“It was Monday night, and Mike DeVito was getting ready for a flight to Kansas City,” Cimini writes. “There was an offer on the table from the Chiefs — a good offer — and he was leaving the next day to sign it.”
Those facts, apparently gleaned from a phone interview with DeVito, suggest a violation of the letter and spirit of the restrictions on the negotiating window. And before Chiefs fans start accusing us of trying to start trouble for their team, we mention this only because the March 8 memo expressly threatened tampering investigations, and because most teams had seemed to be scared into not doing anything that could cross the line.
“With Andy’s offense, you need some speed at receiver,” Dorsey said. “You need one or two speed receivers. The way the National Football League is today, the game (is faster), and in order to compete on a weekly basis you have to be able to take the top off defenses, as they say, with speed. That’s kind of what we’re looking at here. Donnie Avery can take the top off the defense with his speed.”
Avery was among the NFL’s league leaders with seven dropped passes last season. But the Chiefs will live with the occasional drop if Avery can deliver some big plays and attract some defensive coverage away from Dwayne Bowe and the Chiefs’ other receivers.
“The fact of the matter is,” Cassel said in a conference call on Friday, “Christian is the starting quarterback.”
When Cassel agreed to terms on Thursday, there was speculation that he was coming in to compete with third-year starter Christian Ponder for the No. 1 job. But Vikings coach Leslie Frazier and GM Rick Spielman stand firmly behind Ponder, who has been up and down in his first two seasons.
So they went into this offseason in search of a quality veteran who would accept his role, but also be able to handle the offense capably if Ponder were to go down with injury or fail to progress as he is expected.
But it’s not just the Smith acquisition that we like. Kansas City re-signed No. 1 receiver Dwayne Bowe, franchised offensive tackle Branden Albert, secured the services of one of the best cornerbacks available in free agency in Sean Smith for a reasonable price, added a second cornerback who at least has had past success in the AFC in Dunta Robinson, and picked up solid, dependable components like receiver Donnie Avery, defensive lineman Mike DeVito, tight end Anthony Fasano and offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz.
Topping it off, the Chiefs wisely gave themselves another intriguing option at quarterback, handing former Saints backup Chase Daniel a three-year deal worth $10 million to be their fallback plan behind Smith. If you’re keeping score, Kansas City upgraded at multiple positions on offense and added significantly to the secondary on a defense that has several Pro Bowl talents in Tamba Hali, Eric Berry and Justin Houston. With the No. 1 pick in the draft still to come, and offensive tackles Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher both on the radar screen, Andy Reid’s opening statement in Kansas City should encompass considerably more than 2-14 in 2013.