After signing help at wide receiver and safety, the Kansas City Chiefs turned their attention to the offensive line on Wednesday with a Herbie Teope report that the team had reached an agreement with free agent offensive guard Paul Fanaika. The move for help at guard was expected since the position is thin on the roster.
The Chiefs have not confirmed the move but multiple reports say it's coming.
Fanaika, a 2009 draft pick by Andy Reid, started 30 games over the last two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, which gives the Chiefs an experienced veteran in camp to compete alongside younger players like Zach Fulton and Ricky Henry. Jeff Allen is presumably slated to start on the left side, which leaves competition open on the right, which is where Fanaika has played for the Cards.
For more info on the new addition, we asked a few questions of Jess Root, editor of our Arizona Cardinals' blog Revenge of the Birds.
It seems like Fanaika came in and created a good story in Arizona as a surprise starter. True?
Jess: He did! He was signed initially and was thought to be a camp body at tackle. They moved him inside and really impressed the coaching staff. The starting job, though, actually came as a result to Jonathan Cooper breaking his leg. Otherwise, he would have been a bench guy. But when he was signed, no one could have though the would have even made the roster, much less start 30 games over the next two seasons.
Should be be considered starting material for the Chiefs as well?
Jess: He is not good according to Pro Football Focus grades. He was downright awful, but he did improve from 2013 to 2014. He allowed seven sacks in 2013, but only two in 2014. He did play banged up a lot this season and there were times when he looked really good, especially in the run game.
The truth is, though, he should be considered a fringe starter who is solid depth. But he is a smart player, he is a hard worker and well liked in the locker room.
Were the Cards interested in retaining him at all? Surprised to see him go?
Jess: There was no real interest in retaining him. The team wanted to upgrade the interior line and he was part of that group. With the number of guards on the roster and the fact they have a first round pick waiting to play if he can stay healthy, combined with having to pay him more than the league minimum, his time here was done.
Any other relevant info Chiefs fans should know about the newest addition?
Jess: He is big. Remember he was drafted as a tackle. He is built that way. He won't talk much to the media and doesn't really like to. He won't cause trouble. He loves two things -- football and his family.