The Chiefs may have just pulled off the unthinkable. They may have signed a stud receiver in his prime, off the free agent market, and didn't break the bank in the process.
Or he may be a complete bust. You never really know with wide receivers, the weirdest position in football. Take Randy Moss for example. Two years removed from being arguably the best player in the NFL, he was traded from team to team last year, and ended up serving no impact whatsoever. Why? Because he was that out of shape? Did his play fall off that much due to aging? I'm chalking it up the immeasurable peculiarity of receivers.
The unpredictable nature of receivers stems from the chemistry between he and the quarterback. If they ain't got it, fuhgeddaboutit. And there's almost no way to determine if they'll have it or not. It's simply a comfort thing, and that's true with every new quarterback-wide receiver relationship.
However, with that disclaimer out of the way, lets move on to the more tangible parts of his game.
Breaston's numbers are a lot better than I first assumed them to be. Admittedly, I didn't study his numbers before I declared myself off the bandwagon. All I had heard was how he had a monster season in 2008 with Kurt Warner as QB, followed by 2 down seasons (sounds like red flags to me). However, upon examining his stats, I wouldn't agree with that assessment one bit.
Lets break it down year by year:
*2008 - After a nothing season as a rookie in 2007 (outside of returning), Breaston capitalized on an Anquan Boldin injury (4 games missed), going off for 1,006 receiving yards on 77 receptions. Awesome numbers for a 2nd year wideout, put up in a good system from a Hall of Fame quarterback.
*2009 - With both Fitzgerald and Boldin healthy all season, Breaston's production dropped down to 55 receptions and 712 yards. Not a bad year at all from a 3rd receiver, but still in a good system and catching passes from a Hall of Fame quarterback.
*2010 - With Boldin moving on to the Ravens, Breaston was pushed into the starting lineup full time. He caught 47 balls for 718 yards (an impressive 15.3 yard average). However, the key is that he was catching the majority of his passes from Derek Anderson and the ambiguously gay trio of John Skelton, Max Hall, and Richard Bartel. It should be noted that Breaston missed 3 games due to injury (3 of only 4 games missed in his career). It should also be noted that Breaston averaged 70.2 yards per game with Anderson (the only true NFL QB) at quarterback (with a significant drop in his numbers with the youngsters). That 70.2 yards per game amounts to 1,123 yards over a full 16 game season.
My question is - What's a bigger accomplishment, 1,000 receiving yards with Kurt Warner or 700 yards with the pu-pu platter from 2010? I'd say 2010, especially when his averages from his 3 games missed takes him to 876 yards on the season (let alone the 1,123 number equated above). It's very possible that, despite what his numbers indicate, Breaston has been improving greatly from year to year.
So how will he fit in with the Chiefs? Well, first of all, if he adds 700-900 receiving yards to our offense, then he will be a very successful acquisition. That's exactly what we need out of him. He will asked to play the slot reciever (a point he has already admitted) with Baldwin and Bowe putting the wide in wide receiver (and please no more Killer B's nickname suggestions, I'm already tired of it - and yes, already working on something better). I envision Breaston working a lot of underneath routes, asked to pick up those 3rd and 4's, 3rd and 5's, and then to do some damage after the catch with the ball in his hands. Think of him as a Wes Welker lite (or dark, for that matter).
The happiest people over the signing of Breaston should be the other Chiefs' skill position players (a grouping that is suddenly very formidable). This is great news for Bowe (who is no longer options 1, 2, and 3 in the passing game), Baldwin (pressure taken off of him to perform this season), Moeaki (not alone over the middle anymore), and perhaps most of all, Jamaal Charles (who could see Priest-like openings on draw plays now).
Here's a fun exercise for you. Try and guess the order that those 5 players will finish up in receiving yards for the 2011 season. Here's mine...
1. Dwayne Bowe - 1,100 yard range
2. JamaAL Charles - 700 yard range
3. Steve Breaston - 600 yard range
4. Tony Moeaki - 500 yard range
5. Jonathan Baldwin - 500 yard range
That's all for now folks - Happy Free Agencying,