Chiefs

Chiefs meet with center Rodney Hudson’s representive at the combine

Rodney Hudson, who has played four seasons for the Chiefs, is clearly the best young center on the free-agent market this year.
Rodney Hudson, who has played four seasons for the Chiefs, is clearly the best young center on the free-agent market this year. The Kansas City Star

The Chiefs met with free agent center Rodney Hudson’s representative at the combine, a source told The Star on Monday.

Chiefs general manager John Dorsey said late last week that he likes Hudson and safety Ron Parker, another of the team’s top free agents.

Hudson graded out as one of the league’s top centers in 2014, according to Pro Football Focus. In 16 games, his grade of 13.0 ranked third in the entire league among eligible players at his position, behind two Pro Bowlers in the Jets’ Nick Mangold (22.6) and the Cowboys’ Travis Frederick (19.8) and ahead of two more in the Steelers’ Maurkice Pouncey (9.8) and the Eagles’ Jason Kelce (7.5).

Considering Hudson’s age (he turns 26 this year) and the fact he is clearly the best young center on the market — the next closest is the Saints’ Brian De la Puente, who turns 30 this year and whose PFF grade was a third of Hudson’s (4.3) — he could easily ask for north of $7 million a season at the outset of free agency.

If the Chiefs — who are currently around $4.5 million under the cap, according to cap analyst Joel Corry — meet that price, they will likely need to make some moves to accommodate the contract, especially if outside linebacker Justin Houston is franchised. The latter move will result in an immediate cap charge of $13 million, and the Chiefs need to be under the cap by the first day of the new league year on March 10.

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to tpaylor@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter at @TerezPaylor.

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