Look for Chiefs to draft return specialist

March, 21, 2014
Mar 21
7:30
AM ET
On the surface, Devin Hester joining the Kansas City Chiefs made too much sense for it not to happen.

Hester
After losing Dexter McCluster and Quintin Demps to free agency, the Chiefs need a return specialist. Hester, perhaps the greatest return specialist in NFL history after being set free by the Chicago Bears, needed a job. Then there was the angle of Hester being reunited in Kansas City with his special teams coach for much of his time with the Bears, Dave Toub.

But as with many things, money got in the way. Hester's price tag was too much for the Chiefs, who may have taken Hester at a lower cost. But Hester's price was met by the Atlanta Falcons, removing him from the pool of available free agents. Hester and the Falcons agreed on a three-year contract.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid also prefers his return specialist do another job whether as a running back, wide receiver or defensive back. That probably wouldn't have been a deal breaker in bringing Hester to Kansas City but may have been a factor as to why the Chiefs weren't more aggressive in pursuing him.

With Hester out of the picture, the Chiefs are still in the market for a return specialist. They reportedly met with journeyman Micheal Spurlock but appear to prefer using a rookie, perhaps in combination with the players they already have.

Odell Beckham Jr. of LSU is one of the better return specialists available in the draft and can also fulfill Reid's preference for the returner to help elsewhere. Beckham could also help the Chiefs as a wide receiver. The problem is that Beckham may not still be available by the time the Chiefs make their first choice, 23rd overall.

The leading in-house candidates are running backs Joe McKnight and Knile Davis and slot receiver Weston Dressler.

Adam Teicher

ESPN Kansas City Chiefs reporter

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