- Adam Teicher, ESPN Staff Writer
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We'll continue our player-by-player look at the Kansas City Chiefs' potential unrestricted free agents with their veteran nickelback.
CB Chris Owens
Six NFL seasons, one with the Chiefs. Played in 11 games last season with three starts. Turns 29 in December.
Chiefs career: Owens had an up-and-down season last year. He was the regular nickelback when healthy but missed five games in the middle of the season with a knee injury and the Chiefs carried on fine without him. He generally played better before his knee injury than afterward. Opponents picked on the 5-9, 180-pound Owens late in the season, with San Diego's Philip Rivers in particular having success going after him in the season's final game.
Argument for keeping Owens: Owens was a part of one of the league's best pass defenses. When he was healthy, he was a decent nickelback. Owens tends to play bigger than his diminutive size. He's not afraid to get involved as a run defender.
Argument for letting Owens go: The Chiefs didn't suffer when Owens was out of the lineup with the injury. Rookie Phillip Gaines as the nickelback helped the Chiefs win a crucial October game against the Chargers.
What should happen with Owens: The Chiefs don't have a lot of depth at cornerback so if he's healthy, Owens is worth bringing back one more season as the nickelback at a minimum salary. But the Chiefs can also find what he gave them last season at a low cost either through the draft or free agency.