While the Chiefs celebrated their first significant free-agency signing in two years on Wednesday, they were also preparing to move on from the departure of one of their own, center Rodney Hudson.
Hudson officially signed a deal for five years and $44.5 million with the Raiders that will make him the league’s highest-paid center.
The Chiefs made a “strong push” to retain him, however, and general manager John Dorsey essentially said that while he likes the player, the Chiefs — who aren’t flush with cap room — had to make a business decision, as well.
“I think Rodney is a fine player, a fine person,” Dorsey said. “I know one guy on our team that can’t wait to look forward to playing him this year in Dontari (Poe). (But) sometimes there’s a threshold. Sometimes there comes a point that’s just going to stop you.”
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To replace Hudson, the Chiefs could draft a center — Florida State’s Cameron Erving is the only player at the position expected to go in the first round — or give third-year pro Eric Kush his first opportunity to earn a starting job since he was taken in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL draft out of California University of Pennsylvania.
Kush has appeared in three games, with one start, in his two years as a Chief. All came in 2013, his rookie season.
Dorsey was also asked whether guard Jeff Allen, who has a little experience at center, is in the mix to replace Hudson, but Dorsey stopped short of saying that was the case.
“Jeff is a very versatile player,” Dorsey said. “You know, we still have some moves to be made. This is the infancy stage of free agency, as well as the draft (that’s) coming up. I’m sure we’ll have some chances to address that situation moving forward.”
▪ Dorsey was asked whether linebacker Josh Mauga, who re-signed with the team last week, will be a starter on the inside or provide veteran depth.
“I think it could be both,” Dorsey said.