The greatest free agent prize for the Kansas City Chiefs this offseason came courtesy of an unexpected release from the Houston Texans in right tackle Eric Winston. For a team whose biggest weakness was the right tackle position, the signing was a gift from the football gods. Romeo Crennel, the team's new head coach, recently spoke out about how the signing actually went down.
"In the NFL, you've got the waiver wire," said Crennel. "We try to be transparent, and he came across the waiver wire. We said, ‘Hey, this guy is a starter and somebody we should be interested in.' You make your telephone calls and those kinds of things and see if you can get the guy in and visit and talk to him to find out what kind of person he is, if he'll be interested in those kinds of things. That's kind of the process we went through."
When asked about some more details on why Winston chose the Chiefs over other teams interested in him, including the Miami Dolphins, Crennel gave his best shot at answering.
"I think the opportunity to start, for one," said Crennel. "I think that goes a long way with these guys when they're looking for places to go. I think the fact that there were good people in the building, and he had a good interaction with the people that are in the building. I think he felt very comfortable with who we are and what we're trying to get done. I think that helped."
The team wined and dined Winston for nearly three full days while trying to get the tackle to make a decision and work out a deal. Few details were made publicly available, as per the usual, but it was leaked that Winston enjoyed the local flavor and food.
"Well you have to recruit a little bit because you do have competition," said Crennel.