Exploring the rest of the Chiefs’ options on the defensive end

If you pick a casual Kansas City Chiefs fan out of your favorite bar and ask him what position the team has to face before the start of the 2022 season, chances are very good that they will say the team needs more help with their pass. rush – specifically with marginalizers.

Former Seattle Seahawks star Frank Clark has been attractive since the opening season in Kansas City in 2019 – and while the restructuring of his contract has made it more attractive to keep it until 2022, he must be close to the 2019 standard to make it.

At the same time, Michael Danna, the fifth round of the 2020 draw, has been confident as a rotating player (if not remarkable). Joshua Kaindoh’s choice for the fourth round of 2021 seems talented, but raw – and in his new season, we didn’t see him enough to judge his NFL position. Malik Herring, the undrawn free agent of 2021, spent the entire season on the team reserve / NFI list, so we know even less where ta stands.

Against this background, it was no surprise that Kansas City head manager Brett Veach thought the team’s line of defense was paramount.

“I don’t think it’s far-reaching to think that we will prioritize routes as always,” he said on Feb. 2. “Knowing that we have a good offensive line, the defensive line is probably the most sensible. I think the defensive side is what we will probably focus on right away.

Initial free agency period

And that may have been Veach’s exact intention. But no one – including GM – foresaw the impending explosion: a huge pay rise with a free agent for large-scale receivers. Veach probably thought the team would be able to easily (and quickly) enter into a broad-based contract with Tyreek Hill, which would free up enough space for the team to be a player in the free agent market.

It got expensive. As Brandon Kiley noted on those pages just before the start of the league year, no young winger was available. The market was full of “named” players who started demanding the highest salaries.

The best pass rusher available on the market this year are all older. The group includes Von Miller (33), Chandler Jones (32), Jadeveon Clowney (29), Randy Gregory (29), Emmanuel Ogbah (28), Melvin Ingram (33), Jerry Hughes (34) – and when he is cut off , Za’Darius Smith (30).

But as we know now, the Chiefs Hill could not give the contract. Although both sides were close to an agreement, Hill’s agent Drew Rosenhaus saw the market rise – and postponed the proceedings wisely. In the end, Kansas City had no choice but to trade with Hill as much as possible – it was the five Miami Dolphins 2022 and 2023 draft selections.

The draft

Photo: David Becker / Getty Images

By the time everything was resolved on March 23, passers-by Miller, Jones, Gregory, Ogbah and Smith were all out of the market. But Hill’s trading (and other past deals) allowed the Chiefs to take part in the 2022 NFL draft with a dozen selections they used to select ten different players – one of them being Purdue defender George Karlaft, who was selected in the first game. round 30 general selection. While seven of the Chiefs’ ten selections were used for defensive players, Karlaft was the only defender in the Kansas City draft.

Was that enough to improve the passport speed in 2022? In her analysis before the free agency, Kiley did not think so.

Chiefs just can’t get it [pass rusher]who. They will probably have to come up with one high level [player] and another sure veteran. For example, the catch of Chandler Jones and Melvin Ingram would give the Chiefs a solid starting point.

However, the work does not end there. Chiefs as well we need a long-term response in the post. This means that you will spend more draft capital on the marginal soldier – probably in the first or second round.

Assuming Karlaft gets out of the NFL, check this “long-term” box. But the Chiefs would still need another veteran. However, since the draft, all the other top free agents that Kiley had recommended have left the market – Clowney, Ingram and Hughes.

Second free agent period

Baltimore Ravens vs Chicago Bears

Photo by Jamie Sabau / Getty Images

As of this writing, some perpetrators remain in (or have joined) the free agent market. Here are some players Kansas City could consider.

Jason Pierre-Paul has been in the NFL for 12 seasons – long enough to play for Kansas City defense coordinator Steve Spagnuolo in his second term at the New York Giants from 2015-2017. At the age of 33, he has been a year away from his best season since 2011, when he was named All-Pro of the main team after completing 86 reps (23 losses), 16.5 sacks, 28 assists and a pair of forced hits. Although his 2020 season was not in Tampa Bay Buccaneers pretty as spectacular as its 2011 peak, it showed that he could still be a very much an effective player. However, his numbers fell in 2021. Although his production was still well above average, the Buccaneers still went on. Spotrac estimates its market value at $ 10 million a year.

Carlos Dunlap is another 12-year-old veteran who is now 33 years old. But unlike Pierre-Paul, he has recently been used as a rotating player. He played in all 17 games of the Seattle Seahawks in 2021, but started in only two of them. Nevertheless, he collected 35 reps (for eight losses), 8.5 sacks, 14 assists and forced hits. After joining Seattle for eight games in 2020, Seahawks had guaranteed him $ 8.5 million on a two-year contract totaling $ 13.6 million, but the team decided to carry forward his $ 4 million salary by 2022. If the Chiefs believe they only need one more solid rotating player, while Karlaft is running his new season, Dunlap could be the man.

Justin Houston is also 33 years old, finishing his 11th NFL season – the first eight of which were in the Chiefs. Fans still remember his 2014 All-Pro season, when he led the league with 22.5 sacks. However, in the years that followed, he was never able to get very close to that peak. So in 2019 – when the new defense coordinator shook things up with a new 4-3 scheme – the Chiefs released him, releasing the $ 14 million cap. Houston’s production in the Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens in the last three years has been quite comparable to his Kansas City career since 2014 – but he has earned much less money; In 2021, he earned only $ 2.1 million on a one-year contract in Baltimore. Perhaps more importantly, he has been available, only two games have been missed since 2019, starting with the rest. Would the chiefs consider bringing Houston back? And if they did, would he be willing to come back? Strange things have happened – but it’s probably wise to avoid investing a lot of money in it.

Other free agent attackers who might be reasonable for the Chiefs: Derek Wolfe, Benson Mayowa and Everson Griffen

Wild card

Baltimore Ravens vs Chicago Bears

Photo by Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images

Finally … Kiley mentioned a trade candidate in March: Chicago Bears defensive end Robert Quinn. St. Louis Ramsi drafted Spagnuolo as the team’s head coach last season. Quinn, 32, is about to begin his 12th NFL season – and the third year of his five-year contract. In 2021, he scored 49 hits (17 for a loss), 18.5 sacks, 22 assists and four forced throws, bringing him the first Pro Bowl nod since 2013.

After such an occurrence, we would not normally even discuss the possibility of a transaction. However, as of June 1, trading in Bears Quinn could leave $ 12.9 million in wages within 2022, leaving $ 8.5 million dead by 2023. The team may not care – Chicago is currently $ 21.4. million ceiling – but it’s also true that Quinn has completed all of the team’s off-season training, including the mandatory mini-camp. It is said that he is not interested in participating in the reconstruction in Chicago under the leadership of the new head coach Matt Eberflus – and not in vain, the former Chiefs staff member Ryan Poles, who is the new director general of Chicago. Like Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, Eberflus could be preferred volunteers to hostages.

We can’t keep it a probably trade – but because of the Spagnuolo and Veach connections, we must take this into account as far as possible. Under the current contract, Quinn would pay Kansas City $ 12.8 million in salary in 2022, but the team would have no real obligations to him after that season; he could be cut without dead money against the cap.

#Exploring #rest #Chiefs #options #defensive