Kansas City Chiefs: Husain Abdullah

A potential starter at free safety eluded the Kansas City Chiefs this week when veteran Danieal Manning signed with the Cincinnati Bengals before he could make his free-agent visit to Kansas City. Manning will be 32 in August, so he wouldn't have been the long-term solution at free safety the Chiefs might have preferred. But there was obviously an interest on their part, so the Chiefs might have taken Manning as a one-year solution.

Many fans no doubt look at their seeming lack of urgency in finding a replacement for departed free agent Kendrick Lewis to be puzzling and frsutrating. I say it suggests they have a plan. That plan could be to land a free safety in the draft. Perhaps there's a safety still on a roster around the league they believe will eventually come available and they will act then.

More likely, their next starting free safety is already on their roster. In that case, the legitimate candidates are few. More than one fan has suggested to me they intend to move cornerback Brandon Flowers to free safety. Regardless of the wisdom of that move, the Chiefs would have been more aggressive in finding a new starter at cornerback if that was in their plans.

The Chiefs re-signed veteran Husain Abdullah, who quietly had a nice season for them as a backup last year. Abdullah was a starter for the Minnesota Vikings in 2010 and again for a half-season in 2011. He's a versatile player with some pass-coverage skills, so he can't be dismissed as a possibility.

A more likely scenario has the Chiefs going with Sanders Commings as their free safety. He was a fifth-round draft pick last season and impressed the Chiefs in offseason practice to the point where he was going to challenge for playing time.

Commings then broke his collarbone in the first practice at training camp, effectively ending his rookie season. Make no mistake that the Chiefs like Commings and intend to find some playing time for him, whether that's at safety or elsewhere in their secondary.

"One of the reasons we drafted Sanders Commings is because we thought he fit that positional skill," general manager John Dorsey recently said of how the Chiefs might fill their free safety spot.
It was a hectic week for the Kansas City Chiefs this week as the free-agent signing period began. They lost five players who were regulars at some point last year (wide receiver Dexter McCluster, defensive end Tyson Jackson and offensive linemen Branden Albert, Jon Asamoah and Geoff Schwartz) but signed three players from other teams (linebacker Joe Mays, defensive lineman Vance Walker and offensive lineman Jeff Linkenbach) and re-signed two of their own free agents, reserve linebacker Frank Zombo and backup safety Husain Abdullah.

Now, in this week's Twitter mailbag, we're looking ahead, in some cases toward 2015.
The Kansas City Chiefs did sign one of their own free agents Tuesday. I don't think the re-signing of backup safety Husain Abdullah is insignificant, so I wanted to post on this news after the furor had died down over the rest of the day's developments.

The Chiefs received some contribution from Abdullah last season, mainly on special teams. But they also got some use from him as an extra defensive back. They occasionally used him as a nickelback in coverage and he did a nice job with that, so Abdullah has some versatility to his game.

His signature play last season was the interception he returned 44 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to seal a 24-7 victory over the Raiders in October at Arrowhead Stadium.

The Chiefs have four remaining unsigned free agents: linebacker Akeem Jordan, safeties Kendrick Lewis and Quintin Demps and wide receiver Kyle Williams.

The Chiefs have been linked in media reports to a couple of free agents from other teams, wide receiver Joe Morgan (New Orleans) and linebacker Joe Mays (Houston). Morgan caught 10 passes for the Saints in 2012, but for 379 yards and three touchdowns. Mays is a five-year veteran who has also played for Philadelphia and Denver.
The look at the top 10 potential Kansas City Chiefs free agents concludes with a backup safety and special teams player.

S Husain Abdullah

Five NFL seasons, one with the Chiefs. Will be 29 when next season begins.

Chiefs career: Abdullah didn't play a lot -- though he did start two games -- but he had an impact. He returned an interception for a touchdown to ice an October victory against the Oakland Raiders. Abdullah played some as a fourth cornerback when opponents spread the field. Abdullah was one of the Chiefs' better special teams players.

Argument for keeping Abdullah: The Chiefs could do worse in finding a fourth safety and special teams player. He has some coverage ability as well.

Argument for letting Abdullah go: The Chiefs could find his kind of ability in a younger and less expensive player.

What should happen: As with many of the backups who are potential unrestricted free agents, Abdullah should be on the Chiefs' wait-and-see list. Sign him in the spring if a better alternative doesn't come along.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs made big improvement on special teams last season but could lose some key components to free agency.

Roster: Key contributors include kicker Ryan Succop, punter Dustin Colquitt, long snapper Thomas Gafford, punt returner Dexter McCluster, kickoff returners Knile Davis and Quintin Demps and blockers/coverage players Akeem Jordan, Anthony Sherman and Husain Abdullah.

Potential 2014 free agents among these players: Gafford, McCluster, Demps, Jordan and Abdullah.

The position: The Chiefs had one of the best special teams in the league last season. They scored five touchdowns, allowed none and set an NFL record for kickoff return average. That's threatened by the possible loss of McCluster and Demps. The decision whether to re-sign them is complicated by their roles on offense or defense. McCluster doesn't produce enough as a receiver to demand a big contract, so the Chiefs shouldn't give him one. While he did a nice job as a punt returner, he benefited from some great blocking at times. The Chiefs can find another returner who can do what McCluster does, though that won't necessarily be easy. Demps is a backup and if he's willing to accept backup money, he should be re-signed. Succop did a nice job on kickoffs and though he missed the clutch field goal attempt in the final regular season game in San Diego, he's made plenty of big kicks before. He also bounced back in the playoff game by making all three of his field goal attempts. Colquitt is pricey for a punter, but worth it. He consistently helps the Chiefs win the field position battle. Gafford is a generally reliable veteran but the Chiefs looked around before re-signing him last year and may have wandering eyes again. If the Chiefs lose Jordan and Abdullah, they might have a difficult time in finding players to replace them.

