With free agency well underway and three weeks from the draft, it’s time to look at how the defense is doing?
Just like last year with the offensive line rebuild, this off-season has focused on a defensive rebuild. With major pieces like Tyrann Mathieu, Anthony Hitchens, and Charvarius Ward not being brought back, the front office is retooling the defense to a younger and cheaper version.
The signing of Justin Reid was the start of this rebuild, he is a younger and cheaper option than bringing back the Honey Badger and he is a solid pickup to replace him. Reid is only 25 years old and is a vitally important piece for the Chiefs at the safety position. He is a physical freak with great range in passing situations and can run up and tackle a running back in open space with force. With a solid rotation of Reid, Thornhill, and new signee Deon Bush, the Chiefs’ secondary looks a lot more secure than last season.
Football is physical, and while vets can bring experience, young players can get faster to the ball and are a cheaper deal! I guess that’s the main message from the front office this year.
Looking at the Chiefs defense, Justin Reid and Juan Thornhill at safety, Willie Gay Jr. and Nick Bolton at linebacker, and Chris Jones, Khalen Saunders, Derrick Nnadi, and Tershawn Wharton at DT, the athleticism is unbelievable.
Moreover, a few days ago, the Chiefs signed former Panthers linebacker Jermaine Carter Jr. to a one-year contract. Jermaine Carter Jr, a 6-foot-1 and 225-pound 27-year old started all 17 games for the Panthers last season and had the attention from a few teams this summer. He actually had a turning point this season and became one of the leaders in the Panthers locker room. After losing Hitchens and Mathieu, two very charismatic leaders of the defense, someone with personality in the locker room will be needed to help steady the ship.
Carter has a high football IQ and was able to help anchor one of the better defenses in the NFC last season. Against the run he uses his instincts and attacks the ball, shedding blockers who get in his way to the ball carrier. He is also a steady linebacker against the pass but can struggle in some spots. He is the perfect third linebacker behind Gay and Bolton, he can fill in for one and knows how to fill his role.
And let’s not forget Frank Clark restructured his contract to stay in Kansas City, and Chris Jones recently professed his love for the Chiefs on Twitter. Two big pieces still playing for the Kansas City Chiefs next year.
This rebuild is going smoothly so far, and the Chiefs are still looking to add more pieces in the draft and in free agency.