Extension talks between the Chiefs and contract-year defensive tackle Dontari Poe “haven’t really gone anywhere,” reports CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, who doubts that the two sides will reach an agreement by the start of the regular season (Twitter link). Poe is currently slated to play 2016, his fifth-year option season, on a $6.15MM salary. The Chiefs exercised that option in April 2015.
There seemed to be more optimism about an extension for Poe during the winter, with general manager John Dorsey saying in February, “We’ve talked, we’ve talked more than once. I have great affection for Dontari Poe. I think he represents everything we want to do, culturally. I think he’s a good football player. We will continue this process. Right now, I’m concentrating on other things. But eventually, we’ll get to that.”
Poe, who went 11th overall out of Memphis in the 2012 draft, has appeared in 62 of a possible 64 regular-season games with the Chiefs and notched 174 tackles and 11.5 sacks. Thirty-nine of those tackles and only 1.5 of those sacks came last year for Poe, who led Chiefs defensive linemen in snaps (752) and whose overall performance ranked a solid 39th among 132 qualifying interior defenders at Pro Football Focus (subscription required). The lion’s share of the 6-foot-3, 346-pounder’s impact in 2015 came versus the run, against which the Chiefs’ defense finished eighth in yards allowed, 11th in DVOA, and a more middling 16th in yards per carry surrendered.
If the Chiefs and the soon-to-be 26-year-old Poe aren’t able to reach an agreement on a deal by next offseason, the franchise tag would become a realistic option, according to Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap (Twitter link). Kansas City has gone that route before, notes Fitzgerald, with the latest example coming when it tagged safety Eric Berry before free agency this year. Berry still hasn’t signed his franchise tender, though, and could skip all of training camp and the preseason in protest of the Chiefs not signing him to a multiyear pact by the July 15 deadline. With both Poe and Berry unsigned past this season, there’s a chance Kansas City will have to choose between tagging one or the other next winter.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.