The Chiefs should keep: Succop, Colquitt, Davis, Demps, Jordan, Sherman and Abdullah.

The Chiefs should dump: Gafford and McCluster.

Free agency/draft priority: If the Chiefs lose McCluster and Demps, they'll need to find a replacement return specialist. Otherwise, they should always be looking for players to help in the kicking game.
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. -- The Kansas City Chiefs are scheduled to have 16 free agents when the signing period begins, though some will be re-signed before then. Here is a list of the 16 listed by position group:

Quarterback: none.

Running back: none.

Wide receiver: Dexter McCluster, Kyle Williams.

Tight end: Richard Gordon.

Offensive line: Branden Albert, Jon Asamoah, Ricky Henry, Geoff Schwartz.

Defensive line: Tyson Jackson, Jerrell Powe.

Linebacker: Robert James, Akeem Jordan, Frank Zombo.

Defensive back: Husain Abdullah, Quintin Demps, Kendrick Lewis.

Punter/Kicker: none.

Long-snapper: Thomas Gafford.

Gordon and Henry are scheduled to become restricted free agents. I’m not clear on whether Powe and James would be exclusive rights or restricted free agents, though neither has a contract for 2014.

Everyone else is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent.

I’ll be starting to dig into this with you beginning in the next few days. I’ll have some advice for Andy Reid and John Dorsey as to what they should be doing with this list as well as the players who are under contract for 2014. I’ve already started on what they should do with quarterback Alex Smith.

For now, a couple of quick thoughts on this free-agent list:
  • Ideally, the Chiefs would keep Albert, their starting left tackle. But his contract demands may be out of their price range. Asamoah and Schwartz split time as the starting right guard. The Chiefs will need to keep at least one of them and Schwartz’s versatility was valuable last season.
  • Abdullah, Demps and Lewis are among their top four safeties. But the Chiefs will have Sanders Commings, a rookie, coming back from injuries next year. The Chiefs like him a lot.

Rapid Reaction: Kansas City Chiefs

October, 13, 2013

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A few thoughts on the Kansas City Chiefs' 24-7 win over the Oakland Raiders:

What it means: The Chiefs stayed undefeated at 6-0 and at least will keep pace with Denver in the AFC West, depending on how the Broncos fare in their late game against Jacksonville. The teams face one another in the first of their two annual games on Nov. 17 in Denver and both teams could be 9-0.

Stock watch: Linebacker Tamba Hali led an aggressive defense with 3.5 sacks. His fourth-quarter sack of Terrelle Pryor stopped an Oakland drive. Wide receiver Donnie Avery fumbled after catching a short pass inside the Oakland 10-yard line in the third quarter. Jamaal Charles didn’t have his best statistical game but led the Chiefs in rushing, receptions and receiving yards and scored their two touchdowns.

Harassing Pryor: The Chiefs sacked the Oakland quarterback 10 times and the Raiders struggled with the crowd noise. They had several delay-of-game and false-start penalties, including two on one play. Pryor did a nice job of keeping his poise, but he did make three big mistakes. The Chiefs put Pryor under pressure on a third down in the third quarter and he blindly heaved a pass deep down the middle. It was intercepted by safety Quintin Demps, who returned it to the Oakland 23. Two plays later, Charles scored his second touchdown of the game to put the Chiefs ahead 14-7. Pryor wasn’t under pressure in the fourth quarter when he threw his second interception. Rookie cornerback Marcus Cooper got a nice break on the throw and jumped in front of Denarius Moore to make the pick. That play set up the field goal that put the Chiefs ahead 17-7. Husain Abdullah finished the scoring when he returned a late interception 44 yards for a touchdown.

What’s next: The Chiefs play the second of three straight home games next Sunday when they meet the struggling Houston Texans. A victory makes it possible the Chiefs could end the day in first place, as the Broncos are at Indianapolis that night.
Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (quad) went through a full practice session and will play Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs officially listed Charles on their injury report as probable for Sunday's game.

Nickelback Dunta Robinson again missed practice after being excused for personal reasons. He was listed as questionable for Sunday's game. Tight end Travis Kelce (knee) was also listed as questionable. He was a limited practice participant.

The five other players on the injury report were full practice participants and are listed as probable for Sunday's game: offensive linemen Jon Asamoah (calf) and Donald Stephenson (shoulder), linebackers Nico Johnson (ankle) and Dezman Moses (toe) and safety Husain Abdullah (foot).
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Running back Jamaal Charles returned to practice today, but only on a limited basis. Charles, who has a bruised thigh, is still on track to play Sunday when the Kansas City Chiefs welcome the Dallas Cowboys to Arrowhead Stadium.

But tight end Travis Kelce didn't practice because of soreness in his knee. That raises doubts about his ability to be ready for the Cowboys game.

Nickel back Dunta Robinson was again absent from practice for personal reasons.

The other players on the Chiefs' injury report were listed as full practice participants: offensive linemen Jon Asamoah (calf) and Donald Stephenson (shoulder), linebackers Nico Johnson (ankle) and Dezman Moses (toe) and safety Husain Abdullah (foot).