Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Chiefs Make High-Profile Roster Moves in Advance of Combine

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Chiefs Make High-Profile Roster Moves in Advance of Combine

Article excerpt

INDIANAPOLIS * Few teams cleared the decks like Kansas City when it came to roster-shaping entering the NFL Scouting Combine.

The Chiefs re-signed Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry as well as up-and-coming offensive guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. They released Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles, and decided not to place the franchise tag on defensive tackle Dontari Poe.

Obviously, these were all big moves it's not like general manager John Dorsey and coach Andy Reid were re-arranging deck furniture at Arrowhead.

In the case of Berry and Duvernay-Tardif, it's nearly $120 million worth of contracts $78 million over six years for Berry and $41 million over five years for Duvernay-Tardif.

Cutting ties with Charles, a four-time Pro Bowler and five-time 1,000-yard rusher who spent nine seasons in KC, was not easy.

"Jamaal's one of my favorite guys that I've had a chance to coach," Reid said. "You know he did everything for us, from running inside ... had the speed outside world-class speed to turn the corner. Had great hands, and on top of that he's a great kid, and just dirty tough.

"So you hate that situation. Whether he decides to play or not he doesn't need to he's got a great legacy and he could leave if he stopped playing today. But we all do get older, and that's the way the National Football League is, so I wish him the best in everything he does. A future Hall of Famer, too."

It remains to be seen whether Charles will keep going. He's at the age (30) where even the best NFL running backs start to wear down. And he's coming off knee injuries in back-to-back seasons.

Dorsey said he wanted make the decision on releasing Charles as early as possible in advance of the March 9 start of the free agency period to give Charles time to sort through his options.

"I thought that would be fair for a player of his magnitude," Dorsey said. "I thought that would be fair for Jamaal to see if he still wants to continue to play or not."

On the other end of the spectrum, re-signing Berry keeps another of the Chiefs' iconic players around for the near future. The five-time Pro Bowler and 2015 Comeback Player of the Year in the NFL played under the franchise tag last season, but made it clear early last month that he would not play under the tag this coming season. …

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