With Kendrell Bell in the fold, the Kansas City Chiefs announced the signing of Miami Dolphin Safety Sammy Knight late Thursday evening. Though no terms of the deal were announced, we believe it's a five year contract with a signing bonus around $2.5 -3.5 million that could have a total value of $16 million from what our source indicated to us early Friday morning. However, we've not been able to verify the exact dollars but we did confirm the number of years.
Knight was one of the bright spots on the Miami Dolphins defense a year ago and he made only one scheduled free agent visit and that was with the Chiefs. Knight was very excited to join the Chiefs and made quite an impression on the coaching staff on Thursday. The two sides quickly hammered out a contract that puts the future of current Chief, Jerome Woods in question.
Knight will be a starter on this defense because his skill level makes him the best safety on the roster. He'll bring an attitude to the defensive backfield and that's something that the Chiefs are missing.
"Here's what I think I bring to this defense," Knight said. "Big plays. That's what I think great defense is. You make a play. You intercept a pass. You knock a ball free. I think I bring that ability and a passion for this game."
That's the talk of a starter not a back-up player. Peterson for one is also very excited about the signing and was very pleased to get the deal done so fast to insure he didn't leave town without a contract. But more importantly he is a perfect compliment to the recent addition of Kendrell Bell
"I think defense is about big plays and bringing a bit of a nasty attitude," Peterson said. "I think with Kendrell Bell and now Sammy Knight, we've brought two guys in who can make those plays and also help us regain the defensive attitude that, quite frankly, we lost the last few years."
This is a significant signing because now the Chiefs safety position is more solid and Knight will likely be a good influence on Greg Wesley who could learn a thing or two about playing safety from the former pro-bowler Knight.
In other Chiefs news the never ending saga of free agent linebacker Ed Hartwell continues for at least another day. There was a report last night on Fox Radio that Knight signed and also that the Chiefs were very close to announcing a deal with the former Ravens linebacker.
We chased down all the rumors we could from another football site claiming to have inside information that appeared on every message board but if you read the entire story, they have NFL Combine stuff on the page that is out dated.
I can tell you he has not signed yet but still nobody is talking about him in the Chiefs organization. The Cincinnati Bengals might get into the mix along with the Indianapolis but they have cap problems until they can unload running back Edgerrin James. Interesting enough the Arizona Cardinals who were once in pursuit of Hartwell, appear to be the front runner to land the Colts star back.
Hartwell from what we've been told wants to get a deal done this weekend. He still favors the Chiefs and would be willing to play outside linebacker now that Bell is set to play the middle. But he'd have to come way off his demands in regards to the $9-10 million signing bonus. If he does, he could still sign with the Chiefs but he'll have to swallow some pride.
The knock on Hartwell is the fact he does not have great coverage skills. He's a sure handed tackler but usually is pulled in passing downs for an extra cornerback. That appears to be the one thing that's preventing teams from offering the kind of money he wants. It's hard for the Chiefs or any team to pay that kind of money to a guy who can't be on the field for three consecutive downs. Kansas City has enough two-down defensive players now and they don't need another one.
Cornerback Kelly Herndon who visited on Thursday left Kansas City without a contract offer. From what I've been told he's leaning toward the Atlanta Falcons. The Chiefs might make a run for him as a back-up but I doubt any moves will get done until the Chiefs talk and meet with cornerback Ty Law on Monday.
Stay tuned to Warpaint Illustrated for more Chiefs free agent news.