The 5 biggest decisions facing Chiefs GM John Dorsey
By Matt Conner
Decision #3: Dontari Poe
A holdover from the Scott Pioli era, the Chiefs former general manager was right in betting on the athletic large man from Memphis. Dontari Poe turned heads at the NFL Combine, a.k.a. the Underwear Olympics, and became a draft sensation, rising all the way to No. 11 overall. Since that moment, Poe has been everything Pioli had hoped and more since the 2012 NFL Draft.
Fast forward five years and Poe’s rookie contract is up. It’s time to get paid. Normally when an incredibly athletic big man like Poe nears free agency, the team does everything they can to scramble and sign him, tag him or generally hide him from potential suitors. In the Chiefs case, the complications brought on by a tight salary cap and the looming Eric Berry decision means that it’s not as easy as just tagging Poe and moving on.
Let’s be clear about something else: Poe comes with some concern as well. Just like a running back is often used and discarded in the NFL, given tons of carries over the course of a few years only to find himself unable to find the big payday due to workload concerns, Poe is in a similar position. The Chiefs have worked Poe hard along the defensive front, giving him an incredible amount of snaps ever since his rookie season, and now back issues have surfaced. It’s hard to think of any 350 lb. man with back issues who only gets better.
Poe has made 76 starts in five seasons with the Chiefs and will likely give KC (or another team) an above average starter for the next year or two or even three. But it’s impossible to tell how he will hold up over time, and the potential of another large contract has to be a dangerous proposition for the Chiefs at this point when the defense already has so many guys getting paid.