Deone Bucannon was not dropped into the starting lineup during offseason workouts, as the team has faith in FS Tony Jefferson and FS Rashad Johnson. He [ More ]

Ray RiceJul 24 11:31a

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice will be suspended for the first two games of the season, according to sources. The announcement is expected Thursday, July 24.

Blake BortlesJul 24 11:22a

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles' lower-body mechanics likely will be revised. Bortles' flaw has been over-reliance on his right arm when throwing; he doesn't use his legs enough. A [ More ]

Mikel LeshoureJul 24 11:14a

Detroit Lions RB Mikel Leshoure is currently believed to be the fourth tailback on the club behind RBs Reggie Bush, Joique Bell and Theo Riddick heading into training camp [ More ]

Justin BlackmonJul 24 10:53a

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon was arrested for possession of marijuana Wednesday, July 23, in Oklahoma.

Jordan PalmerJul 24 10:52a

Chicago Bears QB Jordan Palmer still has the first shot at winning the backup quarterback job, according to head coach Marc Trestman.

R. Griffin IIIJul 24 10:22a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III's designed running plays might be 'few and far between,' according to head coach Jay Gruden. He still has the green light to scramble [ More ]

Daniel FellsJul 24 09:42a

New York Giants TE Daniel Fells has received the first snap in 11-on-11 drills during the team's two days in training camp. Kellen Davis and Adrien Robinson have [ More ]

Ahmad BradshawJul 24 08:33a

Indianapolis Colts RB Ahmad Bradshaw (neck) has been cleared to practice. Bradshaw is an RB4, but he could be worth more if Trent Richardson fails to produce again.

Roddy WhiteJul 24 08:33a

Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White signed a four-year extension with the team that will keep him under team control for the next five years, according to sources.

Donald ThomasJul 24 08:33a

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (hip) and OG Donald Thomas (quadriceps, biceps) have been cleared to practice.

Josh GordonJul 24 08:23a

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will have his appeal hearing for his one-year suspension Aug. 1.

Greg OlsenJul 24 01:43a

Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen said he is tired of hearing criticism about Carolina's new receiving corps, which is largely made up of journeymen and unproven commodities. Olsen added [ More ]

Aldon SmithJul 24 01:13a

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith is expected to meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in the near future, which likely would lead to a decision on any discipline for Smith.

Anthony BarrJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings LB Anthony Barr was with the team for just a few days during offseason workouts due to NFL rules. Head coach Mike Zimmer is eager to see [ More ]

Sharrif FloydJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings DT Sharrif Floyd had a good offseason, but head coach Mike Zimmer thinks the defensive tackle is trying to be too fine. 'Sharrif has a lot of [ More ]

C. PattersonJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson will remain on kickoff returns despite an expanded role in the offense this season. 'We want our best players to get their hands on [ More ]

Montell OwensJul 23 11:23p

Detroit Lions FB Montell Owens has company, as the team will employ a more traditional fullback in the offense. They signed FB Jed Collins for the role. Owens is [ More ]

Harrison SmithJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings safeties Jamarca Sanford and Andrew Sendejo will be battling during training camp and the preseason for the starting job opposite FS Harrison Smith. 'That will be interesting, [ More ]

Matt CasselJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings QBs Teddy Bridgewater and Matt Cassel saw a majority of the snaps during spring workouts, but QB Christian Ponder has a chance to start, and head coach [ More ]

Chad GreenwayJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings LB Chad Greenway could be used as the starting middle linebacker, according to head coach Mike Zimmer. 'It's a possibility. We keep working him in there. We're [ More ]

Troy NiklasJul 23 10:23p

Arizona Cardinals TE Troy Niklas (hand) has been cleared to participate in training camp, and was working Wednesday, July 23.

Dan WilliamsJul 23 10:23p

Arizona Cardinals NT Dan Williams will open training camp as the team's starting nose tackle with NT Alameda Ta'amu (knee) on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) list.

Johnny ManzielJul 23 10:23p

Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine thinks QB Johnny Manziel needs to increase dedication to earn the starting job. 'I think he knows that in order to compete well, [ More ]

Theo RiddickJul 23 10:23p

Detroit Lions RB Theo Riddick has the chance to break into the rotation at tailback, and he has drawn considerable praise from his teammates and coaches for his development [ More ]

Joique BellJul 23 10:23p

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell (nee) missed most of the offseason due to a knee injury, although he has said his condition is minor and he expects to be [ More ]

Jed CollinsJul 23 10:23p

The Detroit Lions are re-incorporating the traditional fullback into their new offensive scheme this season, and that's why they went out and signed FB Jed Collins.

Cheta OzougwuJul 23 07:23p

New Orleans Saints DE Cheta Ozougwu (undisclosed) cleared waivers and was transferred to the Saints' Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, July 23.

Billy WinnJul 23 06:53p

The Cleveland Browns placed OL Chris Faulk (undisclosed), DE Billy Winn (undisclosed) and LB Tank Carder (undisclosed) on the non-football injury list Wednesday, July 23.

Kyle OrtonJul 23 06:33p

Free-agent QB Kyle Orton (Cowboys) does not want to retire and wants to play in 2014, according to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

Conner VernonJul 23 06:23p

The Cleveland Browns placed CB Royce Adams, LB Brandon Magee and WR Conner Vernon on the no-recall waivers list Wednesday, July 23.

Terrance WestJul 23 06:23p

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns RB Terrance West (undisclosed) said on his Twitter page that he passed his conditioning test and people need to 'stop making up your [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group