Chiefs make a few big, last-second moves
The Chiefs first signed Dwayne Bowe to a five-year deal on Monday. While the receiver was expected to test free agency, the acquisition of quarterback Alex Smith probably made Kansas City a more desirable place for Bowe to play. While Smith is a very smart, accurate quarterback, his sub-par arm strength makes it difficult for him to be effective without talented, playmaking receivers. Bringing back Bowe ensures that Smith will have a top notch weapon to utilize on his new team.
The Chiefs were reportedly considering using the franchise tag to retain Bowe, but after signing him to a long-term deal, they were free to designate someone else as their franchise player. They had the perfect candidate in left tackle Branden Albert, who they gave the franchise tag to barely before Monday's 4:00 pm deadline. While Albert is a very good left tackle, there were some questions about the health of his back, so the Chiefs were reluctant to give him a multi-year deal. By using the franchise tag on him, the Chiefs lock him up for this season and can sign him long-term next offseason if he proves to be healthy.
Bringing back Albert is also likely to shake up some mock drafts, as offensive tackle Luke Joeckel was considered the favorite to be drafted first overall by the Chiefs. Albert has adamantly stated that he will not move to guard, and the Chiefs have a formidable right tackle in Eric Winston. A player like Star Lotulelei or Shariff Floyd could be options with the first pick, as the Chiefs' defensive line could use an overhaul.
The signing of Bowe and tagging of Albert will grab most of the headlines, but the Chiefs didn't stop there - they also signed punter Dustin Colquitt to a record-setting $18.75 million deal over five years. The deal includes $8.9 million in guaranteed money, the most ever given to a special teams player. The 2012 Pro Bowler has consistently been one of the league's best punters for years. The deal sets a high price for fellow free agent punter Shane Lechler, who is regarded by many as one of the greatest punters in NFL history.
After trading for a starting quarterback, signing a sensational receiver, franchise tagging a blindside protector, and locking up a top notch punter, Chiefs fans are probably happier than they've been in a long time.