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Dontari Poe inks deal; Chiefs to open training camp with all draft picks under contract

Posted Jul 26, 2012

Poe was the Chiefs lone remaining unsigned draft pick

The training camp arrival of Chiefs first-round draft pick Dontari Poe won’t be delayed.

The 11th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft inked his rookie deal today, bringing all eight of Kansas City’s draft picks under contract.

Poe, like all first-round draft picks, agreed to a four-year deal with a fifth-year team option. Per team policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Poe’s signing means that the Chiefs will begin training camp practices with all of their draft picks under contract for the first time in six years.

Former first-round pick Tamba Hali, the 20th overall selection in 2006, inked his rookie contract minutes before the team departed for training camp in River Falls, Wi. that year. It was the last time Kansas City had gotten all of its draft picks under contract prior to the start of camp.

This first practice in St. Joseph is scheduled for Friday at 3:20 p.m.

Even without a contract in place, Poe made it a point to participate fully in the Chiefs offseason program. He didn’t miss any OTA or minicamp practices and was involved in several off-field events sponsored by the team, including a recent volunteer trip to build homes in Joplin, Mo.

“It says he wants to make the team,” head coach Romeo Crennel previously said of Poe’s decision to participate in OTAs and minicamp without a contract. “That’s what that says. I think that he wants to learn the system and show what his abilities are so that when he does get signed he can fall right into place.”

Kansas City’s draft class began signing earlier than ever this offseason, beginning with fourth-round draft pick Devon Wylie, sixth-round pick Cyrus Gray and both seventh-round selections, Jerome Long and Junior Hemingway, inking deals less than two weeks after being selected in April’s draft.

To put the speed of rookie signings into perspective, Kendrick Lewis became the first member of Kansas City’s 2010 draft class to sign his contract on June 30, 2010. The year before, Ryan Succop was the first member of his draft class to sign a deal when he inked on June 18, 2009. All rookie signings were delayed last year due to the NFL Lockout.

“I’m here to play football, so I’m doing that side of it,” Poe said during June’s minicamp. “I’ll leave (the contract) up to the other people to do that, so I’m just doing what I’m here to do.”

The first of eight defensive linemen taken in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, Poe tallied 101 tackles (57 solo), 5.0 sacks (-23.0 yards), 21.5 tackles for loss, eight pressures, four forced fumbles and four passes defensed at the University of Memphis. He earned All-Conference USA recognition for three seasons and achieved All-America status in 2011.

Poe spent the majority of the offseason program working with the first-team defense in sub-package situations as a pass rusher. The Chiefs used a rotation of nose tackles with the first-team defense in base sets.

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