With the NFL free agency period rapidly approaching, expect the Chiefs to be very active as they look to shore up a defense that cost them a trip to the Super Bowl last season.
The free agency period officially begins at 3:00 p.m. CT on Wednesday, March 13 but moves are already being made around the NFL.
*Giants trade DE Olivier Vernon to Browns for RG Kevin Zeitler.
*Steelers trade RT Marcus Gilbert to Arizona for late 6th-round pick.
*Eagles trade DE Michael Bennett to Patriots for draft-pick compensation.
No trades can be processed until Wednesday; still keep coming.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 8, 2019
This free agency is critical for general manager Brett Veach and the Chiefs as they look to capitalize on an open Super Bowl window and secure Andy Reid that elusive Lombardi Trophy – the only thing missing to guarantee his place in the Hall of Fame. They need impact players at many different positions which they can begin to acquire starting next week.
According to overthecap.com, the Chiefs rank 29th in the NFL in cap space at a little over $10.1 million. However, that number is likely to go up once they trade or release Justin Houston – which would clear an additional $14 million. They’d add even more cap space if they trade Dee Ford ($15 million) and cut Eric Berry ($9 million) after June 1.
With that, here are some of the players who the Chiefs could be interested in signing:
S Landon Collins
Collins was not given the franchise tag this week by his former team, the New York Giants, and now looks to cash in on a big pay day. Collins is a 3-time Pro Bowler and former First Team All-Pro in 2016 – playing under defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo from 2015-17.
Collins is also only 25 years old with his best years still ahead. He’s also stayed relatively healthy during his time with the Giants, only missing time late in December of 2017 and 2018 when the Giants weren’t in the playoff picture.
The only question is, with so many safeties available on the free agency market, will the Chiefs be willing to pay Collins what he’s looking for? Will the market water down his asking price?
With the release of Tashaun Gipson, an updated list of safeties on the market…
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
— Matt Verderame (@MattVerderame) March 8, 2019
Collins is not a ball-hawk either. He is a strong safety that has only eight interceptions in four seasons and with Eric Berry – also a strong safety – presumably coming back and playing next season, the match might not be perfect. Regardless, he’s a proven playmaker and expect the Chiefs to inquire about his asking price.
S Earl Thomas
Another safety that will be looking for top dollar is safety Earl Thomas. Thomas – formerly of the Seattle Seahawks – was rumored to have likely been traded to the Chiefs prior to his leg injury back in September.
Prior to his injury, Thomas was widely considered the best safety in football. He was a part of the Legion of Boom in Seattle and is a six-time Pro Bowler and was named First Team All-Pro from 2012-14.
However, he is 30 years old and entering his 10th season in the NFL. With his age and the type of contract he is likely to demand, the Chiefs may not be able to reel him in.
LB C.J. Mosley
In somewhat of a surprising move, the Baltimore Ravens elected not to tag middle linebacker C.J. Mosley prior to the franchise tag deadline this week.
Mosley, who will turn 27 in June, was the leading tackler for the No. 1 rated defense in the NFL. He had 105 tackles, 1 INT, and 0.5 sacks in 15 games for the Ravens this past season. He’s also made the Pro Bowl four out of his five seasons in the league.
The reason he would be a great fit for the Chiefs is because of their transition to a 4-3 defense. Assuming that Breeland Speaks and Dee Ford (if he’s not traded) become 4-3 defensive ends in the new scheme, that leaves Dorian O’Daniel, Anthony Hitchens, Reggie Ragland, and Ben Niemann as the linebacker options for 2019.
Neither Ragland nor Hitchens appear to have the speed or leadership to play ILB in a 4-3. Niemann and O’Daniel don’t have the experience. And based on how atrocious the Chiefs defense – particularly the run defense – was in 2019, Mosley would be a welcome addition to this group.
The Ravens have said they want Mosley back under the right deal, so the Chiefs will need to outbid the incumbent team but he could be just what the doctor ordered for this ailing defense.
LB Jordan Hicks
The 26-year old middle linebacker has spent all four seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles. Along with Fletcher Cox, he is the heart and soul of that defense which helped lead them to a Super Bowl victory in 2018.
He’s a versatile player who can play inside and outside in a 4-3. In 12 games this past season, he racked up 91 tackles, 3 sacks, and 0 interceptions.
The downside to Hicks is he has missed 19 games in four seasons. He has suffered a torn pectoral muscle, a ruptured Achilles, and an injured calf muscle. Those are certainly red flags for any team but when healthy, Hicks has shown he can be a really productive linebacker in the NFL and he’s worth taking a look at for the Kansas City Chiefs.
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