Free agent defensive end Chris Canty has reportedly visited the Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans over the past two days to shop his services for the 2013 NFL season. The New York Giants released Canty last week in a cost-cutting move, so the talented lineman is now an unrestricted free agent. The Chiefs would seem to be a particularly eager suitor for Canty because they might potentially lose two-thirds of their starting defensive line this off-season.
Canty, (6-7,317 lbs), enters his ninth pro season in the NFL this year. He began his career as a fourth-round pick of the Dallas Cowboys (2005–2008) before joining the Giants (2009-2012) and winning a Super Bowl in 2011. This season was cut short by injuries and he only appeared in nine games, making 26 tackles with three quarterback sacks. He will visit other teams before deciding on his new home for 2013.
Canty is drawing interest from several teams needing help along the defensive line because he has experience playing in both a 3-4 and 4-3 alignment. For the Chiefs, he could be as attractive as Angelina Jolie since they might be in a big bind along their defensive line this season.
It is expected that last year’s starter at end, Glenn Dorsey, will opt to leave via free agency to try and latch on with a team that primarily uses a 4-3 alignment, the kind that made Dorsey a star in college and the #5 pick in the draft for the Chiefs in 2008. Unfortunately for him, head coach Herm Edwards and his 4-3 scheme were axed after that season and new coach Todd Haley and general manager Scott Pioli, brought the Patriot Way with them along with the 3-4 alignment in 2009.
Though he was never a “bust” of a draft pick, Dorsey’s strengths as a lineman were lessened in a 3-4, especially after Haley made him lose 30 pounds before the 2009 season because the coach wanted leaner players. That might have been a good goal for the skill players, but for a big defensive lineman whose game is based on strength and the ability to push offensive lineman around, it probably backfired.
The Chiefs might also be losing their other #1 pick at defensive end, Tyson Jackson, who will earn $14 million in 2013 in the last year of his rookie contract. Jackson, taken at #3 in the 2009 draft as Pioli’s first draft pick ever for the Chiefs, was a monumental reach and a surprise pick to almost everyone. At the time, he was considered the best 3-4 end prospect in the draft, but also wasn’t expected to be drafted until late in the first round.
For Chiefs fans, Jackson is one of the biggest draft busts in franchise history, and the Chiefs new front office will probably not be inclined to pay him that big of a salary considering his lack of production. If Jackson does not renegotiate the last year of his contract, he could be cut by the team when the new NFL year begins in early March.
For any Chiefs fan that believes the team should automatically use the first pick in this April’s draft for a quarterback no matter if there is one worthy of that pick or not, he or she should remember Jackson. At the time, Pioli said the reason he drafted Jackson that high was because the team was switching defensive schemes and didn’t have any player on the roster with experience playing in a 3-4.
Yeah … that worked out well.
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