Kansas City Chiefs: DeMarcus Van Dyke

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Moving on with our roster series to the secondary, where the Kansas City Chiefs have big money invested in a couple of their players.

Roster (15): Husain Abdullah, Eric Berry, Malcolm Bronson, Sanders Commings, Marcus Cooper, Quintin Demps, Brandon Flowers, Vernon Kearney, Kendrick Lewis, Jerron McMillian, Ron Parker, Dunta Robinson, Kevin Rutland, Sean Smith, DeMarcus Van Dyke

Potential 2014 free agents: Abdullah, Demps, Lewis.

The position: The Chiefs have much invested in strong safety Eric Berry and cornerback Brandon Flowers. Both are Pro Bowlers this season. Berry, who will count about $11.6 million against their salary cap in 2014, played like one this season. He is perhaps the best strong safety in the NFL but he comes at a cost. His contract is the one he signed as a rookie under the old collective bargaining agreement in 2010, when those selected near the top of the draft were paid like stars.

Flowers didn’t play like a Pro Bowler for much of the season. He will count $10.5 million against the cap this year, a figure far too high for what the Chiefs received from him in 2013. The Chiefs should keep Flowers unless a better alternative comes along at a lower price, an unlikely scenario. Still, Flowers is one player who must do better in 2014.

Elsewhere at cornerback, the Chiefs have Sean Smith and Marcus Cooper. Smith is a capable veteran. Cooper started his rookie season by playing well and then faltered over the season’s second half. Having another capable backup at corner wouldn’t hurt. Berry is the only safety with much experience so the Chiefs have plenty of work to do there. Lewis was the starting free safety last season, but his contract is up and the Chiefs shouldn’t give him big money. The Chiefs liked Commings, a fifth-round draft pick last season, before he broke his collarbone early in training camp. It ruined his rookie season but don’t be surprised if he’s the starting free safety next season. The Chiefs would be wise to bring back Abdullah and Demps as backups if the price is reasonable. Abdullah can play some nickel corner if needed.

The Chiefs should keep: Abdullah, Berry, Commings, Cooper, Demps, Flowers and Smith.

The Chiefs should dump: Bronson, Kearney, Lewis, McMillian, Parker, Robinson, Rutland and Van Dyke.

Free agency/draft priority: The Chiefs will need some more bodies here for depth if nothing else. But they don’t need to spend a lot or use a high draft pick on a defensive back.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Running back Joe McKnight is the most intriguing of the seven new players signed by the Kansas City Chiefs.

McKnight played three seasons for the New York Jets from 2010 through 2012 before being released prior to the start of this past season. McKnight was nothing more than a spot player for the Jets on offense but also did a solid job returning kickoffs and punts.

The Chiefs may want to look at McKnight in the slot receiver/kick returner role occupied by Dexter McCluster, who is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent.

Two other players of interest signed by the Chiefs are defensive backs Jerron McMillian and DeMarcus Van Dyke. McMillian was a fourth-round draft pick by the Green Bay Packers in 2012 when John Dorsey was involved in their draft. He played in 28 games over the past two seasons for Green Bay.

Van Dyke played in 25 games over the last three seasons for the Oakland Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers.

The other four players are offensive tackle R.J. Dill, defensive linemen Dominique Hamilton and Brandon Moore and linebacker Jordan Campbell.

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