KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The new group in charge of the Kansas City Chiefs is going right to work, making bold moves to turn around a franchise that went 2-14 last season.
They traded for a new quarterback in Alex Smith. They locked up two of their own in wide receiver Dwayne Bowe and punter Dustin Colquitt. They franchised left tackle Branden Albert and raised some eyebrows by releasing players once thought to be major free-agent signings.
In doing so, new general manager John Dorsey and coach Andy Reid have put their fingerprints on a franchise that has had one winning season in the last six, hasn't won a playoff game since 1993, and hasn't been to the Super Bowl since winning it under Hank Stram in January 1970.
They've also changed the culture of a franchise in a rut.
"All along, I think from an organizational objective, we said we were going to create a plan, develop a plan, and these just happen to be the first details of the plan," said Dorsey, a longtime Packers executive hired in January to replace the fired Scott Pioli.
"We have some talented players on this roster," Dorsey told The Associated Press this week. "We've been able to retain them, and it made sense from an organizational standpoint. This was the way we felt it made sense to move forward to the next phase of the plan."
That phase begins in earnest Tuesday with the start of the new league year.
The Chiefs will finally be able to announce their trade with San Francisco for Smith, whom Dorsey and Reid undoubtedly believe can shore up the quarterback position. They will also dive head-long into free agency, where they'll attempt to fill several areas of need, and then finish their preparations for the April draft, where they have the No. 1 overall pick for the first time.
There's also a decision to be made about quarterback Matt Cassel, who is almost certain to be released with Smith coming on board, and perhaps a couple other veterans on the roster.
It's a busy time for Dorsey and Reid in the offices at One Arrowhead Drive, but the gregarious Dorsey laughs about the flurry of moves and points out, "It's always a busy time."
"I mean, part of this movement was from a philosophical belief that has been ingrained in me," said Dorsey, who learned his trade under Packers executives Mike Holmgren and Ted Thompson.
"Winning organizations do moves like this, and what that does is it makes players realize that these guys are true to their word," Dorsey said. "If we play and do what we're supposed to do, at the end of the day, they're going to give us what our just due is."
In some ways, that viewpoint also was held by Pioli, his predecessor.
In the past few years, the Chiefs have reached long-term deals with linebackers Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson, running back Jamaal Charles, safety Eric Berry and cornerback Brandon Flowers.
But the speed and conviction with which Dorsey and Reid retained Bowe, who signed a five-year, $56 million contract, and Colquitt, whose five-year, $18.75 million deal makes him the NFL's best-paid punter, sent a message that the Chiefs intend to be serious players in the market.
"I'm very blessed to be a member of the Kansas City Chiefs," said Bowe, who at times had clashed with the Chiefs' previous regime. "I'm looking forward to working with John and Coach Reid in the near future, (and) I'm excited to continue my career with the Chiefs."
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