As the new league year for the NFL is approaching soon, it is time to look at what possible free agents the Chiefs could sign. This list will mostly include defensive players, without hesitation. The Chiefs are pretty much good to go offensively. But, with new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo looking to improve a defense that ranked 31st in 2018, that will be the focus.
Landon Collins, Safety
This one just seems to make too much sense. Landon Collins may end up getting the franchise tag from the New York Giants, but if that happens there are reports that he may sit out Giants offseason activities. Either way, it doesn’t seem like Collins wants/expects to be a Giant for much longer. Where he excels is in off coverage, but Collins does do okay against tight ends too. As his rookie contract wraps up, Collins may feel comfortable in rejoining Spagnuolo and his defensive style with a team much more fit for contending in Kansas City.
Earl Thomas, Safety
Why not continue with another coveted safety? Earl Thomas may be a little older, but he might have some new added fuel and energy in 2019. Last season, Thomas held out on the Seattle Seahawks before eventually reporting for the start of the regular season. In four games, Thomas was his old self. He registered 22 tackles, 5 pass breakups and 3 interceptions before ultimately breaking his leg in Arizona. While being carted off, Thomas seemingly showed how he thought he was put in that situation by having to play for the Seahawks still after his holdout. He made a gesture, flipping the bird at his own team’s sideline, likely saying his goodbye to the team in a strong way.
Before the injury, there were reports of the Chiefs possibly trading for Thomas in October. So if there was interest there last season, the Chiefs may still jump at him this offseason.
Anthony Barr, Linebacker
Anthony Barr has been a guy that has been consistently talked about as a possible addition to the Chiefs in 2019. The former ninth overall pick from UCLA has been reliable for the Vikings over the past five seasons. Barr has produced consistent numbers in stats and games played so far in his career. In 71 career games, Barr has 338 tackles, 13.5 sacks, 22 pass breakups and 1 interception. It’s really anyone’s guess as to what the overall linebacker depth chart will be by Week 1 of 2019 for the Chiefs. So if KC gets Barr, he could be a starting SAM linebacker depending on who exactly is on the Chiefs defense next season. I think he would be able to provide a huge boost to the run defense.
Tyrann Mathieu, Safety
Back to the safety list. Tyrann Mathieu did not sign a long term contract last offseason after the Cardinals let him go. He settled for a one-year pact with the Texans, and there was a little part of Chiefs fans that thought Mathieu might have chosen the Chiefs. While guys like Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and Nasir Adderley are defensive backs who could play in multiple positions in this draft class, why not go after a guy who is already this style of player in the NFL and is a six-year veteran. Mathieu’s abilities and passion for the game would be the perfect match for this Super Bowl contender.
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Adrian Amos, Safety
Adrian Amos may be one of the most fun free agents of this safety group. He is underrated, yet on the brink of reaching the level of really good to great. In four seasons with the Bears, Amos only missed four games. He recorded 274 tackles, 19 pass breakups and 3 interceptions. Amos fits the mold of a rangy defensive back, who can also win with physicality and toughness. He is smooth in his footwork and coverage. I think Amos may be tough to pry away from the division rival Broncos, as he has addressed an obvious fit there with their new coach being his former defensive coordinator in Chicago. This will be a fun guy worth watching this offseason though, to see what kind of contract he signs for.
Bryce Callahan, Cornerback
Sticking with a Bears defensive back, as we look at Bryce Callahan. Callahan, like Amos, has just continued to grow and get better each season with the Bears. He does have a slight injury history, but since coming from Rice undrafted, his drive has always been there to exceed expectations. With that, Callahan can be an exceptional cornerback if he continues to mature wherever he plays next season on defense. For Kansas City, there is no guarantee Steven Nelson will be back, as he is a pending free agent. I think the Chiefs could bring him back though. I would highly doubt Orlando Scandrick will be back, so even if Nelson comes back, Callahan would feel a glaring need for the Chiefs.
Kareem Jackson, Cornerback
There have been some predictions by the media, that have Kareem Jackson landing with the Chiefs. I would not mind it. Jackson is a guy who does it job very well, has hardly missed any games and is still in great shape. Jackson sometimes gets overlooked because he goes about his business on the field simply. There does not seem to be any route, deep or short, that he can’t stay with against receivers.
Vinny Curry, Defensive End
A former draft pick of Andy Reid in Philadelphia, Vinny Curry could rejoin Big Red in Kansas City. Curry was released earlier in February by the Buccaneers after his lone season in Tampa Bay. Curry would have a fit as a nice rotational down lineman. His production may be choppy over his career, but Curry knows how to set the edge and could be a nice early-down defender in Kansas City.
Shaquil Barrett, Linebacker
Shaquil Barrett will enter free agency for the first time this offseason. He may be a good bargain for a team looking for a capable pass rusher, which is what he is. Barrett may even be at or entering his prime. He’s a tackling machine given his playing time he had with the Broncos. 14 sacks over his four seasons is a pretty decent number as well. Maybe in an increased role, Barrett becomes just a bit more of a force in a change of scenery.
Pierre Desir, Cornerback
It was tough to choose a final guy to make the cut here. Is Pierre Desir one of the NFL’s top cornerbacks? Maybe not, but I think it would somewhat foolish if the Colts let him walk. Desir, like the aforementioned Kareem Jackson, does everything thing well, but is not too flashy. Desir had a coming out party in 2018. He logged 79 tackles and to a degree, became a lockdown cornerback for Indianapolis.
Thank you for reading. As free agency approaches, be sure to check out Full Press Coverage for NFL news on all 32 teams.