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The Chiefs and NFL

Five Chiefs­-related observations as Senior Bowl week winds down

01/23/2014 8:04 AM

01/30/2014 1:53 PM

Wednesday was the last day of padded practice during Senior Bowl week, which means the horde of agents and NFL personnel that descended upon Mobile will, for the most part, be leaving town today.

That said, it's probably a good time to check in with some Chiefs­-related nuggets I've been able to pick up during my time here.

1. Thanks to the number of underclassmen who have declared for the draft — 102, to be exact — the Chiefs could be uniquely positioned to get a good player at No. 23 in the first round. The draft is so deep they'd also stand to get a nice talent in the second round if they still had their pick, but I don't think the Chiefs' brass regrets the Alex Smith trade one bit.

2. Speaking of Smith, some have suggested the Chiefs simply let Smith play out his contract and franchise him in 2015 and 2016 if he earns it. However, the Chiefs stand to gain a decent amount of cap space if they can extend his contract, and given the cap issues I outlined a few days ago, every bit will help. So if you see the two sides reach an agreement in the coming months, remember that a.) the Chiefs will be saving money, at least up front, and b.) it won't be a total killer because teams can get out of monster contracts after a few years and often gain cap savings.

This is a big offseason for the Chiefs, who face a killer schedule in 2014 and will attempt to complete their overhaul of the roster over the coming months.

3. I believe the Chiefs are in the market for corners and safeties, and I found it interesting that they spoke to every big­ bodied corner and sideline­-to­-sideline safety at the Senior Bowl. Some will argue that they talk to everyone here, and that's fine. Just know I spent three days asking every player I talked to if they had been interviewed by the Chiefs, and a lot of players who don't fit their scheme on offense or defense told me they were not. So take that for what it's worth.

4. I believe the Chiefs are also in the market for receivers, and Vanderbilt's Jordan Matthews already acts like a pro. This is a guy who takes a significant amount of pride in his work ethic, and his measurables are all top notch, except for his speed. I really wonder what he's going to run, and I think it might cause him to slip on draft day. But if he's there for the Chiefs at No. 23, it might pose an interesting dilemma, because coach Andy Reid likes receivers who catch the ball and get off bump­-and­-run coverage and Matthews proved he can do both things this week.

5. I know you guys are sick of hearing about former Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli, who landed a job in the front office with the Atlanta Falcons on Wednesday, but I thought it was interesting that he really went out of his way to be as accommodating as possible with those who wanted to interview him. This was a man eager to get back into the league, and I'm sure he understands he has some serious rehab to do to his image if he ever wants to be a general manager again.

I think his situation with the Falcons is a good one for him; he and Atlanta general manager Thomas Dimitroff are close friends and they should work well together, provided Pioli — Dimitroff's former boss — remembers that the roles are reversed now.

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