When the Kansas City Chiefs signed Sean Smith and Dunta Robinson to make two upgrades in the defensive backfield, I liked one move and criticized the other. Although Smith was frustratingly inconsistent while with the Miami Dolphins, he had the raw talent to blossom with motivation and good coaching in Kansas City, and he turned in a decent year for the Chiefs in their big 2013 turn-around. Meanwhile, Robinson has been a washed-up player for quite some time, and he hasn’t played well since his third season in the NFL. He was a terrible cover corner for the Atlanta Falcons, and it’s safe to say that he didn’t have a strong run with the Chiefs last season. The Chiefs announced yesterday that they have cut ties with him, and it’s a move that shouldn’t come as a surprise.
One of the biggest “surprise” rookies in 2013 was Chiefs nickel corner Marcus Cooper, who was initially drafted in the seventh round out of Rutgers by the CB-loaded San Francisco 49ers. They were so deep at the position that they were effectively forced to release Cooper despite the flashes he showed in training camp. The Chiefs picked him up, and he usurped Robinson as the team’s nickel corner after three weeks. He fell apart as the season wore on, but he was a better player than Robinson overall.
I still think the Chiefs could use some more help in the secondary, and it goes beyond just getting a new free safety. Adding another corner would help them out, as Brandon Flowers had a surprisingly weak 2013 season and Smith is still a bit too inconsistent to trust. CB isn’t a true need due to the raw talent that Flowers, Smith, and Cooper have, but adding another guy to the mix could help a team whose strength is in the front seven. Getting a top-notch FS and filling out their primary need at WR will help the Chiefs do a better job of keeping up with high-powered passing attacks, and Robinson’s release definitely clears both roster and cap space.
The funny thing is that the Chiefs initially signed Robinson with a transition to free safety in mind, but that quickly fell apart when they realized that Robinson is the last person who could play FS on the roster. He’s simply not fast enough anymore, nor is he good enough at covering to play the position. Kendrick Lewis and Quintin Demps were liabilities last season, but even they can play safety better than Robinson can.
Releasing the 31-year-old South Carolina saves the Chiefs $3 million next season, and they are off the hook for the final two years of the three-year deal he signed last offseason. Robinson barely played last season due to his struggles, and his numbers look quite paltry on paper. In fact, he has never deflected ten passes in a season since 2006, so he doesn’t even make enough plays on the ball to make up for the number of times he gets burned.
Not only was the decision to cut Robinson a great move by the Chiefs, but it was an obvious one. There’s no point in criticizing them for the move right now, because even though it was an ill-advised signing at the time, John Dorsey made up for a rare miss by releasing the player after his disappointing season. The great GMs admit their mistakes and don’t keep under-achieving players on the roster for longer than they have to, and Dorsey has certainly proven that he is one of the league’s best execs and is especially diligent with scouting players.