Insider Blog: Another New Face in KC

Posted Mar 10, 2010

Chiefs add UFA NT Shaun Smith to roster

After an opening weekend of relative inactivity, the Chiefs free agency train is chugging along full-speed ahead. Today, the club agreed to contract terms with NT Shaun Smith. Obviously, things have been consistently developing behind the scenes at Arrowhead and Smith is the latest testimonial to that.

The addition of Smith provides immediate depth and competition for a very vital (and very thin) position. After dealing NT Tank Tyler to Carolina, the Chiefs bounced bodies in and out of the lineup behind starter Ron Edwards for the duration of 2009. As a result, Edwards was asked to increase his snaps by nearly 100% following the Tyler trade.

Edwards began the season seeing an average of 15-25 snaps a game, but that number jumped to approximately 50+ snaps per game throughout the rest of the season while the Chiefs searched for permanent candidates to join the interior rotation. Kenny Smith, Derek Lokey and Dion Gales all saw reps in the interior behind Edwards, while Alex Magee received limited interior snaps in non-base situations.

Smith may be most remembered by NFL fans for his four-game suspension (performance enhancing drugs policy) in 2009 that ultimately led to his release in Detroit. On the other side of that coin is a man who has been extremely active in community service efforts, establishing the Shaun Smith 91 Ways Foundation.

The suspension derailed his 2009 season, which included a stint in the UFL, but he caught on with the Bengals for the final three games of 2009 and also played in Cincinnati's Wild Card Playoff Game vs. the N.Y. Jets (Thomas Jones will hold bragging rights this spring in the Chiefs locker room). Smith played, but did not record any stats in the December 27th meeting with the Chiefs in Cincinnati.

In Kansas City, Smith reunites with a man who has seen the best seasons of Smith’s career to date. Smith and Chiefs defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel were together in Cleveland from 2007-08 where Smith tallied 20 starts, 98 tackles and 2.0 sacks.

Like Jones, Smith was in Kansas City on a free agency visit and ultimately left with a contract. Smith is the third free agent to sign with the Chiefs in as many days. Kansas City reportedly worked out Smith back in October before he joined the Bengals.

In those three transactions the Chiefs have addressed three positions of immediate need – a vertical threat in the receiving game, backfield help for Jamaal Charles and a candidate to join the defensive rotation at the most important position in the 3-4 system.

The past 72 hours for the Chiefs have been pretty solid.

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