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Chiefs Sign ILB Joe Mays: Grading the Move and What It Means for Kansas City

Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) is tackled by Houston Texans inside linebacker Joe Mays (53) during the first half of an NFL football game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)
Colin E. Braley/Associated Press
Bill RobbinsCorrespondent IMarch 12, 2014

Earlier today, the Kansas City Chiefs got their 2014 NFL free-agency period kicked off with the signing of linebacker Joe Mays.

According to ESPN, the team agreed to a two-year, $6 million deal with the ex-Bronco, and the deal will also include a $1.5 million signing bonus.

Mays comes to the Chiefs after just a one-year stint in Houston last season, where he started 13 games at his inside linebacker spot for the Texans.

Before Houston, the 28-year-old played for both the Eagles and Broncos.

In fact, current Chiefs head coach Andy Reid drafted Mays back in the sixth round of the '08 NFL draft, after he was an All-American linebacker for Division I-A power North Dakota State.

He has always been known as a hard hitter for his position and is very solid against the run as well.

However, the Chicago native has been a liability in pass coverage for much of his career, which has also been an area of concern for KC defensive coordinator Bob Sutton and the Chiefs defensive unit.

What does this move mean for the Chiefs?

First off, it likely means the end of the road for incumbent Chiefs ILB Akeem Jordan, who was brought in last year by Reid and Co. on a one-year deal.

Jordan and Mays are similar players, as both are very stout against the run, but struggle when they are asked to drop back into coverage.

For this reason, it's not likely that Kansas City will re-sign Jordan, who became a free agent as of yesterday afternoon.

Signing Mays also paints an uncertain picture for second-year linebacker Nico Johnson, as some thought that he could be the future starter opposite Derrick Johnson for the Red and White's linebacking corps.

It also shows that the current Chiefs regime is more than willing to part ways with players that they have signed, like Jordan.

As of right now, Mays projects to be the starter next to Derrick Johnson when KC heads to OTAs, unless Nico Johnson or someone else that isn't on the roster yet has something to say about it.

At the very worst, this signing will provide solid depth at a position that the Chiefs need.

Overall Grade: B

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