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Chiefs seem adrift while Raiders ride momentum

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Chiefs separation from GM a surprise (1:18)

Dan Graziano examines the potential reasons for Kansas City's firing of GM John Dorsey. (1:18)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The most notable event of the week for one AFC West favorite came when the Oakland Raiders signed their franchise quarterback, Derek Carr, to a five-year contract extension.

The most notable event of the week for the division's other top contender came when the Kansas City Chiefs announced -- one month before the start of training camp -- they were looking to hire a new general manager.

Talk about a tale of two franchises. Carr and Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie were all smiles at Friday's news conference to announce the quarterback's contract. Carr, even though he's now the highest-paid player in NFL history, talked about his desire to leave some money for teammates who are also due for a raise. McKenzie talked about his desire to get that accomplished.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs hid behind a prepared statement that didn't explain their reasons for letting go of general manager John Dorsey.

In Oakland, they have a plan. With Carr signed for the long-term, McKenzie and the Raiders are free to secure some of their other good, young players like linebacker Khalil Mack, offensive lineman Gabe Jackson and wide receiver Amari Cooper.

In Kansas City, the Chiefs don't have a plan or if they do, they need a better one. Looking for a GM with training camp looming should never be a part of the script.

The week's developments in Oakland and in Kansas City won't necessarily determine the course of the AFC West race in 2017 and for years to come. They will make things more difficult for the Chiefs, who tied with the Raiders at 12-4 last season but won the AFC West title because they swept the two games against Oakland.

Both teams until recently looked as if they had sustainability. The Raiders have many good young players and the financial resources to keep them around for awhile. The Chiefs are well coached by Andy Reid and his staff and also have a talented roster that was being continually restocked because of Dorsey's smart drafting. The Chiefs in April drafted Patrick Mahomes II, perhaps giving them an eventual franchise quarterback of their own.

Suddenly, it's natural to wonder about the Chiefs, who don't look as if they're being guided by any well thought-out plan. Early in June they released their most accomplished and experienced wide receiver, Jeremy Maclin, two years after signing him as a free agent.

Now, after discussing a contract extension with Dorsey earlier in the offseason, they're looking for his replacement. That task is more daunting given the mixed results from chairman Clark Hunt in hiring GMs. Dorsey was a good hire. The previous general manager, Scott Pioli, was not.

Hunt needs to get this one right. The Chiefs have to keep up with their rivals in Oakland, who have a general manager, money to burn and a smart plan.

The Chiefs for the moment have none of the three.