We’ll get our first dose of free agency when teams announce their first batch of drafted and undrafted rookie signings later today. Preparations for free agency made for a late night Monday at Arrowhead with the Chiefs front office allowed to begin negotiations with rookie players.
There were discussions, but no signings. Clubs are prohibited from signing rookies until 9:00 AM (CST) today.
Negotiations with veteran free agents will also begin at 9:00 AM (CST), but clubs will be unable to sign those players until Friday evening. Plenty of free agency rumors will be circulating throughout the week – some true, some not. Just be advised that talks aren’t binding, contracts are.
There’s some additional small print involved in free agency this year as well.
Veteran players who sign new contract contracts won’t be permitted to participate in any physical activities with their clubs until the official start of the 2011 League Year on August 4th (that’s next Thursday). This includes on-field activities, workouts and weight training.
Veterans inking new deals will, however, be required to report to camp to attend meetings, classroom instruction and any other non-physical activities scheduled during the Club’s preseason training camp.
With everything happening so quickly, let’s make sense of the Chiefs in-house free agent situation going forward. There were several changes in status from what we’d expected prior to terms of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement going public. We’ll start with Kansas City’s restricted free agents.
CHIEFS RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (5)
The Chiefs have four restricted free agents who received Qualifying Offers and are subject to the First Refusal/Compensation system of the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement. Additionally, the Chiefs also own the Rights of First Refusal for free agent WR
Restricted free agents can negotiate new contracts with any interested team, but his old team (Chiefs) maintains the right of first refusal.
Carr has started every game for the Chiefs since being drafted out of NCAA Division II Grand Valley State in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft. The Chiefs first signed him to a three-year contract on June 11, 2008.
Last year, Carr ranked fifth on the team with 70 tackles and had a team-high 22 passes defensed. His 48 consecutive starts are the third most of any Chief to begin a career.
Gilberry was originally plucked off the Giants’ practice squad November 5, 2008 and agreed to terms of a three-year contract. He entered the league as a rookie free agent and has played in 37 games with the Chiefs over the past three seasons. Gilberry played in all 16 games last year and recorded a career-high 7.0 sacks.
A sixth-round pick out of Clemson in 2008, Richardson received the most extensive playing time of his career last season. He opened all 16 games for the Chiefs (15 at right tackle and one at left tackle) after Ryan O’Callaghan suffered a preseason groin injury. Overall, Richardson owns 32 games of NFL experience with 17 starts to his name.
He originally signed a three-year contract with the Chiefs on June 25, 2008.
An undrafted rookie out of Georgia Tech in 2008, Cox originally signed a two-year contract with the Chiefs on April 29, 2008. Kansas City maintained Cox’s rights for another year when the fullback became an exclusive rights free agent in 2010.
Primarily used as a blocker, Cox’s career totals include four carries for three yards with a TD. He’s also caught 22 passes for 125 yards. Cox has played in 39 games (17 starts) with the Chiefs over the past three seasons.
WR Kevin Curtis (ROFR) – Most anticipated Curtis to hit unrestricted free agency. Instead, we’ve come to find out that Curtis is the only player in the NFL with four or more accrued seasons who negotiated Rights of First Refusal with this old club (Chiefs).
With that negotiation, the Chiefs get the chance to match any offer Curtis receives from another club.
Kansas City signed Curtis to a one-year deal on January 5, 2011, just days before the club’s AFC Wild Card Game against Baltimore. Curtis started that game and caught one pass for three yards. He had played with the Dolphins earlier that season after making a comeback from testicular cancer.
An eight-year NFL veteran, Curtis has tallied 253 receptions for 3,297 yards with 20 TDs. His best year came with Philadelphia in 2007 when he caught 77 passes for 1,110 yards with six TDs.
CHIEFS FRANCHISE PLAYER (1)
The Chiefs placed the franchise tag on OLB
In order to submit an Offer Sheet for Hali, a New Club must have available the required choices, defined as its own or better choices in the First Round in the 2012 and 2013 NFL Drafts. Offer Sheets may be submitted to an Old Club (Chiefs) until 3:00 PM (CST) on the Tuesday following the 10th regular season weekend.
