The Chiefs have a number of key defenders set to hit free agency, including two team icons — safety Eric Berry and inside linebacker Derrick Johnson — and another key starter in cornerback Sean Smith.
The good news, according to general manager John Dorsey, is that the Chiefs have had recent discussions with all of their representatives, and would love to have all of them return.
“I’m working like the dickens to try to get these guys,” Dorsey said Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine.
“We’re not going to let good football players go.”
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Dorsey has expressed admiration for all three players — plus outside linebacker Tamba Hali, defensive end Mike DeVito and defensive tackle Jaye Howard — each of whom played a role in a 2015 season that saw them rebound from a 1-5 start to win their last 10 regular-season games and their first playoff game in 22 years.
“I told you … if I could sign all of them, I would,” Dorsey said. “These are really special guys here, now.
“You always measure people in what happens in adverse situations. Their backs were up against the wall, and they had adverse situations, and guess what? They bound together, they came together … that’s pretty good stuff, and they fought through that. Let’s always remember those guys. It’s a very special team.”
Dorsey said he is scheduled to speak with Berry’s representative this weekend, and noted that he met with Johnson’s representative on Monday. Dorsey also told The Star he plans to speak with Smith’s representative this weekend at the combine.
Safety Tyvon Branch could return
The Chiefs have expressed an interest in retaining safety Tyvon Branch, a source confirmed to The Star on Thursday.
Branch, 29, thrived in a reserve safety role for in his first season as a Chief, recording 43 tackles and an interception in 16 games. He joined the club on a one-year deal last March after a handful of injury-plagued years in Oakland sidetracked a productive career.