Taking a page from the defending Super Bowl Champions New England Patriots, the Chiefs made a strong move today in adding a wide body defensive tackle who can plug up the middle and stop the run. The Chiefs are hoping that Lionel Dalton can play a similar role with Kansas City that Ted Washington did with the Patriots.
Dalton was on the Chiefs radar screen two years ago but they were unable to swing a deal to get him away from the Broncos and Redskins.
The Chiefs biggest need is on the defensive line and Dalton will be part of a rotation of players. Though Chiefs President Carl Peterson has been reluctant to sign free agents this off-season; the signing of Dalton was a good move.
"Lional has extensive experience at the defensive tackle position," Peterson commented. "As a veteran, he will give us additional help in the middle of our defensive line on a rotation basis. He expressed an interest that goes back two years and we're pleased to have him under contract."
Dalton likely will back up John Browning who recently signed a six-year contract. Dalton agreed to a two-year deal that will pay him the league minimum for a seven year NFL veteran. Dalton will earn $535,000 in 2004 and $665,000 in 2005.
In Other Chiefs News:<.B>
The NFL announced that the Kansas City Chiefs would open the 2004 season on Sunday Night September 12th in Denver to face the Broncos. The game will start at 7:30 central and be televised by ESPN.
At the NFL winter meetings the Chiefs dropped their proposal to expand the playoff format by adding two teams to the post season mix. The Chiefs have been a the forefront of the proposal since the league expanded to a four-team division alignments.
Thought the NFL tabled the playoff discussion this year it's likely to gain steam in 2005 when the NFL announces the winners of the new TV and Cable deals. NBC has indicated they intend to make a run at the AFC package and the new TV deals could include an expansion of the playoff format.