The Kansas City Chiefs signed their remaining unsigned exclusive rights and restricted free agents at the start of the offseason program.
Jordan Lucas, Justin Hamilton and Harrison Butker all signed one-year tenders on Monday as expected, per the NFL’s transaction report.
Butker is the most significant of these three signings. He’s been the starting kicker for the Chiefs during the past two seasons. As a former exclusive rights free agent, Butker is set to earn a salary of $645,000 in 2019, though he could still be signed to a long-term contract before mid-July.
Lucas, appeared in all 16 games for the Chiefs last season. He’s been a favorite of Chiefs fans, and many thought he deserved more starting opportunities when the Chiefs struggled to find the right safety combination. He’ll have a chance to earn a more prominent role in 2019 with a new defensive coaching staff. Lucas’ tender is for significantly more because he was a restricted free agent. He was given a low-level tender based on his draft status and will earn just over $2 million on the 2019 season.
Hamilton is set to make the same salary as Butker. He is also an exclusive rights free agent. Hamilton appeared in just five NFL games with the Chiefs in 2018, but he did play a role in motivating Justin Houston during the final stretch of games to end the season. With the change to a 4-3 base defense, Hamilton’s role is unclear.
Another place that’s close to home for the Gould family: Green Bay. Could the Packers jettison Mason Crosby – who’s in the last year of his contract and has shown signs of decline the last few years – in favor of Gould? A few other teams close to Chicago either don’t need a kicker (the Colts have Adam Vinatieri, the Lions have Matt Prater, the Chiefs have Harrison Butker), don’t have the money to pull off a trade (the Vikings have just under $2 million in cap space) or don’t look ready to contend (the Bengals are…just kind of there).
The Browns could be a fit, given Gould’s proven ability to kick in poor weather and their designs on competing in 2019, though rookie Greg Joseph hit 85 percent of his kicks in 2018 and is inexpensive. So the question here: What would other teams offer for Gould? Better than a sixth-round pick? And how many teams would actually have interest?
Two generations of Kansas City Chiefs’ football collided at the Don Bosco Senior Center on Monday morning as kicker Harrison Butker and Hall of Fame kicker Jan Stenerud helped more than 180 local seniors ring in the new year.
It marked the sixth-consecutive year that the Chiefs visited the center during the holidays and the 18th consecutive year overall.
The visit came on the heels of Kansas City’s division-clinching victory over the Oakland Raiders a day prior, but the excitement from the night before didn’t hinder Butker’s desire to show up for those in his community.
“It’s important to give back. We’re given a great platform by playing in the NFL, and I love meeting people here in Kansas City,” Butker said. “[The senior center] is a special place to come hang out and meet some people that probably don’t get the attention that they deserve. It’s fun to get to know them and celebrate the new year.”
Butker shook hands, signed autographs and took pictures with the seniors before going on stage to read Bingo numbers, but the second-year kicker wasn’t the only one garnering a palpable level of fanfare at the center.
Stenerud, who played for the Chiefs from 1967-79 and was the first pure placekicker to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1991, was just as popular.
“As somebody who grew up in Kansas City as part of this generation and who has supported the Chiefs for a long time, it’s amazing to see a familiar face like Jan Stenerud,” said Anne Miller, the Senior Center Director. “Somebody even knew the answer when Jan asked what Lenny Dawson’s number was. They’re true supporters and they’re so excited for this young new group.”
Stenerud’s presence was also a welcome sight for the 23-year-old Butker, who connected on 24 of his 27 field goal attempts this season.
“I’ve met Jan a couple times. He’s obviously a Hall of Fame placekicker and just an amazing guy, both on and off the field,” Butker said. “I’m always glad to spend some time with him and to try and learn some things about kicking. The fact that he’s here made me want to be here even more.”