October 14, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tackle Eric Winston (74) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 38-10. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Free Agency: Chiefs Release Eric Winston. Luke Joeckel #1 in Draft Likely.



The Kansas City Chiefs have thrown a curve ball into free agency by releasing starting offensive Eric Winston. Winston was their starting right tackle, and will immediately become one of the top free agent tackles on the market. He graded out as the 26th-best OT (+13.2) by Pro football Focus.

Winston was due to earn a base salary of $4.9 million in 2013.  He signed with the Chiefs after being cut last year by the Texans.

The Chiefs signed Eric Winston to a four-year, $22 million contract last year, but apparently are more comfortable with drafting one of the elite offensive tackle prospects with the #1 overall pick.
Expect to see Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel to be the first player to hear his name called with the Chiefs make the first pick of the 2013 NFL Draft.

The interesting thing to see will be what the  Chiefs do with tackle Branden Albert, who was one of the league’s better tackles in 2012, but was franchised this offseason. Expect to see Albert and Joeckel as the Chiefs’ starting offensive tackles when the 2013 season opens.


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