According to Brian McIntyre of Mac’s Football Blog, the Kansas City Chiefs have extended TE Jake O’Connell’s contract by one year. O’Connell was scheduled to be a restricted free agent.
The move makes sense for both the Chiefs and O’Connell. Remember, this is the time of year that the team can extend the contracts of a number of their bottom of the roster players. They can then take those players to camp and if things don’t work out, they can be cut before the season. Even though O’Connell isn’t very good, the Chiefs are thin at TE, so his presence in camp will help increase competition.
For O’Connell, this represents an opportunity for him to impress new head coach Romeo Crennel and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. O’Connell was a seventh round pick and spent time on and off the roster last season. He only played in eight games and received an overall grade of -6.6 from Pro Football Focus. Since he was unlikely to garner much, if any interest as a restricted free agent, it made sense for O’Connell to accept any offer the Chiefs extended to get a shot at changing his fortunes in camp.
I don’t think this move means the Chiefs aren’t focusing on signing their important free agents. Chances are they’ve extended offers to a number of players they wish to re-sign and O’Connell is just one of the first to accept.
Let’s hope Bowe and Carr are next.