Todd Haley kicks off his second offseason program today in Kansas City. Unlike last year, players know exactly what they will be getting from Haley and his staff and as Bob Gretz notes, attendance should be high for these voluntary workouts.
There are 66 players on the Chiefs roster right now and exactly half of that group was part of the organization on the first day of the program last season. They know what to expect.
As always, there will be a few holdouts that will not be seen until the Chiefs mandatory mini-camp in June. G Brian Waters and OLB Mike Vrabel missed everything but the mini-camp last year and it’s hard to see them changing their approach this season.
There are also a host of players that ended the season with injuries and had surgeries or extensive rehab in the off-season; they may not be able to fully participate until later in the spring. Charles, Brandon Flowers, Brad Cottam, Maurice Leggett, Jarrad Page, Kolby Smith and Colin Brown all have had work done since the ‘09 season ended.
This is the beginning of an important time for other players on the roster as well. A better team comes from adding talent from the outside and developing the talent already on board. This is a time when players like ILB Jovan Belcher, G Colin Brown, DE Bobby Greenwood, WR Quinten Lawrence, CB Donald Washington and last year’s top draft choices DEs Tyson Jackson and Alex Magee show they’ve made another step forward in their development.
It’s imperative that those seven players or others already on the roster make a consistent and winning contribution. The first signs of that will come from how they report for the off-season program and how they progress.
Players without a contract cannot participate in the off-season program. Their only avenue to joining the team is to sign an insurance waiver. As of right now, it appears there are five restricted free agents that have not yet signed their tender offer: QB Brodie Croyle, ILB Corey Mays, C Rudy Niswanger, OT Ryan O’Callaghan and S Jarrad Page. There are also four exclusive rights free agents that haven’t signed: LS Thomas Gafford, CB Maurice Leggett, OT Barry Richardson and OLB Andy Studebaker.
Some of those players may have signed their offers already; the Chiefs are not quick to release those details. It would be natural for several of them to sign their deals on Monday or opt for an insurance waiver.
I would expect most of the restricted/exclusive rights free agents to be in Kansas City today. Almost all of them have already signed their tenders, but it has not yet been announced by the team.
Just like last year, I would love to see Waters and Vrabel both attend all of the offseason workouts. I understand it’s their right to skip them, but it would be great to see as close to perfect attendance as possible as the Chiefs try to show they are ready to take a big step from 4 wins to playoff contender.