Marcus Dixon‘s path has hardly been a straight line from what it was expected to be but now the 28-year old, free agent defensive lineman is getting a fresh start and another chance. As tweeted by Dixon’s representation on Saturday morning, the Kansas City Chiefs have signed the former Jets DT/DE to a one year contract.
Dixon’s background and story feature allegations of rape and a high profile, racially charged court case that resulted in both a 10-year prison sentence and a victorious “landmark appeal.” While he was released after 15 months of incarceration, a conviction of misdemeanor statutory rape remains on his record. The blemish on his record is far from the only scar however as the former straight-A high school student lost his full scholarship to Vanderbilt University and instead attended Hampton University in Virginia following his release.
Marcus Dixon has since appeared with his accuser on Oprah Winfrey’s show and was also featured in an episode of HBO’s Real Sports back in 2011. For a synopsis of his story as it relates to the allegations and conviction, Rich Cimini published a quality article on ESPN New York back in November of 2011.
As far as the football field is concerned, Marcus Dixon went undrafted in 2008 but was quickly signed to a three-year $1.1 million contract by the Cowboys. Dixon was waived by Dallas on September 4th, 2010 but was on the market for less than 24 hours as the New York Jets signed him the following day. That season he played in three games for the Jets registering one sack and four tackles. The following year, after signing a new 1-year contract, he played in all 16 games for New York primarily as a reserve but did start three games for the team. All told, he finished with 1.5 sacks and 11 tackles during the 2011 campaign.
Prior to the 2012 season the Jets released him on September 1st and brought him back on the 4th. They played him in three games before releasing him again on the 24th. While the Jets surely had reasons for the bizarre management of Dixon, he certainly wasn’t the only player on Rex Ryan’s roster to be the subject of puzzling roster decisions.
Heading into the 2008 draft he was considered a raw talent, but showed an ability to get off the ball quickly. He is regarded as “high effort” player who works hard and doesn’t give up on plays. Dixon doesn’t fit particularly well at end or tackle and has since been labeled a “tweener” but in a backup role that gives him needed versatility. Even though he’s been in the league for several years now there is still plenty of upside to his game.
Now a member of the Chiefs, the 6’4″ 295 pound Dixon will provide depth along the defensive line and brings with him some knowledge of the defensive system that Bob Sutton will look to implement in KC. Sutton and Dixon of course has worked together during the base three seasons in New York. This will go down as an unheralded, overlooked signing for the time being but it’s one that could, and likely will, pay dividends for Kansas City in the long run.