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2015 AFC West Offseason Previews: Kansas City Chiefs

The second installment of our look around the AFC West looks at the Kansas City Chiefs, who once again finished in 2nd place in the division last year.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The Chiefs are going to have to get creative this offseason. Their total cap number is already at $150 million, higher than the predicted salary cap. Luckily, they will have some options.

Free Agency

Potential Free Agents: Justin Houston, Rodney Hudson, Ron Parker, Ryan Harris, Mike McGlynn, Kevin Vickerson, Jason Avant

Before the Chiefs think about who they would like to bring back, they first have to think about who they will have to release to save cap room. Dwayne Bowe and Tamba Hali look like favorites, as the duo would free up about $14 million (just enough for Houston). Other candidates include Mike DeVito and Derrick Johnson (both coming off season-- ending achilles injuries) and Donnie Avery. Either way, the Chiefs will likely have to choose between free agents and pricey veterans currently on the roster.

Kansas City has to bring back Houston to stay competitive. He is one of the best pass rushers in the league and there are still questions about Dee Ford, who only say 122 snaps in 2014.  Rodney Hudson is a valuable piece to the Chiefs offensive line, simply because he is an excellent center and the rest of the offensive line is, well, less than excellent. In fact, while Hudson posted a +13.0 grade on Pro Football Focus, the rest of the 2014 starters combined for a -66.3 grade.

The Draft

The Chiefs have the pick after the Chargers, #18. They will likely be looking at plenty of offensive options, including wide receiver and offensive line. Offensive tackles such as T.J. Clemmings, La'el Collins, and Andrus Peat could all be in play. The Chiefs could use a boost in the run blocking and protection for Alex Smith, who had a QB rating of 76.3 when holding the ball more than 2.5 seconds. Smith will also need some weapons. Will the Chiefs be the team that takes a risk on the talented but troublesome wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham? Who knows? The Chiefs could go in a number of directions and the offense needs the most work.