Yet another offensive lineman is the subject of today’s look at one of the Kansas City Chiefs' potential unrestricted free agents.
Four NFL seasons, four with the Chiefs. Will be 26 when next season begins.
Chiefs career: Asamoah has been a reliable, if not spectacular, player since becoming the starter at right guard in 2011. He has generally been better as a pass protector than run blocker. Asamoah lost his starting spot to Geoff Schwartz in late November when a shoulder injury knocked him out of the lineup. The Chiefs stayed with Schwartz even after Asamoah returned the following week, but that was more of a reflection on how well Schwartz was playing than Asamoah's ability. Asamoah has generally been durable, but missed another start earlier in the season, this one because of a calf injury.
Argument for keeping Asamoah: He’s young, so there’s reason to believe the best is yet to come for Asamoah. He is heading into the prime of his career and he could be starter for the Chiefs in 2014 and the foreseeable future. Asamoah last season was a better pass protector than Schwartz, also a potential unrestricted free agent. That’s an important factor for an Andy Reid offense if the Chiefs eventually decide between the two.
Argument for letting Asamoah go: Schwartz had the better season in 2013. The offense picked up its production immediately after Schwartz replaced Asamoah in the starting lineup. While it’s a stretch to believe the lineup change was directly responsible, it’s something the Chiefs need to consider. Remember, they eventually opted for Schwartz over Asamoah as a starter last season.
What should happen: This decision won’t be made in a vacuum. What the Chiefs do with Schwartz impacts what they do with Asamoah, and vice versa. The Chiefs should welcome Asamoah back if they can’t retain Schwartz. They could do worse things with their money than re-sign both players. If the Chiefs choose between the two players, they’ll be letting a solid player go no matter which way they go.