Titans Sign Dexter McCluster

by Ryan Jones on March 11th, 2014 at 3:35pm

The Kansas City Chiefs added punt returner to their list of needs Tuesday with Dexter McCluster bolting for a three-year deal with the Tennessee Titans. McCluster wasn’t expected back, but with it official the team will need to find a replacement for special teams coach Dave Toub.DexterMcClusterReturn

To leave the only team he’s known in the NFL, McCluster will get $12 million, including $4.5 million guaranteed. It’s a nice pay day for the diminutive receiver and clearly too rich for the cash-strapped Chiefs, who feel that’s too much money for a specialist that wasn’t so special before Toub arrived in town.

During his only season as the San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator, new Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt saw McCluster catch 13 passes for 121 yards in two games in addition to returning five punts for 66 yards.

Chiefs GM John Dorsey could look to reunite Toub with Devin Hester, one of the most prolific punt returners in the history of the NFL. Though it’s hard to believe they would break for anyone to serve primarily as a specialist.

More likely I’d expect Dorsey and Andy Reid to give a long look to CFL star Weston Dressler and whichever wide receiver(s) is drafted in May.

 

Branden Albert Heads To South Beach

by Ryan Jones on March 11th, 2014 at 3:15pm

It was widely expected to happen and once free agency officially opened, Kansas City Chiefs starting left tackle Branden Albert signed with the Miami Dolphins.

A year after being the Chiefs franchise player, GM John Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid decided to let the tackle walk. And he was happy to leave, grabbing a fat five-year, $46 million contract for his trouble, including $25 million guaranteed.

Albert was part of a huge run on offensive tackles and he managed to score the biggest deal. The Arizona Cardinals (another suitor for Albert) gave former Oakland Raiders tackle Jared Veldheer a five year deal for $35 million, while the Raiders responded by handing out $42.5 million to Rodger Saffold.

Unlike a lot of the Chiefs players leaving in free agency, they actually already have a replacement in house. Last year’s first overall pick, Eric Fisher, and third-year pro Donald Stephenson will provide the protection for Alex Smith.

DMC Ready To Run From Chiefs

by Ryan Jones on March 10th, 2014 at 2:59pm

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It appears Dexter McCluster’s time with the only team he’s known in the NFL will come to an end once free agency officially opens around the league on Tuesday.

There are four or five teams interested in the Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver, according to The Star, and he’s expected to ink a deal with a new team. While the Chiefs offered no comment, it makes sense for GM John Dorsey to let McCluster walk on the heels of a career season.

The Chiefs have limited cap space to work with and plenty of holes to fill if they are going to get back to the playoffs next season. That means overpaying for an average offense player just isn’t in the cards.

McCluster finally showed he could be a consistent weapon on special teams, but it also coincided with Dave Toub coming to town. Instead of breaking the bank on DMC, the Chiefs can let Toub earn his keep by making it work with a draft pick or CFL star Weston Dressler.

Chiefs Cut Two Ahead Of Free Agency

by Ryan Jones on March 6th, 2014 at 6:51pm

This weekend the Kansas City Chiefs can start talking with free agents around the league. Before those discussions kick off, GM John Dorsey made a couple minor roster moves, cutting ties with TE Dominique Jones and and LB Robert James.

Jones was promoted to the 53-man roster at the end of last season before landing on the reserve/non-football illness list. He was one of the many player head coach Andy Reid tried to use as injuries constantly rattled the Kansas City offense at tight end. He appeared in two games for the Chiefs without catching a pass.

The Chiefs added James to the active roster just days before their playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts. A fifth-round pick of the Falcons in 2008, James saw action in 18 games during three seasons in Atlanta, including all 16 in 2012.

Both players represent positions of need for the Chiefs this offseason, so we shouldn’t expect to see either back in Kansas City.

Jamaal Charles, Marcus Cooper Pick Up Team Awards

by Ryan Jones on March 1st, 2014 at 10:28pm

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The Kansas City Chiefs honored their MVP and Rookie of the Year winners Saturday at the annual NFL 101 Awards, by handing out the Derrick Thomas and Mack Lee Hill Award to running back Jamaal Charles and cornerback Marcus Cooper.

It was the second straight time Charles has been named MVP and fourth time in five years.

“This is my fourth time to win this award and it’s such an honor,” Charles said. “This is a great event and I’m so happy to be here.

Cooper was claimed off waivers from the San Francisco 49ers after final cuts and quickly proved he could already deliver more than most seventh-round picks. He played in all 16 games (6 starts) and had 44 tackles, 18 passes defensed and one forced fumble.

The rookie was exposed a bit as the season went on, but he has the raw tools to develop into a solid corner for the Chiefs opposite Brandon Flowers.

Charles and Cooper weren’t the only Chiefs honored at the ceremony. Andy Reid was AFC Coach of the Year and Len Dawson accepted the Lamar Hunt Award for Professional Football.

Chiefs owner Clark Hunt was on hand to to give Dawson the award named for his father.

“His passion and knowledge for the game has led to an incredible broadcast career that Chiefs fans have enjoyed for more than three decades,” Hunt said. “We are delighted to honor him with the Lamar Hunt Award for Professional Football.”

You can watch the 101 Awards March 16th at 7pm on the NFL Network.

The 101 Awards gala truly is a remarkable event and is a longstanding tradition in Kansas City. To watch the full event, tune in on March 16th at 7PM CT on NFL Network.

Kansas City Chiefs Release CB Dunta Robinson

by Ryan Jones on February 7th, 2014 at 10:28pm

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The Kansas City Chiefs parted ways with Dunta Robinson Friday after the cornerback spent just one season at Arrowhead.

