“I find him to be a very engaging young man,” Dorsey said. “He’s a receiver and receivers have unique personalities. But he’s a very talented guy. We sat and talked. I told him it’s his responsibility to uphold his end of the bargain. He said he understood the challenge ahead and he totally embraced that challenge.
“He is ready to take that position of being one of the top receivers in professional football.”
Albert missed five starts late last season with back spasms, but Dorsey said the Chiefs have no concerns about his ability to play a full season.
“His back is fine,” Dorsey said. “He passed our physical.”
The No. 3 pick of the 2009 draft was expected to be a prime candidate to be cut. His salary-cap number was at more than $17 million and his base salary was at more than $14 million. Under this new deal, the source said, Jackson can make up to $5.2 million with a much more manageable salary-cap number. Jackson is still eligible to be a free agent in 2014.
The Chiefs need the salary-cap relief after signing receiver Dwayne Bowe and punter Dustin Colquitt to significant contracts Monday. The team also gave left tackle Branden Albert the franchise tag at more than $9.7 million and it is adding quarterback Alex Smith.
Even with Bowe retained, wide receiver might be their biggest need. It’s either than or cornerback or a good backup (preferably young) quarterback to push Smith, whose injury history is my biggest concern.
Because look at it like this … the Chiefs will be better in 2013 because they can’t get much worse and Andy Reid is a much better coach than Romeo Crennel. But right now, they still have Javier Arenas or Jalil Brown covering the other team’s second-best receiver, Jon Baldwin or Devon Wylie is still their own second-best receiver, and they’re still in the very Pioli position of having a zero at backup quarterback^.
^ Matt Cassel is technically still on the roster, and would actually be a very good backup quarterback. But he can’t stay in Kansas City. And he won’t.
As far as free agency goes, Reid and new GM John Dorsey have put most of the hay in the barn already. The expected release of quarterback Matt Cassel might allow for more options, though. A veteran inside runner to pair with Pro Bowler Jamaal Charles would be something to ponder, and Cedric Benson could be the ideal guy to reprise the role formerly filled by Thomas Jones and Hillis (who didn’t do it nearly as well in 2012). New defensive coordinator Bob Sutton might also want to lobby some of his former charges with the New York Jets, namely run-stopping end Mike DeVito and linebacker Bart Scott, who could give the unit a little extra attitude. Either player should be available for the right price. Otherwise, it’s time to figure out whom to spend the No. 1 draft pick on … or where to send it in a trade.
But Smith in 2011 and ’12 under Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman proved there’s more than one way to play quarterback. His average yards per attempt was 8.0 in 2012, significantly higher than renowned deep-ball throwers like Ben Roethlisberger (7.3), Joe Flacco (7.2), Jay Cutler (7.0) and Matthew Stafford (6.8).
I think there’s a good chance Pioli would have investigated Smith and quite possibly would have dealt for him. The personality profile, passing efficiency and age (28) would have appealed to Pioli.
But Smith, Bowe and Albert, in tandem, would probably not have happened under the old regime, and certainly not the big contract for Bowe. There will be an interesting chemistry experiment in Kansas City this season.
The Cleveland Browns Wednesday named Ray Farmer as the club’s Assistant General Manager. In addition, Michael Lombardi, who had been named Vice President–Player Personnel on January 18, 2013, will now become the team’s General Manager.
In his role, Farmer will work closely with Lombardi, where he will help manage both the pro and college scouting departments.
“Ray is highly regarded in league circles as an outstanding evaluator of talent,” said Browns CEO Joe Banner. “We had the opportunity to meet with Ray in our initial search for a general manager and came away extremely impressed. I have known Ray since he played with us in Philadelphia, and I am familiar with the type of person he is, his work ethic and his knowledge of the game. We are very fortunate that we were able to add someone of Ray’s caliber to our personnel staff.”