Updates throughout.By DAVE SKRETTAAP Sports Writer
The Kansas City Chiefs wrapped up deals with two important pieces of their roster Thursday, signing cornerback Brandon Carr to his free agent tender and agreeing to terms with third-round pick Justin Houston on a four-year contract.
A person familiar with Houston’s deal said it is worth $2.78 million with a $671,000 signing bonus. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team did not announce the contract.
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The Chiefs had placed a first-round tender on Carr, who will receive $2,611,000 and could become a free agent after this season. He was on the practice field for the first time Thursday, but refused to say whether the reason it took so long to sign was because he was considering offers from other teams.
”Today is the start date for every free agent, so it’s time for me to start and I’m ready to play,” said Carr, referring to the new collective bargaining agreement that was ratified Thursday, which allowed veteran free agents to participate fully in practice for the first time.
”I feel good,” Carr said. ”This whole offseason I’ve been training, doing drills, trying to simulate game-type situations and get ready to get out here. Trying to get my feet under me.”
Carr, a former fifth-round draft pick, paired with Brandon Flowers last season to form one of the marquee cornerback tandems in the NFL. The 25-year-old from Grand Valley State has started all 48 games he’s played in over the past three seasons, making 207 tackles and four interceptions while forcing four fumbles.
Carr wasted no time joining the Chiefs on the campus of Missouri Western State University, jumping into every segment of practice and then spending more time than anybody else signing autographs for the modest crowd that came out to watch on a warm, humid evening.
”I’m excited to be back with football period,” Carr said. ”It’s been a long, long offseason since our last wild-card game, so just excited to be back on the field.”
Houston, the 70th overall draft pick out of Georgia, was among the last rookies to sign.
The 6-foot-3, 270-pound defensive end is expected to bolster the Chiefs’ pass rush along with outside linebacker Tamba Hali, who agreed to a five-year deal worth $60 million on Wednesday. Houston had 19 sacks during three seasons with Bulldogs, including 10 last season.
The Chiefs also announced the signing Thursday of free agent safety Sabby Piscitelli, who played in 50 games and made 20 starts over the past four seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cleveland Browns.
The former second-round draft pick has made 115 tackles and five interceptions in his career.