The Kansas City Chiefs decided not to wait anymore as they exercised their star defensive lineman's fifth-year option. The option will pay the big man around $6.1 million for the 2016 season, as first reported by Albert Breer of NFL Network.
Dontari was the 11th overall pick in the 2012 draft out of Memphis. He made an impact immediately and has made back-to-back Pro Bowls in 2013 and 2014. Dontari also made second team All-Pro in 2013. Poe is a very vital part of the Chiefs defense, especially after finishing 28th in the league in rushing yards allowed.
This move was basically a no brainer for the Chiefs. Dontari is only 24-years old and has flourished in the middle of Kansas City's defensive line. He's been playing inbetween the 2014 league leader in sacks (that was only half a sack away from tying Michael Strahan's NFL record of 22.5), Justin Houston, as well as five-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro, Tamba Hali. With Mike Devito returning to the defensive line, Derrick Johnson returning to his spot at middle linebacker, and the signing Josh Mauga to a 3-year deal, there is no doubt the Chiefs will be better against the run this season. Extending Poe gives the Chiefs line some security for the next couple seasons.
Dontari Poe has become one of the elite defensive lineman in the game, and will be in line for a big payday after his contract is up. As we've seen in recent years it's tough for teams to retain these difference makers on defense, but like every team they will make the necessary efforts to lock Poe up long term.
Gerald McCoy signed a 7-year, $98 million extension last October, and Ndamukong Suh signed a 6-year, $114.375 million deal with the Miami Dolphins in March of this year. Not to say Poe is on par with Suh or McCoy, but his talent and ability is unique. He hardly ever leaves the field. The 6'4", 345 pound defensive tackle played 944 snaps last season that accounted for 89% of the teams defensive snaps. Suh accounted for 81.4% and McCoy for 59.9% of his teams defensive snaps, according to FootballOutsiders.
His ability to stay on the field makes him that much more valuable, but in the end it will come down to what he is worth to the team that offers him his first big deal. He would likely see a deal close to those numbers of McCoy and Suh if he were to enter free agency. Any team in dire need of a defensive tackle will jump on the opportunity to bring in a force like Dontari Poe. Exercising this extension is obviously a very good move for the Chiefs. Poe is a young player that offenses scheme around and must account for every snap.