Sit Back or Jump In?

CB Champ Bailey / Photo Getty Images

With Free Agency set to open for business on Saturday, the Kansas City Chiefs must make some bold decisions about their upcoming 2014 roster. To that end, will they sit back when the free market opens on Saturday or will they be aggressive?

If the Kansas City Chiefs are going to take the 2014 AFC West Crown, they're going to have to find a few gems in free agency. The issue for the Chiefs, as they hope to surpass the Denver Broncos as division champs, will be their desire to change their philosophy from building through the draft or via free agency.

In 2013, the first under Head Coach Andy Reid and General Manager, the Chiefs draft last April didn't really produce much on the field. In fact, outside of the draft pick they sent to the San Francisco 49ers for Quarterback, Alex Smith, the rest of their selections were lukewarm at best on the field.

Depsite the lack of draft impact, what benefited the Chiefs a year ago was a more cohesive locker room and better coaching. It was good enough to win 11 regular season games. But in the post season, the franchise laid yet another playoff egg.

If they want to change that trend, they're going to have to take a page from division rival Denver. With the addition of Peyton Manning and Wes Welker, among others, the Broncos re-tooled their team via free agency.

The Chiefs, considering the lack of firepower they got out of the draft last year, head into the agent period of free agency on Saturday with numerous holes to fill.

With needs at Cornerback, Safety, Inside Linebacker, Wide Receiver, Tight End and Offensive Line, there isn't enough cap money to fix all their issues. However, the market for starting safeties and cornerbacks is at an all time high in free agency.

Even better news ahead is the fact the upcoming draft is loaded with secondary talent as other prime areas of needs for the Chiefs.

However, if they are going to succeed in 2014 facing a brutal schedule, they need to strike swiftly and decisively in free agency and do a better job finding starters in the draft. That means going after some highly coveted players.

It's been very quiet around the rumor mill surrounding the Kansas City Chiefs at the onset of free agency. The organization does a terrific job of hiding their plans and generally they're able to keep the players they are attacking in free agency under wraps until they sign a contract.

That's fine with me as long as they sign some prime time starters.

A year ago let's be honest the Chiefs were rebuilding a roster that was littered with some prime talent but lacked any real depth. In 2013, Reid and Dorsey, put a 53-man roster that was virtually two deep at every position.

Now that doesn't mean the roster was complete but at least the franchise had more capable bodies to work with throughout the entire season. Still there is much room for improvement.

Some of that depth struggled but they did manage to get some valuable playing time that should position most of them to have more of an impact in 2014. However, that impact may be determined by what the Chiefs do in free agency.

My gut tells me when the league year starts next week the Chiefs will have roughly $16-20 million in free space to dangle in front of potential free agents. That's more than enough to sign three or even four starters.

And when you consider the NFL cap may approach $160 million in 2016, it's reasonable to assume the Chiefs can back load some contracts to attract some of the better free agents on the market.

It might not be time to go all in for the Chiefs brass but a passive approach to free agency likely isn't the answer either. So something in between makes a lot of sense.

To that point, let's hope the sting of the Colts playoff loss, the fact Peyton Manning will return for 2014 and lessons learned a year ago about the heart of some it's core players, will be the key for management to open up the pocket books and spend some money on guys who can make plays in November, December and January.

Market is strong for Chiefs but will they play ball?

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