Brought in back in March to potentially start opposite Brandon Flowers at cornerback, Robinson was a disappointment during his short stay. After first serving as the Chiefs third corner, the veteran eventually lost his job to rookie Marcus Cooper.

As he missed time due to personal reasons and injury, Robinson played in just eight games in 2013. He finished the season with 13 tackles, four passes defensed and one fumble recovery.

Considering the flashes he showed during his time with the Houston Texans and Atlanta Falcons, it would be a shock if Robinson didn’t find a home somewhere in the league fairly quickly.

With GM John Dorsey looking to find cap space wherever he can, cutting Robinson will free up $3.3 million. That is cash that will be crucial as the team tries to not only sign some of their own 11 free agents, but also poach starters from other teams around the league.

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Kiper, McShay Go WR

by Ryan Jones on February 6th, 2014 at 9:39pm

For the Kansas City Chiefs to improve on last season, they will have to address several holes in free agency and the draft. Among all trouble areas, it seems to be the general consensus that wide receiver is at the top of the list.

Certainly ESPN’s top NFL Draft analysts — Todd McShay and Mel Kiper  — seem to feel that way. In their latest mock drafts, they both have projected receivers to Andy Reid and the Chiefs.

For Kiper, his choice is Kelvin Benjamin from Florida State, while McShay is currently going with LSU’s Odell Beckham Jr. The two may believe receiver is the best option, but McShay singled out Benjamin as being too much of a risk to take that high.

McShay also offered Fresno State WR Davante Adams and Notre Dame DL Stephon Tuitt as options for GM John Dorsey in that part of the first round.

Take One Chiefs Free Agent Off The Board

by Ryan Jones on February 5th, 2014 at 8:11pm

Before free agency opens next month, the Kansas City Chiefs will try to re-sign some of the dozen players set to hit the market. They started that process off by inking a new deal with the least known — but one of the most important — players.

Long snapper Thomas Gafford and the team have agreed to terms on a one year deal that will pay him $730,000. Keeping the special team standout in Kansas City means one of the longest tenured players will be with the Chiefs for at least one more season.

Gafford joined the Chiefs back in 2008, playing in nine games. He then took over as the unquestioned long snapper in 2009 and has played in all 16 games each of the past five seasons. He’s managed to stick around despite playing for three different general managers and four head coaches.

Along with his solid resume, Gafford also has a connection to Chiefs GM John Dorsey. Though he never appeared in a regular season game with them, Gafford spent time with the Green Bay Packers while Dorsey worked in the front office in 2006 and 2008. He also spent time with the Seattle Seahawks and Chicago Bears before landing with the Chiefs.

Clark Hunt Talks Keeping Alex Smith Long Term

by Ryan Jones on February 4th, 2014 at 7:11pm

The Kansas City Chiefs have no shortage of players that are free agents this offseason. Even though QB Alex Smith isn’t part of that group, the Chiefs could lock him up long term.

Smith is entering the final year of his contract, but the team could just let him play out the season and then use their franchise tag if he puts together another solid campaign. But listening to owner Clark Hunt on 810 WHB in Kansas City, it sounds like the team will be putting together a new deal for Smith.

“When we made the trade for him a year ago, that was part of the thinking,” Hunt said, according to an ESPN transcript. “I don’t think that thinking has changed. He came in and did a nice job. We’re glad to have him as a part of the Kansas City Chiefs and we hope it’s longer than a two-year stay.”

The historic collapse against the Indianapolis Colts has gotten all the attention since the Chiefs season ended, but it shouldn’t be lost that Smith showed the ability to carry Any Reid’s offense. That’s something that wasn’t lost on the Chiefs owner.

“One of the things I enjoyed about the season was watching him get better as we went along, which makes sense,” Hunt said. “Andy’s offense is pretty complicated, even for someone as bright as Alex. But the longer he played in it, the longer the rest of the team was in this offense, you could see him getting better. I think it’s very exciting for 2014 to see where that offense goes.”

I think it’s exciting to see what this offense can do too, but I’m equally excited to see what kind of terms these two sides could agree on. Smith’s representatives no doubt will shoot for something similar to Jay Cutler’s brand new deal, which guarantees the Bears quarterback $54 million over the next three seasons.

Meanwhile, the team can sit back and just let him play out the final year of his contract and use the franchise tag in 2015 for a cost of just north of $22 million over two seasons.

Smith will have a good case, considering he’s a year younger than Cutler and has played more games over the last three seasons (41 to 36).

Chargers Promote Former Chiefs Assistant

by Ryan Jones on February 4th, 2014 at 8:03am

During his time with the Kansas City Chiefs, it appeared Nick Sirianni could be on his way to being an offensive coordinator. A favorite of Todd Haley, Sirianni started as a quality control assistant on offense and was promoted by Romeo Crennel to wide receivers coach in 2012.Nick Sirianni

Then new head coach Andy Reid came to town and cleaned house, including Sirianni. The young coach was able to stay in the division, when he grabbed a spot on Mike McCoy’s first coaching staff with the San Diego Chargers.

Sirianni served as the quality control coach last season and has already earned a promotion. McCoy named him quarterbacks coach Monday, taking the spot of the Frank Reich, who is moving up to the Chargers offensive coordinator.

If he eventually moves his way up to head coach, he won’t be the first in his family to hold the title. His brothers Jay and Mike are already head coaches. Jay is the head coach at their alma mater, Southwestern Central High School in Jamestown, NY. Meanwhile, Mike’s team is at Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, PA.

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