Red Zone

The Chiefs and NFL by beat writer Terez Paylor

Chiefs general manager John Dorsey addresses Sanders, free agency and cap situation

03/18/2014 4:33 PM

03/18/2014 4:55 PM

Chiefs general manager John Dorsey spoke publicly Tuesday for the first time in a month. He covered many topics, including the Emmanuel Sanders situation, the addition of free agents Joe Mays and Vance Walker, and the status of the Chiefs’ cap situation.

Here is the transcript of the call.


What will the three new free agents (Joe Mays, Jeff Linkenbach and Vance Walker) bring to the team?

“I think the roles can be determined by the coaches as we go on through to OTAs and minicamps and into training camp. I liked how they played on film and thought they would help contribute and add the depth to this roster that we always talk about.”


Did you have an agreement in place with Emmanuel Sanders?

“I don’t know about all that. During the free-agency stuff, anything can happen. You know what, I was interested in the player and at the end of the day, the player and the agent decided to go to Denver … we have to move forward and build this organization. I’m looking forward to the next project.”


What do you do at receiver now?

“This is just the second week of free agency. There’s still players out there. I think this draft is very deep in terms of wide receivers with skills. So we’re gonna turn over every rock possible as we move forward here. We’ll continue to add to the competitive depth to our roster, and that’s what we do everyday. We come in here and try to find the best possible players we can.”


Was there a sense the five free agents that left wouldn’t be Chiefs very long?

“Nobody wants to lose good football players and I wish all those guys the best. Not only did they help the Chiefs contribute in 2013, but they’re good guys, too. But that’s free agency, I think every team loses players as we go in this free agency period and good teams lose players. I think maybe it’s a sign of what we’re building here.”


Have you ever heard anything like the Sanders situation happening before?

“I really don’t talk about the negotiations outside of the building, and really that’s it. We move on, and that’s kind of what I’ve done. I’ve put it in the rearview mirror and I’ve moved forward.”


How could Denver sign all those free agents?

“I can’t speak for another team’s players or their cap situation. All I know is that they’re exploring every resource possible.”


Is there an update on Alex Smith’s and Justin Houston’s extensions?

“That’s an ongoing process as we speak. We’ve had communication with his representatives and that’s kind of where we are.”


If things don’t change in free agency, is it safe to say you could see Sanders Commings and Husain Abdullah as the potential starter at free safety?

“I could envision that. One of the reasons we drafted Sanders Commings is we thought he fit that positional skill. I could see Husain and those guys competing and there’s some players within this draft that could help come in and contribute as well.”


Is Mays a guy who was used in nickel and passing situations with Houston?

“Every defensive scheme puts players in unique football positions. One of the things you guys will love about Joe Mays is he’s a real football player. He’s mature, he’s a very good communicator. He’ll be able to play, equally, the run and the pass. I think when it’s all said and done, you guys will like Joe Mays.”


What did you see from Vance Walker as far as rushing passer and rushing gaps?

“There’s some unique features that our defensive linemen use and I felt that some of his strengths actually help us as a defensive line. He can play the run, he can hold at the point of attack but what’s nice about him is he gives you a little extra dimension in terms of the inside pass-rush stuff. You need that in the National Football League today. And again, we talk about character, he’s a man of high character.”


What’s the status at left tackle? Is Donald Stephenson the guy or will Eric Fisher get a look?

“Both those two guys are good football players … I think at the end of the day, the coaching staff will put the best five offensive linemen out there.”


Jeff Linkenbach has versatility. He’s in the mix to compete at right guard, but will you also take a long look at Rishaw Johnson?

“I think that’s fair. We’re going to create a competitive atmosphere here. When those guys got a chance to compete in the last game in the regular season, they showed they were willing to compete against a playoff-caliber team.”


How much did that week 17 game help?

“Anytime you can get another chance to evaluate the players who don’t get to contribute on a week-in, week-out basis, that’s very helpful. And then what it does is, it helps the coaching staff get a degree of comfort (with the personnel staff) … that’s what the communication between the coaches and personnel staff does. It’s always an advantage to get those guys to play and those guys showed very well in week 17.”


What’s the ceiling for Mike Catapano?

“He’s been here day in and day out, he’s been working his butt off. The guy is driven, he’s one of those relentless warriors you want on your team. I’m excited to see him contribute as we go forward here in his second season. I’ve always said all along that guys make their greatest strides in year one to year two and I could see great strides coming for Catapano. With regards to Rishaw, he’s gonna compete. He showed he can play the game of football. I’m excited to see the strides he’s made here this year.”


Will you be aggressive with trades?

“My phone is always open … if you want, tell those guys if they wanna trade up or down, just come and give me a call. You have to do everything within your power. Just rest assured I will try to do everything I can to move up and move down. If I feel it’s time to pull the trigger and go up and get a player or pull the trigger and move down and get a player, I’ll use every resource available to me.”


Is there a common characteristic between the three guys you signed that you felt really needed to be added to the roster?

“They’re good football players who happen to be good men. All along we’ve said we would like to have men of character, men who are committed to the game of football. Those are guys you want on your football team. At the end of the day, you guys are gonna like these guys.”


Are you comfortable with the cap situation right now?

“I think we’re in a good position right now. It gives us some flexibility to do some good things if we have to, and it gives us flexibility to acquire some more players if we have to. But I think we’re in a good place right now.”


Was last year an aberration as far as how active you were in free agency? In other words, are you getting back to your Green Bay roots this offseason?

“I’m gonna do it the Chiefs way, and we’re gonna be selective in free agency and build our foundation through the draft. That’s how we’re gonna do this thing.”


Do you feel like you’re playing catch up with Denver?

“Not really, not at all. It’s midway through the second week of free agency and there’s still a lot of players out there and we’re gonna find some players to help us move forward.”


What do you see Weston Dressler’s role being?

“He’s gonna be allowed to compete as a slot receiver, he’s gonna be allowed to compete on special teams. Once the coaches get a great feel for him and they get comfortable with him, they’ll determine and distinguish his role on the team.”


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