The Kansas City Chiefs continued what could be considered the best offseason of any NFL team thus far by securing their three most important free agents on Monday: wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, left tackle Branden Albert and punter Dustin Colquitt.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke the news on Twitter (via Yahoo Sports, per Schefter) that both Bowe and Colquitt were signed to five-year contracts and that Albert had received the team’s franchise tag.
These moves follow the arrivals of new general John Dorsey, head coach Andy Reid earlier in the offseason and the impending addition of quarterback Alex Smith (via Mercury News, per Jay Glazer of Fox Sports).
While all were necessary and will surely excite Kansas City’s fanbase, this recent activity should only signal more to come out of this franchise in advance of the 2013 season—particularly in providing Smith more weapons to operate within Reid’s version of the West Coast offense.
Reid has no qualms about throwing the football (a lot), as evidenced by the Philadelphia Eagles perennially finishing in the top half of the league in pass attempts since he took over the team in 1999.
That fact seems harmless in a vacuum until you consider the lack of balance exhibited by a team that featured the likes of LeSean McCoy, Duce Staley and Brian Westbrook at running back under Reid’s tenure. While these players were heavily utilized as receivers out of the backfield, it is difficult to imagine Alex Smith slinging the ball all over the field.
Smith has never been relied on to win games with his arm (career high of 445 pass attempts in 2011) and would have Jamaal Charles—who is coming off his best year as a pro in 2012—to lean on in the offense.
However, retaining Bowe simply is not enough for this offense to climb its way back to a more balanced attack, having finished fifth in rushing at (149.7 YPG) and 31st in passing at (169.6 YPG) last season.
The Chiefs currently employ just four full-time receiving targets with at least 80 career receptions (Bowe, Dexter McCluster, Terrance Copper and Tony Moeaki). And while Jonathan Baldwin showed enough to be drafted in the first round two years ago, he has yet to turn that promise into much on the field.
It is imperative that Kansas City continue to surround Smith with viable options in the passing game, especially if Reid plans on minimal tweaks to his offensive scheme.
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