top of page

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Thanks for subscribing!

The Chiefs Biggest Need Isn’t At Edge Or Tackle

News broke on Tuesday morning that the Chiefs had restructured Travis Kelce’s contract to free up $3.45 million in cap space. The move — which was actually completed on Saturday — was necessary for the team to have more flexibility as the season progresses. According to Over the Cap, the Chiefs had just $200k in cap space and needed to make this move on Saturday in order to elevate a player from the practice squad.

Beyond the more simple explanation for the move, many Chiefs fans on Twitter have begun to speculate who the team could add at the midseason mark now that they have cleared the cap space. Some have speculated that the team could look to make a change at the offensive tackle position after Andrew Wylie and Orlando Brown Jr. both struggled mightily against the Bills’ pass rush in Week Six. However, nearly half of Wylie’s pressures allowed on the entire season came in just Week Six. He’s filled in just fine at Right Tackle before Sunday’s loss.

Others believe the Chiefs could upgrade at the Defensive End position. The Chiefs have struggled to get pressure rushing four this season, and it showed again on Sunday when the Chiefs relied heavily on blitz schemes to apply pressure on Josh Allen. This left rookie cornerback Joshua Williams 1-on-1 in coverage against Gabe Davis and Stefon Diggs. However, the team ranks 14th in the NFL this season with 14 sacks after ranking just 29th in 2021.

The Chiefs don’t have fundamental issues at offensive tackle or defensive end. Instead, many Chiefs fans seem to be understating just what the Chiefs were able to do on Sunday against the Bills. Despite being down two starting cornerbacks and a starting linebacker, the defense was able to hold the explosive Buffalo offense to just 24 points. For the game’s first 59 minutes, they scored just 17 points — a season-low. The biggest need for the Chiefs isn’t at tackle or edge, but somewhere else entirely.

The Chiefs Need Depth On Defense, Not Overreactions

Brett Veach doesn’t need to overreact to a Week Six loss to an AFC rival. The Chiefs have been here before. In 2019 Kansas City lost 31-24 to the Houston Texans in Week Six. They then lost 35-32 to the Tennessee Titans in Week Ten. The team’s biggest mid-season addition would prove to be Terrell Suggs, who was claimed off waivers on December 17. They made zero trades at the deadline to improve the team’s roster.

The same thing happened last season when the Chiefs lost to the Bills 38-20 in Week Five. The team did make a trade for Melvin Ingram at last year’s deadline, which proved beneficial later in the season. However, last year’s roster lacked depth at the Defensive End position — depth that the team already has in 2022 with Carlos Dunlap, Joshua Kaindoh, and George Karlaftis opposite Frank Clark and Mike Danna.

All three of the regular season losses above have the same thing in common. The Chiefs went on to face those teams again in the playoffs that season and came away with a victory. Kansas City didn’t learn anything new about their Tackles or Edge rushers on Sunday. The Bills are a phenomenal team — perhaps the best team in the NFL right now — and Kansas City was able to stick with them for 59 minutes. The blitz got to Josh Allen at times, including a key Chris Jones sack of Allen. The tackles gave Mahomes time to work, but failed late in the game against a Hall of Famer in Von Miller.

Where the defense failed the most was in the secondary. The team’s rookie cornerbacks were unable to compete in man coverage against the Bills’ wide receivers. With Rashad Fenton and Trent McDuffie sidelined, it left the Chiefs’ secondary shorthanded against one of the most explosive passing attacks in the NFL. This team doesn’t need new solutions at Edge or Offensive Tackle. Instead, they need additional depth in the secondary to reduce the pressure on their rookie defenders.

The Chiefs Have Promising Rookies But Need To Help Them

The Chiefs Fab Five is going to be great. Jaylen Watson already made his mark this season with a game-winning pick-six against the Chargers earlier this year. Despite giving up two key scores, Joshua Williams showed promise against the Bills in Week Six. With McDuffie coming back soon, the future seems bright for the young Kansas City defense. However, Week Six showed that this team cannot head into the playoffs with the same game plan should Rashad Fenton or L’Jarius Sneed go down to injury.

The secondary needs another veteran presence to help the rookies develop and to protect them in case of injury to either of the team’s veteran defenders. Adding depth in the secondary will help keep those cornerbacks fresh on the field and will help reduce the pressure on Watson and Williams in year one. So who might they target before the league’s trade deadline?

Bryce Hall

Bryce Hall is a former fifth-round pick by the New York Jets in the 2020 NFL Draft. He played all 17 games for the Jets last season and is fantastic in man coverage. He’s also a great tackler.

The only Jet to play and start all 17 games…Bryce Hall — NYJ MIKE (@NyjMike) February 20, 2022

He might not be a flashy corner, and he’s certainly not going to usurp L’Jarius Sneed as CB1 on the defense. However, he fits in nicely behind Sneed and McDuffie in the secondary to help add a veteran presence who can compete in man coverage against opposing wide receivers. According to Matt Lombardo, the Jets will be making Hall available at the trade deadline with DJ Reed and Sauce Gardner getting the lion’s share of snaps in New York.

Stephon Gilmore

Stephon Gilmore signed a two-year, $20 million contract with the Indianapolis Colts this offseason. The Colts have been off to a horrendous start and could certainly start looking ahead to 2023 by the season’s trade deadline on November 1. Gilmore would cost the Chiefs just under $3 million for the season’s final eight games should he be traded at the deadline. Beyond that, they could release him prior to next season and owe him nothing.

The compensation for Gilmore wouldn’t likely be expensive, as he isn’t quite the same Cornerback that we saw back in his New England days. However, he would provide a much-needed veteran presence for a very young secondary and still plays good enough on the outside.

Donte Jackson

The Panthers are clearly in “tank” mode for the remainder of the 2022 season. They’ve already fired Head Coach Matt Rhule and recently traded Wide Receiver Robby Anderson to the Arizona Cardinals. There’s been a lot of chatter about potential trades of Christian McCaffery and Brian Burns as well. As a result, the Chiefs could look to pry one of the Panthers’ corners in a trade. Jackson was a second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. He signed a three-year, $35 million contract with the Panthers earlier this offseason, and has played well this season so far.

Obviously, great job by Donte Jackson on the Pick-6. But also worth noting DE Brian Burns covering WR Cooper Kupp 🔥 🎥 — The Riot Report (@RRiotReport) October 16, 2022

Clearly the Panthers like what they have in Jackson, but he’s already in his age-27 season and likely doesn’t fit in with the next competitive window for Carolina. With his recent contract, the Panthers would be taking on a substantial amount of dead cap (around $12 million) but would likely be happy to trade off that dead cap for more draft capital as they look to kick off their latest rebuild.



bottom of page