KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Judging from the similar contracts the two players signed this week with their new teams, it certainly looks as if the Kansas City Chiefs chose one nose tackle, Bennie Logan, over another, Dontari Poe.
Logan, formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles, signed a one-year contract worth $8 million with the Chiefs. Poe, who played for the Chiefs the past five seasons, agreed with the Atlanta Falcons to a one-year deal worth $8 million and incentives that could bring his pay to $10 million, according to multiple reports.
The similar contracts, plus the timing of the contracts -- Logan agreed to terms with the Chiefs on Monday, Poe with the Falcons three days later -- make it appear Kansas City wanted to make this swap of 300-pound players.
That well could be the case. It's also possible the Chiefs first offered Poe the contract they gave to Logan. Poe may have declined or told the Chiefs to hold on while he looked for a better deal. Then, the Chiefs, sensing they would lose Poe, moved on without him.
The Chiefs, in early March and shortly after declining their chance to protect Poe with the expensive, one-year franchise tag, indicated they were open to having him back.
"We love the kid," coach Andy Reid said then. "We'd love to have him back, for sure.”
The comment from general manager John Dorsey was less optimistic about Poe's return and perhaps indicated the Chiefs would take him back, but only at their price.
"We all like big guys ... I want to stay in an open line of communication because I don't like to let good football players go," Dorsey said. "I consider him a really good football player. I'm going to let the process [play] its way out. As long as that line of communication is open, I'd like to have him back. We'll just let the process unfold as we go here.”
It makes sense the Chiefs would want Poe to play for them in 2017. He's been a pillar of what has been at times one of the better defensive teams in the NFL since he was drafted in the first round in 2012. When he made the Pro Bowl in the 2013 and 2014 seasons, Poe was often a dominant player. Since he's only 26, it stands to reason Poe has some good football left in him.
It's also reasonable that the Chiefs, even setting their tight salary-cap situation aside, wouldn't want to have him back except at their price. Poe played more snaps over the course of his five years with the Chiefs than all but one other NFL defensive tackle, so he's got a lot of wear and tear. He had back surgery two years ago and hasn't been the same player since.
It's worth noting the Chiefs have generally made good decisions when they've allowed a significant free agent depart in recent years. This category includes offensive tackle Branden Albert and cornerback Sean Smith.
We'll know by this time next year whether they made a good decision with Logan and Poe.