Chiefs counter Broncos by signing Sean Smith
As we all know by now, the Denver Broncos bolstered their receiving core by signing Wes Welker - possibly the most productive slot receiver in NFL history. Peyton Manning now has a dangerous arsenal of weapons in Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, and Welker. If you want to compete with the Broncos, you'll need some players to slow down Peyton's weapons.
Since trading for Alex Smith, the Kansas City Chiefs look like they may be the biggest threat to the Broncos in the AFC West. After the Broncos pulled off a surprise move by signing Welker, the Chiefs stepped up their pursuit of free agent cornerback Sean Smith. Before long, the sides were able to agree on a three-year deal. Smith's contract is worth $18 million, with $11 million guaranteed.
Smith was relatively inconsistent in 2012 with the Dolphins, but showed flashes of dominance as a shutdown corner, particularly early in the season. He picked off two passes last season, with 12 passes defended, and three forced fumbles. He was considered by many to be the second best cornerback on the market, with Aqib Talib being the best.
Smith's addition fills a big need for the Chiefs, who struggled to find a consistent cornerback to play opposite Brandon Flowers in 2012. They hoped that consistent cornerback would be Stanford Routt, but they ended up releasing him midseason. Routt signed with the Chiefs last offseason on a three-year, $19.6 million deal - extremely similar to the deal they gave Smith. They will hope that things work out better this time around.
Also having signed former Falcon Dunta Robinson, the Chiefs now boast a great cornerback trio in Flowers, Smith, and Robinson. There is a good chance that Robinson will play primarily at safety, but he is a capable cornerback and could see time in the slot in nickel packages. The Chiefs hope they have built a secondary that can contain Peyton's weaponry, and on paper, it looks like they have.