Jordan Lucas Jersey

Restricted free agent safety Jordan Lucas as well as exclusive rights free agent kicker Harrison Butker and defensive tackle Justin Hamilton are officially under contract with the Chiefs for another season after signing their tenders on Monday, according to Pro Football Talk.

Lucas, who played in all 16 games last season, was given an original round tender by the Chiefs in March. His decision to sign the tender puts him under contract at $2.025 million for 2019. Being a restricted free agent, Lucas had the ability to seek out offers from other teams, which the Chiefs would have had the option to match. If they chose not to match, they would have been sent a sixth-round draft pick from Lucas’ new team in return.

As exclusive rights free agents, Butker and Hamilton were not allowed to negotiate with other teams once the Chiefs extended a tender offer, which made their return all but a certainty. Refusal to sign the tender would have required Butker and Hamilton to sit out the season. Both players are due for salaries of $645,000 next season, according to OverTheCap.com.

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Lucas (6-0, 190) is in his fourth season after being selected by the Miami Dolphins in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft out of Penn State. The Chiefs acquired him in a trade before the 2018 season in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick in 2020, after which he was at first expected to fill primarily a special teams and reserve role. But injuries to other safeties presented him with the opportunity to play a more significant part than expected, as he wound up making his first four NFL starts and totaled 32 tackles in 16 regular season games with one sack and one interception. Lucas also was a starter in Kansas City’s Divisional Round playoff win over the Indianapolis Colts and was on the field the following week in the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots.

Butker (6-4, 205), who entered the league in 2017 as a seventh-round draft pick of the Carolina Panthers out of Georgia Tech, has been one of the best kickers in the AFC since the Chiefs signed him off the Panthers’ practice squad early in the 2017 season. Butker has connected on 62-of-69 field goal opportunities and 93-of-97 point after opportunities in his two seasons in Kansas City and was 2-for-2 on field goals and 8-for-8 on extra points during the 2018 postseason.

Hamilton (6-2, 315) has spent time with multiple NFL teams since joining the league as an undrafted signing of the Buffalo Bills in 2015. Hamilton, who played his college ball at Louisiana Tech, has seen stints with the Packers, Seahawks and Eagles in addition to the Bills before landing in Kansas City in 2017. He’s appeared in eight NFL games (five with Kansas City and three with Philadelphia) and has three tackles and 0.5 sacks.

It’s understandable to look for another name on the transaction wire. Given the level of defensive needs and the amount of talent that has already exited the team this offseason, it feels like the Kansas City Chiefs should be adding another name or two each passing week in free agency. That might be the case at other positions, but when it comes to safeties, Brett Veach’s work should be done—at least for now.

The Chiefs general manager should feel good about his base of safeties heading into the draft despite the brow-raising release of star safety Eric Berry. The reality is that the Chiefs have three holdovers who are well-known by the holdover coaching staff in Eric Murray, Dan Sorensen, and Jordan Lucas. That’s a nice core of backups with starting potential who was kept around for a reason.

Jordan Lucas was presented with an original round tender offer by the Kansas City Chiefs before the start of free agency on Wednesday, according to a tweet from NFL insider Adam Caplan.

Lucas, who played in all 16 games as a safety with the Chiefs last season, now has until April 19 to sign offer sheets. Signing the Chiefs’ tender would put him under contract at $2.025 million for the 2019 season. He’ll be able to receive offers from other teams in the meantime, which the Chiefs will have the right to match. If the Chiefs choose not to match an offer, they would receive a sixth-round pick in exchange.

Lucas (6-0, 190) is in his fourth season after being selected by the Miami Dolphins in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft out of Penn State. The Chiefs acquired him in a trade before the 2018 season in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick in 2020, after which he was at first expected to fill primarily a special teams and reserve role. But injuries to other safeties presented him with the opportunity to play a more significant part than expected, as he wound up making his first four NFL starts and totaled 32 tackles in 16 regular season games with one sack and one interception. Lucas also was a starter in Kansas City’s Divisional Round playoff win over the Indianapolis Colts and was on the field the following week in the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots.

Special teams is primarily where Lucas played during his days with the Dolphins. After playing 79 total snaps as a rookie in 2016 — all on special teams — Lucas totaled 182 special teams snaps and 29 defensive snaps in 2017. Lucas was listed as a third-teamer at strong safety before the trade, behind Pro Bowler Reshad Jones and Maurice Smith. Given the amount of talent the Dolphins have at the safety position (Jones, Minkah Fitzpatrick, T.J. McDonald, Walt Aikens), Lucas would have had a hard time making the 53-man roster in Miami had the trade not been made.

Lucas played four seasons at Penn State, totaling 181 tackles, three interceptions, 25 passes defensed, 11 tackles for loss, and four sacks. After making one tackle in 12 games as a true freshman for the Nittany Lions in 2012, Lucas made 65 tackles, 13 passes defensed, three interceptions, and two forced fumbles for the Nittany Lions as a sophomore. He followed it up with 59 tackles, two sacks, nine passes defensed, and four tackles for loss as a junior and 34 tackles, one sack and 2.5 tackles for loss as a senior, a season that was shortened due to injury.

If he returns to the Chiefs in 2019, Lucas will join a safety group that for now includes Tyrann Mathieu, Armani Watts, Daniel Sorensen, and Eric Murray. Mathieu is a lock to fill one starting spot, but the other could be up for grabs once training camp arrives. It’s also possible that the Chiefs decide to add more help at the safety position as the offseason proceeds.

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