Chiefs Free Agency: Day 1 Recap

TE John Carlson

It started off very slow for the Kansas City Chiefs but as the sun set the team began setting up visits for Wednesday with perspective free agents with hopes of adding a few more later in the week. So who are those players?

1. TE John Carlson (Seattle) - The former Notre Dame tight was to arrive in Kansas City Tuesday evening to meet with the Chiefs coaching staff. But there was a conflicting report early Wednesday morning, that indicated Carlson might visit the Minnesota Vikings first on his world tour.

In 2011, Carlson sat the season out with an injured shoulder. That parallel is eerily similar to the one that hit the Chiefs, Tony Moeaki. He blew out his knee in the final exhibition game.

But the addition of Carlson would be a wise move for the Chiefs. If Moeaki is healthy, he's a capable pass catcher and blocker. Carlson is more of a pass catcher but can cover a lot of ground in the middle of the field.

Either way he's a hot commodity right now with as many as four other teams interested in his services. Count the Chiefs as one of them.

2. RB Michael Tolbert (San Diego) - If there was one player the Kansas City Chiefs defense didn't want to face again in 2012, it would be the former Chargers running back. Known for getting the tough yards between the tackles, the San Diego bulldozer would be the perfect 1-2 punch for the Chiefs.

As we stated in our offseason reports, Kansas City was dead set on finding a compliment to All-Pro running back, Jamaal Charles. Like Moeaki, Charles is also coming off a season ending knee injury.

Tolbert is a battering ram and the Chiefs haven't had one in their backfield since Christian Okoye. But even if he isn't the next ‘Nigerian Nightmare' we believe Tolbert, who arrived in Kansas City Tuesday night, could sign with the Chiefs on Wednesday.

3. FB Peyton Hillis (Cleveland) - I'm not sure anyone knows Peyton Hillis better than new offensive coordinator, Brian Daboll. The former Brown coach and player according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, will reunite in Kansas City on Wednesday.

And if he comes to the Chiefs, Hillis might be converted back to fullback. Still this is a curious move by Kansas City to bring in both Tolbert and Hillis. Either the Chiefs aren't convinced that Charles will be ready to go in September or their passing offense is going to shift to a power running scheme.

But then again, as the Chiefs learned a year ago, you can never have enough quality running backs who can carry the rock on your roster.

4. RT Eric Winston (Houston) - As we first told you Tuesday morning, the Chiefs keyed in on Winston who became a free agent on Monday when he was cut by the Houston Texans. The organization views him as a starter at right tackle. However, he's a hot commodity with four teams interested in his services. The Chiefs, Ravens, Rams and the Miami Dolphins.

On Tuesday evening the Florida native, was set to visit with Miami. The Dolphins, who might be out of the Peyton Manning sweepstakes, appear poised to add some beef to their offensive line.

Though they are the hometown preference for Winston, don't rule out the idea he may take several visits to make sure his agents maximize his real value.

However, if he lands in Kansas City for an official visit, it's unlikely the Chiefs will let him leave town without signing on the dotted line.

5. Marcus McNeill (San Diego) – Within hours of his release from San Diego on Tuesday afternoon, the Kansas City Chiefs reached out to the former Charger and were hoping to line up a visit this week. McNeill, like Winston, would probably serve the Chiefs best at right tackle. At one point, McNeill was considered a premier left tackle but injuries and poor play have diminished his effectiveness.

This visit is likely insurance in the event the Chiefs don't get a chance to sign Winston. But with physical ailments that include both his knees and back, I can't see the Chiefs signing the former Charger as a starter or a back-up.

6. DT Paul Soliai (Miami) - If reports are accurate from ESPN, three teams are interested in the former Dolphin. Those being Kansas City, Denver and Miami.

The Chiefs need a space eater on the interior of their defense line. And Soliai could become the reincarnation in Kansas City of Dan Saleaumua. He has the size, quickness and girth to increase the Chiefs ability to stuff the run and free space for their pass rushers on the outside.

He's still raw in some areas but his name was eerily quiet in the first few hours of free agency. Let's hope the Chiefs can sneak him into town for a visit before the rest of the NFL realizes he's a free agent.

7. C Scott Wells (Green Bay) - If there was a player we thought the Chiefs would sign at the onset of free agency, it would have been the former Packer center. On Tuesday afternoon, we learned the Packers would not make him a contract offer. Connecting the dots we felt that he'd make a great choice for the Chiefs to nab at the start of the open market.

As of Tuesday night, the Chiefs nor any other team, had set up an official visit with Wells.

But his addition to the Chiefs offensive line would be key to their overhaul. Currently the Chiefs have very little options at center. At this point, they can't trust second year man, Rodney Hudson, with the signal calling. With Wells, they'd have a leader on the offensive line with Super Bowl hardware that they could trust - every single snap. Plus that would give Hudson more time to develop and add depth to the Chiefs line.

How many of these free agents will sign with the Chiefs?

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