Kansas City, Mo. The Kansas City Chiefs remained active in free agency on Wednesday, making official a wave of free-agent signings that included veteran cornerback Dunta Robinson and speedy wide receiver Donnie Avery.
The Chiefs also held a news conference to introduce quarterback Alex Smith, who was acquired in a trade with the San Francisco 49ers for a pair of draft picks. The agreement was reached two weeks ago but became official when the new league year began Tuesday.
“All along, we’ve said it’s an on-going process,” said new Chiefs general manager John Dorsey, who along with coach Andy Reid is trying to rebuild a team that went 2-14 last season.
“The very first thing is we wanted to address our team situation. I think we’ve done that,” Dorsey said. “The second thing is we wanted to address free agency. We’ve been very selective.”
The Chiefs started off by signing wide receiver Dwayne Bowe and punter Dustin Colquitt to long-term deals, and franchised left tackle Branden Albert, all before the start of free agency.
They also cleared salary cap space by shedding starting offensive tackle Eric Winston, wide receiver Steve Breaston and tight end Kevin Boss, and restructuring defensive end Tyson Jackson’s mammoth deal.
That gave them flexibility to reach deals Tuesday with tight end Anthony Fasano, defensive tackle Mike DeVito and backup quarterback Chase Daniel, and continue the splurge Wednesday with Robinson, Avery and offensive lineman Bryan Mattison.
They had previously signed former Vikings safety Hussain Abdullah, a practicing Muslim who gave up football last season to make a pilgrimage to Mecca.
“I think we got the types of players we wanted to get here,” Dorsey said. “They have the same traits, values and wants as the organization. You’ve got high-character guys who are productive football players, they’re good locker-room guys, and they like football. That’s important.
“We didn’t get flashy players,” he said, “we got solid, foundational players.”
Robinson, who was cut by the Falcons three years into a six-year, $54 million deal, should provide depth across the defensive backfield for the Chiefs. He not only could play cornerback opposite Brandon Flowers, but he has the ability to play nickel back or back up starting safeties Eric Berry and Kendrick Lewis.
A former first-round draft pick of the Texans, Robinson has played 131 games over nine NFL seasons with Houston and Atlanta. He has 580 career tackles, 5½ sacks and 17 interceptions with 87 pass breakups.
The Chiefs have had a gaping void at cornerback since losing Brandon Carr to the Dallas Cowboys in free agency last offseason. They had signed Stanford Routt to a three-year, $18 million deal, but cut him midway through the season, and Javier Arenas and Jalil Brown were unable to solidify the starting job.
Avery agreed to terms on a three-year deal with Kansas City, a person familiar with the terms told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because terms were not disclosed.
The speedy wide receiver showed promise after the Rams selected him in the second round in 2008, but he missed the entire 2010 season with a knee injury. Avery spent last year with Indianapolis, where he caught a career-best 60 passes for 781 yards and three touchdowns in helping the Colts reach the playoffs.
“Andy Reid, I’m a big fan of his work,” Avery said. “I know he likes to throw the ball from DeSean Jackson. He likes to get the ball deep, he likes fast guys — he called me and I said, ‘I’m here. I’m here.’”
He’s expected to replace Breaston, who was recently released, and compete with Jon Baldwin to be the No. 2 wide receiver opposite Bowe, who recently signed a five-year, $56 million contract.
The trade for Smith and acquisition of Avery is expected to shore up a pass offense that ranked last in the NFL last season with just under 170 yards per game.
DeVito is expected to help solidify the defensive front, Abdullah the defensive backfield and Mattison will provide depth along the offensive line, all holes that the Chiefs were looking to fill as they seek to return to the playoffs for the first time since the 2010 season.
And energize a fan base that has grown weary of losing.
“All I hear about is the fans, how great the fans are, how loud the stadium gets, the seas of red in there, so that’s encouraging,” DeVito said. “And then the other thing I heard about is the barbecue. I’ve heard the barbecue is great out here.”