The Kansas City Chiefs added needed depth to their offensive and defensive lines on Monday by signing veteran free agent offensive tackle J’Marcus Webb and defensive lineman Kyle Love to contracts. Webb reportedly signed a one-year deal while terms of Love's contract were not known at this time.
The team also signed three rookie free agents on Monday, offensive lineman Ben Gottschalk, running back James Baker and kicker Cairo Santos.
Chances are good that none of these players have a shot at becoming starters this year, but the addition of Webb gives the Chiefs a little more veteran flexibility along an offensive line that has suffered some big losses this offseason with the departures of Branden Albert, Geoff Schwartz, and Jon Asamoah.
Webb, 25, a fifth-year player out of West Texas A&M, was drafted in the 7th round of the 2010 draft by the Chicago Bears starting 44 of 46 games before moving on to the Minnesota Vikings in 2013. His time with the Vikings was almost totally unproductive as the huge tackle played in just 108 snaps in eight games.
At worst, he will at least be a wide body at one of the two tackle spots if the Chiefs need him to play. Webb stands 6-7 and weighs 333 pounds. At best, he figures it all out and takes over one of the spots on the O-line. He had reportedly drawn interest from the Carolina Panthers in free agency and even the Vikings were interested in bringing him back.
Gottschalk played his college ball at Southern Methodist University starting every game his junior and senior years. Love, a four-year veteran, played for three years with the New England Patriots before splitting last season between the Chiefs and the Jacksonville Jaguars, playing in just two games with one tackle. He has started 25 of his 43 professional games played and had 5.5 sacks during his time in New England.
Baker totaled 985 rushing yards during two years at Idaho, scoring 11 touchdowns in the process. His signing could be seen as competition for veteran Cyrus Gray as the third running back on the depth chart behind Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis. 2014 draft pick De’Anthony Thomas is expected to be used more as a receiver to replace WR/KR Dexter McCluster, who left KC for Tennessee in free agency.
The intriguing signing on Monday was kicker Cairo Santos, who kicked for Tulane for the last four years. Santos, a 2012 consensus All-American and Lou Groza Award winner, made 45 of 55 field goals during his career, including a school record 57-yarder.
It remains to be seen if he can kick in the NFL when the bright lights are shining on him, but if he can, he might be on the short list to replace the amazingly average current kicker, Ryan Succop, who is in the middle of a six-year contract he got from former GM Scott Pioli in 2011. A cynic would say that insane contract was Pioli overcompensating the only decent draft pick he made in 2009. Good thing your Chiefs Examiner is not a cynic.
In regards to their 2014 draft picks, the Chiefs have only first-round pick Dee Ford and fifth-round selection Aaron Murray left unsigned. The team’s three-day rookie minicamp begins May 24.
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