Hello Chiefs Kingdom! Lucas Hampton here coming at you with another Beyond The Border Free Agency! This time the focus stays on offense but goes into the trenches, down to the very core of what allows the offense to function, the offensive line. A lot of Chiefs Kingdom might be thinking “But Lucas! The offensive line is in pretty good shape even if we don’t resign Brandon Albert!” While that may be true, there is a bit of an issue at the guard position. At the start of the season, Jeff Allen started at left guard and Jon Asamoah started at right guard. Asamoah got hurt and so backup Geoff Schwartz stepped in and filled the role quite nicely. Towards the end of the season however, Asamoah wasn’t in the starting lineup.
Andy Reid has gone on record saying that he will start his best 5 linemen. If that no longer includes Asamoah, with his expiring contract, it could spell the end of his time in Kansas City. Schwartz also has an expiring contract leaving only guys like Rishaw Johnson and Rokevious Watson to play the guard spot. What is to be done about this situation? As a solution, I give to you: Alex Mack.
Alex Mack stands 6’4″ and weighs 312 pounds. He played his college ball at California playing some at guard but mostly at center. When draft time came around, the Cleveland Browns selected Mack with the 21st overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. Mack has been a solid anchor in the middle of the Browns’ offensive line, starting and finishing all 80 games he has played in since joining the Browns. During the 2011 season, Mack played through appendicitis and during the next week which was the bye week, he had surgery to remove his appendix and played in the next game after that. Mack is clearly a tough as nails, resilient player who has been a consistent and powerful anchor on the Browns’ line.
You may be wondering right now “Why are you suggesting a center to help out when Rodney Hudson is already set at the position? How does this help resolve the potential guard issue?” Well, if you saw that I included that Mack played some guard in college. Listed here, http://walterfootball.com/pro2009amack.php, on his WalterFootball.com scouting report and as stated in a draft prospect preview article done by a blog affiliated with the (here comes the chills) Oakland Raiders. I apologize because I cannot find the article I am referring to.The article makes a strong point that Mack has versatility and can play both guard and center with skill and consistency. So, with all that in mind, what happens if the Chiefs sign him? He could play at guard or he could stay at center. Should he stay at center, would that mean that we have Rodney Hudson be his backup? While that would make the center position very deep, it would be wasting Hudson’s talent and potential. If you recall when Hudson was drafted, his original spot was at left guard. Having played there for most of his college career, it would be a worthwhile move to play Hudson at left guard or have him at least challenge Jeff Allen for it.
Just imagine what our offensive line would look like supposing we let all the free agents walk and signed Mack. From left tackle to right tackle it would be Donald Stephenson, Rodney Hudson/Jeff Allen, Alex Mack, Rodney Hudson/Jeff Allen, Eric Fisher. That sounds like a pretty solid line. Supposing we brought back Schwartz, the only spot of contention would be at left guard between Allen and Hudson. It certainly is a tantalizing thought to have Mack at center and then having Hudson and Allen duel for the left guard spot. Like Andy Reid said, he will start his best five on the line and if he determines that Hudson is better than Allen, it will be a solid offensive line for sure.
Signing Alex Mack at this point wouldn’t be a very high priority, he might ask for a lot more money than we could pay him. It may feel like playing fantasy football with signing Mack to the team, but he is a tested veteran with years of quality football ahead of him. His asking price is a bit of a question mark at this point but he would bring immense talent to the team for several years. Maybe Mack could be the only player signed and a huge chunk of the cap be put into it as there is talk that John Dorsey will ask many players to restructure their contracts in the offseason. He could be that one big free agency splash deal that teams sometimes pull out. What do the people of Chiefs Kingdom think? Should Mack be considered as a one big deal type of signing? Is he even worth trying to sign? This has been Lucas Hampton with Beyond The Border Free Agency! As always Chiefs Kingdom, thank you for reading and…