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The NFL’s legal tampering period began on Monday, allowing teams and players a fresh opportunity to make new signings and agreements. The Kansas City Chiefs made their first new addition late in the evening. Former Houston Texans safety Justin Reid intends to sign with the Chiefs. Keep in mind, the deal will not be official until Wednesday, when the new league year officially begins. Reid has already made a recent Twitter post, confirming the move himself.
CHIEFS KINGDOM‼️ LET’S GET TO WORK‼️😤💪🏾 pic.twitter.com/CnmQvjlCfj
— Justin Reid (@JustinqReid) March 15, 2022
As per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Reid will be signing a three-year deal worth a total of $31.5 million. It includes $20 million guaranteed. Current structure of the deal is not yet known. However, that is considerably cheap from a per season payment. It also potentially signifies the end of the line for one defender’s time in Kansas City. We will touch on that more momentarily.
— Full Press NFL (@FullPressNFL) March 15, 2022
What does this signing mean for the Chiefs moving forward? Plus, what kind of skillset can Kansas City fans expect from Reid? We will answer those questions, while also seeing where this leaves the defensive back room moving forward. Let’s kick it off.
There is essentially nothing that Justin Reid can’t do. As far as his alignment goes, the Stanford product could play single high safety, split-zone safety, as a slot corner, or in the box and closer to the line of scrimmage. Reid has many traits that make him pop off the screen. Most of all, his instincts, physicality, ball skills and tackling prowess are among his top trademarks, to go along with that versatility.
When watching some of his latest film, the quick trigger and explosive processing speed of Reid stood out. He can analyze the entire field. Whereas with Kansas City, he could be asked to handle more roles than almost any other defender in recent memory, sans Tyrann Mathieu.
What Does Signing Reid Mean For Chiefs?
The Chiefs have begun to show a hint at getting more athletic defensively. They know that in today’s NFL, having that extra speed and flexibility on the defense is crucial, given the emphasis of pace and space used by opposing offenses. That is now a theme within the middle of the Chiefs defense. Chris Jones provides tremendous quickness and burst at defensive tackle. Both Nick Bolton and Willie Gay are more loose and smooth movers on Kansas City’s second level. Now with Justin Reid, the Chiefs are able to infuse arguably the most speed they have had at the safety position in quite some time.
Just to drive home that athleticism point a bit more, let’s look at some of Reid’s peripherals. He ran a 40-yard dash of 4.40 seconds upon being drafted. That was second best among safeties at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine. His broad jump was an astounding 10’8”. Finally, Reid turned in a vertical jump of 36.5 inches.
He is still just 25 years old. And while his latest season may not have been his best, Reid finished with admirable results, especially when it came to making plays on the football. For example, he had four pass deflections, two interceptions, two tackles for loss and one forced fumble. In Steve Spagnuolo‘s defense, his instincts will be his forte, but Reid has the ability to provide a tough, tone-setting mentality.
Where Does This Leave Kansas City’s DB Room?
Tyrann Mathieu Likely Won’t Return
It already felt like the aforementioned Mathieu was increasingly likely to sign elsewhere and test the free agent market. And now, the move for Reid truly feels like it has sealed the fate that the Honey Badger will not be back in Kansas City. There are a few factors to point to, supporting that.
For one, the Chiefs are not going to be re-signing Mathieu and be paying for two larger contracts at the safety position. They have just simply not prioritized heavy spending with the secondary under general manager Brett Veach. Elsewhere, Kansas City could see a benefit in taking a younger versatile option. As much as Mathieu was loved, he did have a bit of a step back in a few categories last season. Why not let another team pay for a bit of a more expensive price?
All in all, it cannot be understated just how significant of a role that Mathieu played for the Chiefs. He was basically hand-picked to change the defensive culture in Kansas City. There was arguably no better safety in 2019 and his run up to the Super Bowl LIV victory was absolutely dominant. He provided a play style that had not been present within the Chiefs defense for quite a while.
It is safe to say that Kansas City got everything they could have hoped for and more when betting on Mathieu with a three-year deal in the 2019 offseason. Despite a short stint in KC, he will be long beloved by Chiefs fans for his immediate impact during this quick stretch.
Chiefs Will Still Need To Add At Cornerback
This move should not only benefit the Chiefs entire safety room, but specifically Juan Thornhill. It could allow the incumbent Thornhill to play a freer role within the secondary. As for the rest of the secondary, adding more to the cornerback room still looms large.
— Full Press NFL (@FullPressNFL) March 15, 2022
Late Monday night, it was reported that Charvarius Ward intends to sign a deal with the San Francisco 49ers. That means his Chiefs tenure ends at four years. More importantly, Kansas City will need to replace him. The need to add another defender at the position was already present, even before Ward left. At the same time, the Chiefs will have to decide if L’Jarius Sneed will move to playing primarily outside, or if he will get to move into the slot still. That will help make their next decision easier for whoever they decide to add at cornerback.
Be on the lookout for more FPC Chiefs articles throughout this week. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.
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