Should Chiefs tender their 5 restricted free agents?
The Kansas City Chiefs have a total of five players scheduled to be restricted as free agents in 2021.
Restricted Free Agents are players who have three or more years of service in the NFL. The Chiefs are allowed to submit one of three levels of qualified contract tenders to these players, giving them a non-guaranteed one-year contract. Here's a look at the current forecast for this year's bid amounts courtesy of OverTheCap.
Players are allowed to negotiate with other teams even if they are offered a contract offer. These other teams can sign the restricted free agent on an offer sheet, but the chiefs have the right to honor the offer. If, depending on the type of tender, the Chiefs do not agree with the offer, they may receive a compensation decision for the player.
This is self-explanatory for tenders in the first and second round. Teams would receive first or second round draft picks for players who are required to receive these bidding amounts. In an initial bid for the round, teams would receive a draft of compensation based on the round in which the players were drafted. If a player entered the league as an unoccupied free agent, the team would not receive a draft compensation.
Below we take a look at the Chiefs' five restricted freelance agents and predict whether they will be offered a contract:
CB Charvarius Ward
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
This is probably the toughest decision for the Chiefs Front Office to make. Ward has started 35 games in Kansas City in the past two seasons, including the postseason. Bashaud Breeland, who was the starter opposite for most of the time, becomes a free agent. Fans may feel comfortable moving on from a player like Ward, but I think the front office will have a different bias. Keeping him cheap for another year will be a great way to see what you have in players like DeAndre Baker and BoPete Keyes without immediately forcing them into a starting role. It gives you a skilled starter instead of facing a few relatively unproven players out there. The big question is whether the team is comfortable with an original round tender or whether it needs to be pushed higher to prevent another team from coming by and signing Ward. I think Brett Veach would likely roll the dice on an original bid this year given the wage cap constraints all teams face. I wouldn't be shocked to see round two tenders either if the team was concerned about losing Ward. Forecast: Original all-round offer.
LB Ben Niemann
AP Photo / Peter Joneleit
Niemann has been a multi-phase special teamer and a favorite of the defensive coaching staff in the last two seasons. Although he is well aware of the scheme, his execution on the defensive side of the ball has been poor. With six linebackers already under contract for the 2021 season, the Chiefs can afford to let Niemann run. Prediction: The Chiefs won't offer Niemann.
RB Darrel Williams
AP Photo / Reed Hoffmann
Williams showed up for the Chiefs late in the season as they dealt with injuries to Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Le'Veon Bell. He earned his first career start against the Cleveland Browns in the divisional round of the playoffs. It was an impressive feat, almost 100 meters from the day. Edwards-Helaire, Damien Williams, Darwin Thompson and Derrick Gore are currently under contract for Kansas City. Darrel seems like a really good addition to the group they already have. Nobody here really offers the same physical style of running between tackles. This one could go either way, but I think it will be back in 2021. Forecast: Original round tender.
TE Deon Yelder
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The Chiefs liked Yelder in 2018 when he was from western Kentucky. They took him on a top 30 visit, but he eventually decided to sign with the New Orleans Saints. He eventually made it to Kansas City and they've developed him over the past two seasons. Normally I wouldn't expect the Chiefs to give up on a player they invested in. The thing is, they gave Yelder a showcase opportunity against the Los Angeles Chargers in week 17 and he didn't impress. He was targeted six times and only got away with two receptions for six meters. The team has already signed two bottlenecks for reserve / future contracts and is reviewing the bottlenecks in the draft. I think they are ready to cut their losses here and find someone to work behind Travis Kelce. Prediction: The Chiefs won't be offering Yelder.
OG Andrew Wylie
AP Photo / Chris O'Meara
Wylie, destroyed by the Buccaneers front in Super Bowl LV, is likely the lingering image on everyone's lips, but that's not the full story of Wylie's 2020 season. Instead of Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, he's been for the all season Chiefs admirably on the right. He only allowed one sack from the right guard position all year. Wylie has proven to be a solid depth option for Kansas City in offensive interior space throughout his career. I think that's valuable after the kind of season the team just had with a lot of attrition down the offensive line. It is certainly worth the original round tender amount. Forecast: Original all-round offer. [vertical gallery id = 88876]
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