OLB Tamba Hali – Originally a first-round pick of the Chiefs in 2006, Hali first signed a five-year contract with the club on July 28, 2006. He’s started all 79 games he’s played in over the past five seasons and turned in a career-high 14.5 sacks to lead the AFC last season.
Hali was selected to his first Pro Bowl in 2010 as an injury replacement, but did not attend the event. He owns 296 career tackles, 41.5 sacks, 59 QB pressures, 19 forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and one INT. Hali has finished as Kansas City’s sack leader four of his five professional seasons.
CHIEFS UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (15)
Unrestricted free agents are free to negotiate with any team beginning today at 9:00 AM (CST). All of these players are coming off expiring contracts with four or more accrued seasons of NFL service.
A seven-year veteran, Anderson owns 94 games (seven starts) of NFL experience. He’s recorded 62 career tackles.
Castille split time with Mike Cox as the Chiefs fullback in 2010, appearing in 10 games and notching four starts. The four-year pro owns 31 games of NFL experience (four starts) with 58 yards coming off 19 carries. He’s also caught 18 passes for 91 yards with a TD and added 18 special teams tackles.
Copper played in 16 games on special teams and 15 games (three starts) on offense last season. He’s caught 22 passes for 225 yards during his two years in Kansas City.
Croyle has made 10 starts under center for the Chiefs and completed 181-of-319 passes for 1,669 yards with eight TDs and nine INTs.
Daniels played in 16 games on special teams and eight contests on defense last season. His most extensive action came at Seattle where he picked off a Matt Hasselbeck pass after injuries hit both
Edwards has played in 80 games, making 61 starts over the past five seasons in Kansas City. He’s totaled 109 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 22 QB presses and two fumble recoveries for the Chiefs.
After starting 13 games for the Chiefs and tallying a career-high 100 tackles in 2009, Mays assumed a reserve role last season behind starter
Providing a steady veteran presence in the defensive backfield and on special teams, McGraw turned in a career-high 50 tackles last season. He’s played in 112 career games (26 starts) and added 107 special teams tackles since entering the league as a second-round pick of the Jets in 2002.
On the field, Niswanger arrived in Kansas City as an undrafted free agent by signing a four-year contract on May 17, 2006. Niwanger played behind iron man
Ryan O’Callaghan – The Chiefs originally obtained O’Callaghan off waivers from New England September 6, 2009. He was tendered as a restricted free agent last off-season and played 2010 under a one-year deal. O’Callaghan was originally a fifth-round draft pick in 2006 when Chiefs GM Scott Pioli headed the Patriots personnel department.
O’Callaghan become Kansas City’s starting right tackle several weeks after his acquisition and opened 12 games for the team in 2009. He entered training camp last season as the club’s probable starter at right tackle, but a preseason groin injury left him inactive for the first five games of the season. Once O’Callaghan was ready to return, Barry Richardson wasn’t willing to relinquish the starting job.
The Chiefs originally acquired Pope September 29, 2009, following his release from Arizona. Pope had played under Todd Haley while with the Cardinals.
Despite the emergence of rookie
The Chiefs got far more production out of Smith than most would have imagined prior to the start of the season. The nickname “Deep Freeze” was born in a road contest at Seattle when Smith lined up as a fullback in the club’s goal line formation and bullied his way for a one-yard TD run. More importantly, however, Smith played in all 16 games and started 10 when the Chiefs situation at defensive end was anything but stable.
Casey Wiegmann – One of Wiegmann’s preseason goals was to run his consecutive snaps streak over the 10,000-snap mark. He was successful.
Returning to the Chiefs on a one-year contract March 12, 2010, Wiegmann played every offensive snap last season and ran his consecutive snaps total to 10,141. Despite turning 38 last week, Wiegmann has expressed an interest to return to Kansas City for a 16th NFL season.
Vrabel played in 30 games with the Chiefs, all starts, after joining the franchise in a 2009 trade with New England that also included QB Matt Cassel.