Even after agreeing to new deals with Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson and Jaye Howard over the last two days, the Chiefs still aren’t finished trying to keep one of the NFL’s premier defenses in place. The club is now making a push to bring back standout free agent cornerback Sean Smith, Terez A. Paylor of The Kansas City Star reports (on Twitter).
Although relatively young (28), Smith has already amassed 100 NFL starts in 108 appearances since the Dolphins took him in the second round of the 2009 draft. Smith signed with the Chiefs on a three-year, $16.5MM deal in 2013 and has since added five interceptions, giving him 10 for his career, while making 44 starts in 45 appearances. Thirteen of those starts came last season, when the 6-foot-2, 215-pounder finished an outstanding 12th at Pro Football Focus among 111 qualifying cornerbacks (subscription required).
Thanks to his efforts since signing in Kansas City three years ago, Smith is guaranteed to land a significant raise sometime soon, perhaps as much as $12MM annually (Twitter link via Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle). Entering free agency, PFR’s Luke Adams ranked Smith as the ninth-best player available. Among corners, only Janoris Jenkins had a higher ranking (fourth). Jenkins has since agreed to a five-year, $62.5MM contract with the Giants.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.