Last Thursday marked the beginning of the 2017 NFL free agency period, and while many teams made an impact early on, the Kansas City Chiefs remained relatively quiet. With an estimated $6.5 million in available salary cap space as reported by the NFLPA, it was no surprise the Chiefs were not big free-agency players.
Instead, general manager John Dorsey has concentrated the bulk of the Chiefs’ spending on resigning in-house talent, making for an eventful free agency nonetheless.
Beginning with veteran safety Eric Berry, the Chiefs opted to lock up the long-time star before free agency began. Berry, who was set to become an unrestricted free agent, signed a six-year, $78 million contract with $40 million guaranteed and a reported $20 million signing bonus.
With the signing, Berry becomes the highest paid safety in the NFL, earning $13 million a year (surpassing the $12.5 million a year paid to Tyrann Matheiu of the Arizona Cardinals).
However, one downside to the Berry contract is that nose tackle Dontari Poe will not be resigned or franchise tagged by the Chiefs, making him an unrestricted free agent. As of now, Poe has visited the Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Atlanta Falcons, with the Miami Dolphins and Oakland Raiders also reportedly interested in Poe’s services.
Right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif signed a five-year, $41.25 million extension with $20 million in guaranteed money. Duvernay-Tardif, who was drafted in the sixth round in 2014 by the Chiefs, was set to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2017 season.
The deal makes Duvernay-Tardif the fourth highest-paid guard in the NFL, which is substantial for a player who still has plenty of room to develop.
However, many analysts predict the market for guards to continue growing as the salary cap expands in the coming years. As long as Duvernay-Tardif continues to show improvement, the contract extension will be money well spent.
In a possible bid to find a replacement for the departing Dontari Poe, the Chiefs have agreed to terms with defense tackle Bennie Logan, formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles. Logan, who spent the last four seasons with the Eagles, has reportedly agreed to a one-year, $8 million contract, although the Chiefs have yet to confirm those numbers. Logan is also the only free agent signing for the Chiefs at this time.
As stated early, the Chiefs only have a reported $6.5 million in cap space, so no word yet on how they plan to cover the $8 million contract if the reports are true. It could mean there will be some restructuring of contracts for players currently on the roster, or possibly that the Chiefs plan on more substantial releases.
Whatever the case may be, the Logan signing should help bolster the defensive line.
Monday, the Chiefs and veteran safety Daniel Sorensen agreed to a four-year, $16 million extension with almost $8 million in guaranteed money. The contract also includes $2 million in incentives, making the total deal worth $18.4 million.
Sorensen is coming off his best season in 2016 with 63 tackles, three interceptions and two forced fumbles.
RB C.J. Spiller – one-year, $980,000
OL Mike Person – contract details unknown at this time
LS James Winchester – five-year, $4.45 million