The offseason truly hasn’t started but the Chiefs have already added a couple of intriguing skill players who deserve to get a long look once practice begins in the spring. One is Weston Dressler, the veteran CFL slot receiver, and the other is Joe McKnight, a running back who washed out with the New York Jets but could find a home in Andy Reid’s offense.
“They’re skill players that can help us out,’’ Reid said at the NFL’s annual scouting combine in Indianapolis. “I want to see what they can do in our system whether it’s in the wide receiver/slot position or whether it’s in the running back position [and whether McKnight is able] to flex out and do some of the things we ask our running backs to do.
“You have return ability by both of them. [Dressler] is a receiver and he’s a smaller guy that’s quick. He was an exciting player when he was in Canada. McKnight is a running back and he gives you some flexibility just by the things he does catching the football.’’
Dressler could be the replacement for Dexter McCluster, who will be an unrestricted free agent if he doesn’t receive a new contract from the Chiefs before the signing period begins next month. McCluster had a big season for the Chiefs as a punt returner last year but should be easier for Dressler to replace as a slot receiver, where he never had much of an impact.
McKnight’s path to playing time is less obvious. The Chiefs have Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis as their running backs, so unless there’s an injury to one or both players McKnight probably wouldn’t get a lot of work. But, as Reid said, he does have the ability to return kicks and the Chiefs might lose to free agency not only McCluster but also Quintin Demps, who brought back kickoffs last season.
The Chiefs have no money invested in either player. Neither was given a bonus cash to sign, so if either or both wash out, the Chiefs have lost nothing. They are the best gambles to take.