Chiefs Free Agency: The Week-In-Review

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3. G Paul Fanaika

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

At first blush, the signing of Fanaika was curious to me. I’m still not convinced he’s a sufficient improvement over either Mike McGlynn or Jeff Linkenbach. He’s a mediocre offensive lineman, but it wasn’t his skillset that was off-putting. What struck me as odd was the fact that Dorsey made a three-year commitment to Fanaika. In years past, he’d only made one-year commitments to depth signings along the offensive line (i.e. Geoff Schwartz, Jeff Linkenbach, Ryan Harris, and Mike McGlynn). Three years seem to suggest the Chiefs are considering him for a starting role. It’s always necessary to take the initial terms of a contract with a grain of salt. Contract information is routinely inaccurate when free agent signings are reported. I fell into the trap, but I also made it a point to scour the web for the specific details of Fanaika’s signing over the past several days.

Here they are:

Talk about reactionary. Fanaika’s contract is as team-favorable as it gets. The Chiefs can cut Fanaika tomorrow without consequence. There is no dead cap hit for the first two years of the deal. This acquisition makes perfect sense given the structure of his contract. He provides valuable NFL experience, will come in and compete for a starting role, and if nothing else, serves as above-average depth should someone go down with an injury.

4. S Tyvon Branch

Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

I almost hate to talk about life without All-Pro safety Eric Berry, but it’s a reality the Chiefs have to confront. His Non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis forces the front office to face that possibility. The one-year signing of former Raiders’ defensiveback Tyvon Branch was one of two moves to help the Chiefs solidify the near future at the position. Branch can comfortably occupy the box safety role Berry was often responsible for in Bob Sutton’s defensive scheme. Berry’s unlikely to play in 2015. Husain Abdullah was the only other safety under contract at the time of the signing. Branch brings physicality and tenacity to one of the league’s worst run defenses in 2014 and does so for less than $1.5 million on the Chiefs’ books this year.

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