Last season, the Chiefs made waves last season after placing a waiver claim on Terrell “T-Sizzle” Suggs after he was let go by the Arizona Cardinals after 13 weeks last season. Suggs had threatened to hold out if anyone other than his former Baltimore Ravens placed a claim on him, but decided to relent after a conversation with Andy Reid. Suggs told ESPN’s Adam Teicher “I was really uncertain about my future last week, but I talked to Coach and I was like ‘OK.’” Suggs added “It’s hard to turn down playing with the reigning MVP [Patrick Mahomes] and a playoff team and just the exciting things they’re doing, this atmosphere.” This addition ended up being the final one in a machine that needed one last cog to cement its place in NFL history. Could the Chiefs add another veteran pass rusher, in the same vein as Suggs, in the coming weeks? Only time will tell.
The Chiefs are only left with 6 million dollars in cap room, which after inking long term deals to QB Patrick Mahomes and DL Chris Jones is actually better than most would have expected. Thanks to his creative strategies in moving money around, Brett Veach has left himself a little breathing room. Could this breathing room be used to bring in a veteran pass rusher to bolster the DL depth? It certainly seemed to work last year, with Suggs coming in for limited downs to give Alex Okafor or Tanoh Kpassagnon a breather at left DE. One player who fits the mold that Suggs left open is Cameron Wake. Wake is an aging (38) yet still productive defensive end. Wake played 9 games with the Titans last year, grabbing 2.5 sacks and 13 QB pressures on only 195 snaps, giving him a PFF grade of 83.5. The year before, in Miami, he racked up 6 sacks and 33 QB pressures on 517 snaps, which led the to the PFF grade of 81.7 in only 14 starts. Clearly the 38 year old Wake is by no means an every down player anymore, but he is still a strong situational pass rusher and could be a strong veteran leader in the locker room, similar to what Suggs was last year during the Chiefs playoff push. Wake would fit right in to a locker room that has strong leadership, especially on the defensive side of the ball in Tyrann Matheiu, Frank Clark, and Chris Jones. Would this signing be a match made in football heaven? I’d like to think so.
Another veteran pass rusher that might have fallen into the Chiefs price range is former Viking standout Everson Griffen. The 32 year old Griffen still brings a ton of pressure, and would probably be vying for the starting job over Alex Okafor, if the Chiefs could just figure out the salary cap numbers to bring him in. The 2010 4thround draft pick has missed meaningful time just once since becoming a full time starter in Minnesota, and it is only a matter of time before a team gets him for a steal of a deal. Last year Griffen racked up 35 QB pressures and 8 sacks, and has accumulated 8 sacks in a season 6 times since 2012. Imagine, Frank Clark, Chris Jones, and Everson Griffen? The KC pass rush would be unreal! Good luck to any opposing QBs trying to get off a throw on a 5 step drop.
With 6 million in cap space, the Chiefs have some room to play, especially if they could find a veteran pass rusher willing to come to KC on a 1 year deal for the chance to play with Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes and a much improved defense from the start of last year. Cameron Wake fits the mold that Terrell Suggs left vacant, a 38 year old situational DE that can provide QB pressure at select times. And if the Chiefs could work his salary in under the cap, Everson Griffen would take the Chiefs defense to the next level. He would turn Alex Okafor and Tanoh Kpassagnon into spot rushers and take over at the left DE spot. The future looks bright in Kansas City!