Dontari Poe, Kansas City Chiefs’ star defensive tackle, is due for a contract extension. However, Poe and the Chiefs haven’t been able to come to terms on a new contract, per a league source.
Poe was a key component in Chiefs ending their postseason win drought last year. Several analysts believe that Kansas City is the favorite to win the AFC West in the forthcoming season and potentially emerge as a Super Bowl contender.
According to NFL insider Jason La Canfora, there is very little chance that Poe and the Chiefs end their contract dispute and get a new deal done before the season.
Poe, entering the new season under a fifth-year option, is due for a major pay day next summer. Fletcher Fox, the Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive tackle, received a $102 million contract this offseason. Malik Johnson, part of the Broncos team that won the Super Bowl, received a $85.5 million contract to join Jacksonville Jaguars.
If Poe can help the Chiefs win the AFC West, Kansas City could decide to use the franchise tag on the 25-year-old from the University of Memphis. Of course, safety Eric Berry will be another Chiefs player who will be highly sought-after in free agency next offseason. According to ESPN’s John Clayton, Berry and Poe are ranked 8th and 23rd respectively in the top-25 free agents list.
Dontari Poe not distracted
Despite all the talk surrounding his new contract, Poe remains focused on the new season. “It won’t be (a distraction) at all,” the defensive tackle said of his contract year. “You gotta understand, people get good contracts because they play good. So if you play good, it takes care of itself.
“As long as I focus on that and keep my mind focused on doing what I gotta do on the field, the finances will take care of itself. That’s as simple as you can put it. You start running the scenarios in your head and you forget the most important thing which is playing ball,” added Poe.
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According to NFL.com, Berry has decided to skip the ongoing training camp due to his contract impasse with the Chiefs. Poe is hoping that his situation is resolved without any hiccups.
“I was (surprised),” Poe said of Berry’s contract dispute. “But at the same time, that’s not my job. My job is to play football. It is what it is from my standpoint. Just the type of guy he is, I thought they could’ve worked something out but at the same time they just didn’t. So I just play football. That’s my job,” said Poe.
Dontari Poe made 39 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, and 1 fumble recovery from 15 games last season. During the game against San Diego Chargers, Poe became the heaviest player in NFL history to rush for a touchdown. He also became only the 6th defensive linesman to rush for TD.