Kansas City Chiefs keep Eric Fisher; defend fifth-round pick

By The Sports Xchange  |  May 3, 2016 at 1:25 AM
share with facebook
share with twitter
| License Photo

Former first overall draft pick Eric Fisher is staying around Kansas City a little longer.

Fisher, the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, had his fifth-year option picked up by the Chiefs on Monday, which was the deadline for teams to exercise the 2017 clause for first-round picks in that draft.

After starting the 2015 season as a backup, Fisher played three different positions and wound up starting at left tackle when Donald Stephenson was injured. Fisher's 2017 salary will be $11.9 million and is fully guaranteed for injury only.

General manager John Dorsey said last week he intentionally was delaying the decision to use the option until after the draft as a matter of course. Not because the Chiefs might draft a tackle, but because Dorsey said he prefers to take the call to the deadline.

Fisher, 6-7, 315, was overlooked much of his senior season but came on strong at the Senior Bowl and was impressive enough at the scouting combine in 2013 that NFLDraftScout.com's Dane Brugler made him the No. 1 player on his draft board.

Dorsey said the light has come on for Fisher, who grew into his frame and showed a level of toughness and the nasty demeanor the Chiefs hoped to see for three seasons. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, who earned his NFL stripes coaching offensive linemen, said Fisher finally learned to let his personality show in his play.

"I could see him being bigger, faster, stronger and better next year," Dorsey said last week. "Now, he knows he's it. He's got all the athleticism in the world to play with anybody in the National Football League (and started) to understand that, 'You know what? The game has finally slowed down for me. I can play with anybody.' And he can."

Fisher, playing on a sprained ankle, began to grow into his personality in October. On a play the Houston Texans would label dirty, Fisher went low to take out Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt. When the replay brought a chorus of boos at Reliant Stadium, Fisher nodded and waved to the crowd, as if to challenge them to up the volume on their disapproving shouts.

If Fisher's play falls off, he can still be released prior to next season without any cap charge for 2017 for the Chiefs, unless he's seriously injured.

The Chiefs spent part of the day defending their selection of West Alabama return man Tyreek Hill in the fifth round. Hill pled guilty to domestic violence in August 2015. Hill was kicked off the Oklahoma State football team.

Dorsey responded to criticism, including a virtual flood of criticism directed to the Chiefs' Twitter handle after the pick was announced, and said the team had done extra due diligence on the pick. He added that a "long talk" with CEO Clark Hunt was part of that process.

Reid said it was understandable that fans might show sensitivity to the pick with Jovan Belcher's murder-suicide in 2013 a very vivid memory.

"There has to be a certain trust here, but there's just things that we can't go into and go through," Reid said. "We want people to understand, like Dorse said, we're not going to do anything to put this community or this organization in a bind. We uncovered every possible stone that we possibly could, and we feel very comfortable with that part of it."

Related UPI Stories
Trending Stories