Three biggest takeaways from the Chiefs' weekend moves
SEP 02, 2013 10:04a ET
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Change is ... good, right? If you're keeping score (and we hope you're doing it in pencil), of the 53 players who constitute the Kansas City Chiefs' active roster, almost exactly half -- 26 of them -- weren't a part of last fall's 2-14 dumpster fire.
That's some kind of crazy turnover, even by NFL standards. Outside linebacker/special teams ace Edgar Jones was traded Saturday along with the Chiefs' seventh-round pick in 2014 for a sixth-round draft choice next spring. The Chiefs made 22 player moves on Saturday in lieu of the league-wide deadline to pare its roster down to 53.
Which brings us to the interesting part: They weren't done. Sunday, the club cut six more players -- including budding return man Devon Wylie, a 2012 draft pick -- while signing seven more off waivers. It's enough to make your head spin, especially on a holiday, but we take a crack at the three biggest takeaways ...
:03 ... IT AIN'T EASY BEIN' A "PIOLI GUY."
There have been exceptions for the elite of the elite -- Eric Berry, Justin Houston, Dontari Poe, etc. -- but there's a pattern forming, and a pattern of removing a majority of the players drafted under former general manager Scott Pioli from the active roster. Of those aforementioned 32 Chiefs drafted from 2009-2012, 18 have left the building in one fashion or another, the most notable being the trade of former first-round wideout Jon Baldwin to San Francisco for fellow receiver A.J. Jenkins.
The classes of 2009 and '11 have suffered the worst retention rate under the new regime of coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey, with six of the eight picks from four springs ago now gone and six of the nine picks from two years ago befalling the same fate. It's hard to say for certain if that much overhaul of young pieces is just another chance to again recast the culture in the locker room or a scathing indictment of talent evaluated by Pioli and his confidants. But we know this: 99.9994 percent of Chiefs fans are going to roll with the latter.
:02 ... TONY MO, WE HARDLY KNEW YE.
The pink slips for Wylie, defensive tackle Jerell Powe and cornerback Jalil Brown were something of a surprise over the weekend, but the biggest shocker dropped Saturday afternoon, when gifted-but-oft-injured tight end Tony Moeaki went to Twitter and announced that he and the Chiefs were going their separate ways. Moeaki, who suffered a fractured shoulder during the club's preseason win over Pittsburgh on August 24, was placed on the waived/injured list. Officially, Moeaki could still land on the Chiefs' injured reserve list if he clears waivers, but speculation is leaning toward the notion of an injury settlement of some kind in the works.
After a promising, 47-catch rookie season in 2010, Moeaki missed all of the 2011 regular season with a knee injury. His most recent shoulder issues were expected to sideline the Illinois native for at least 12 weeks and came after he missed all of spring/summer organized team activities with a bum knee. It didn't appear likely that Moeaki would usurp veteran Anthony Fasano and rookie Travis Kelce on Reid's depth chart, but it seems now as if we'll never know.
:01 ... WHEN IN DOUBT, RAID THE NFC WEST.
San Francisco and Seattle are expected to again be among the class of the NFC, so, big shock, it stands to reason that their spares are better than your spares. Of the Chiefs' seven new acquisitions Sunday, five were former Niners or Seahawks -- corner Ron Parker (Seattle), tight end Sean McGrath (Seattle), defensive tackle Jaye Howard (Seattle), cornerback Marcus Cooper (San Francisco) and wideout Chad Hall (San Francisco).
On paper, McGrath potentially adds depth at tight end, pending Kelce's on-again, off-again health concerns. Hall played for Reid from 2010-11 at Philadelphia; Dorsey brought another new import, linebacker Dezman Moses, from his old stomping grounds in Green Bay, where the ex-Tulane standout appeared in all 16 games with the Pack a year ago and racked up four sacks.
Still, while they may be familiar to The Andy Gang, they're still strangers to the faithful gearing up to pack Arrowhead again. The jury's still out as to how much better all this tweaking actually makes the roster at the moment -- but with this many new faces in new places, sales of programs this month ought to be through the stinking roof.
Sean Keeler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter at @seankeeler.
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