Chiefs smart to let Jackson go

March, 17, 2014
Mar 17
12:20
PM ET
Louis Riddick has an interesting piece ranking the best and worst free-agent signings with regard to contract value. The only player on either of Riddick's lists with ties to the Kansas City Chiefs is defensive end Tyson Jackson, who signed with the Atlanta Falcons after five seasons with the Chiefs. According to Riddick, Jackson's contract with the Falcons is among the worst in terms of value of any handed out during the first several days of the free-agent signing period.

[+] EnlargeTyson Jackson
Denny Medley/USA TODAY SportsDespite being a part-time player much of his career, Tyson Jackson landed a five-year, $25 million deal with the Falcons.
While Jackson developed into a solid run defender in his last season with the Chiefs, I agree the Falcons overpaid to get him and, by extension, the Chiefs were smart not to give him what the Falcons did. Jackson’s contract is worth $25 million over five years and includes a guarantee of $9.5 million. That's a lot of money to pay a player who has been a part-timer for most of his career. Jackson has been removed from the lineup on passing downs because his pass-rush skills never developed to the point the Chiefs hoped.

Maybe Jackson will be a full-time player for the Falcons. Jackson will turn 28 in June, so there's still time for him to get there.

More likely, he will be for the Falcons what he was for the Chiefs. Interestingly, the Chiefs drafted Jackson higher than he should have been (third overall in 2009) by the Chiefs when their general manager was Scott Pioli because they needed defensive ends for the new 3-4 scheme that new coach Todd Haley just had to use. The Falcons are also switching to a 3-4 this year and, with Pioli as their assistant GM, went after Jackson to fill that vacancy. We'll see if it works better for Pioli this time around.

The Chiefs replaced Jackson with Vance Walker, who started last season for the Oakland Raiders. They gave Walker a three-year contract worth a maximum of $13 million. Of that, $3.75 million is guaranteed. Riddick thinks the Chiefs are getting a better player in Walker and for a lower cost.

Adam Teicher

ESPN Kansas City Chiefs reporter

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