Dec 22, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Tyson Jackson (94) celebrates after a tackle in the first half against the Indianapolis Colts at Arrowhead Stadium. The Colts won 23-7. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

PFF Not A Fan Of Tyson Jackson, Aqib Talib Signings


There has been a lot of discussion the last three days about the moves the Denver Broncos have made in addition to the losses the Chiefs have suffered. Much of that discussion has been about how Denver has improved far beyond a level the Chiefs can match or surpass in 2014.

According to PFF, however, some of those Denver additions and Chiefs subtractions may not be significant as previously thought. In a piece for ESPN Insider (subscription required) PFF broke down five contracts made in the first two days of free agency that didn’t make a lot of sense to them. What we find is is the Chiefs may be improving via addition by subtraction while the Broncos are just trying to stay above the water mark they set last season.

Things start with Denver’s decision to add Aqib Talib via a six-year, $57 million deal. PFF suggests re-signing Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie would have made more sense for Denver.

Other than interceptions (where he trailed by one), Rodgers-Cromartie bettered Talib’s coverage numbers across the board in 2013. He allowed fewer catches (30 to 38), 143 fewer yards, a lower percentage of targets to be caught (44.1 to 53.5) and broke up more passes (10 to 7 PDs) while passers throwing into his coverage ended the season with a rating of just 67.8 as opposed to the 72.3 when aiming at Talib.

The article points out Rodgers-Cromartie had a better coverage grade (+11) compared to Talib (-5.8) and DRC didn’t have games like Talb had where he was completely destroyed by a receiver (i.e. Talib vs. Josh Gordon).  Finally, they note New England was able to replace Talib with the cheaper and better Darrelle Revis.

Imagine if Denver had landed Revis instead? Actually, no, don’t do that.

Add to the mix Denver is losing Champ Bailey next season and Chris Harris will be recovering from an ACL injury he suffered in the playoffs. It wouldn’t be out of the question to think Harris will see the quality of his play dip in 2014 as he tries to get his knee back in shape. (Side note: Von Miller is also coming off an ACL injury.)

To recap: Denver’s secondary is losing Bailey, downgrading from DRC, and has a rehabbing Harris. Does this mean the Broncos are going to have a terrible secondary? No. But maybe we should rethink some of this “Dream Team” talk.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs are losing Tyson Jackson, and PFF isn’t particularly high on the investment Scott Pioli and his Atlanta Falcons made in him.

The Falcons seem intent on finding run-stoppers this offseason, it’s just a shame that hasn’t been the league’s best strategy since about 1994.

Ouch. Moving on…

Eleven 3-4 defensive ends got more pressure in 2013 than Jackson has generated in five years in Kansas City. He has posted just 38 pressures in his pro career. To put that into some perspective, J.J. Watt notched 85 last season alone, more than twice as many.

Part of the issue Kansas City’s defense had in the second half of the season was they did not have a secondary pass rush beyond Tamba Hali and Justin Houston. Dontari Poe provided some in the first half of the season but the elbow injury to Houston made taking Poe away in the passing game a little bit easier for opponents.

It is virtually impossible for the Chiefs to get less pass rush production from Jackson’s spot on the defensive line. If PFF’s 38 pressures statistic is to be believed – which there is no reason to doubt it – then Jackson provided on average 0.5 quarterback pressures per game over his career in Kansas City (74 games). Are you going to suggest to me the Chiefs can’t find a guy off the street who cannot at least average 0.5 pressures per game and not cost $5 million per season?

It should be noted Chiefs free agent target Vance Walker totaled 41 pressures – or three more than Jackson has in his entire career – for the Raiders in 2013. Add Walker and a draft pick in addition to Alan Bailey and Mike Catapano (nine pressures in 75 pass rushing snaps in 2013) and the interior pass rush should improve tremendously.

Yes, the Chiefs will likely take a step back at the position when it comes to run defense but I’ll gladly trade that step back for an improved pass rush. And the Chiefs still have two of the better interior run defenders in the NFL in Mike DeVito and Poe.

PFF’s post is a great example of how big names added in free agency do not always mean the team got better. Targeting affordable players who fill specific needs or roles for the Chiefs will give them the financial flexibility to keep players like Houston, Eric Berry, and Dontari Poe when they become free agents over the next two years.

It isn’t an easy process but John Dorsey is doing the right things to make the Chiefs better in 2014 and beyond.

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Tags: 2014 NFL Free Agency Kansas City Chiefs

  • Stacy D. Smith

    You mean Dream Team 2.0 might’ve overpaid for Talib? A corner who has ALSO missed 25 games in 3 seasons? Wait…I thought they were having the best offseason in the history of ever?

    • berttheclock

      Sometime back, I heard the Lombardi Trophy had been shipped to Denver the day they signed Peyton Manning.

      • Stacy D. Smith

        I heard the trophy was re-named with the Manning family name.

    • Troy Utt

      Well put Reach! I tried to get the same point across about Talib as all the hype was coming down! Way to many were getting over emotional about it… Even tho I was a bit set back early on I am ready to go to camp and see what we have cookin’ for next season!

  • berttheclock

    The cheaper Revis?????????????????

    Denver tried to get Revis, but, Revis wanted more money. Denver had tried to retain Cromartie for $54 M, but he turned them down. So, they opted for Talib. But, this Revis being cheaper is a bit askew, as he is going to get everything he can for his one and only year with the Pats. When, you sign Revis to anything, he and his agent have their eyes on two contracts. First, the one in front of them for that one year and, second, the one they expect to sign for another team the following year. Until Revis begins to slow, he is merely a very high priced one year rental player.

  • freshmeat62

    Thank you! I don’t keep or know all the stats like PFF and others do, all I know is what I see, and what I saw was Tyson Jackson standing tall and strong like an oak. The only problem w/ oaks, they don’t move, unless the wind or some other force moves them. And that I saw many times as an opposing o-lineman would run him out of a play. Last year was undoubtedly his best year, but I still wouldn’t rate him as average. $5 million/year – good for him. I don’t doubt his willingness to work hard, and being a good teammate, I think he does and is. I think he worked his butt off for the Chiefs and did the best he could, but he’s just not that good.

    • berttheclock

      Also, Sudden Oak disease can wipe them out as it has in both California and Oregon and may be heading south east towards Atlanta at any moment.

      • Troy Utt

        Not to mention he moved from tornado alley to the coast with the hurricanes… That oak had better be well rooted or that WIND is going to have it’s way! LOL

    • Steve Blank

      he was just coming into his own as a run stuffer….it took him forever to make the transition from 4-3 to 3-4…maybe he isnt all that smart

  • berttheclock

    One point about the grades given by PFF. They were high on Schwartz when he played for the Panthers. They were high when he played for the Vikings and they were even higher on him when he played for the Chiefs.

    • Steve Blank

      losing him is the only mistake I see in this offseason…that dude is a stud…we should have paid him

      • berttheclock

        Yeah, I wish Dorsey had made a run at extending him last November. However, he may have and the word didn’t reach us. PFF was very high on him last season when he became a FA from the Vikings and they were equally high on him this season.

  • berttheclock

    Tis a shame there is not a Joseph A Banks store for NFL players. You could obtain a Buy One, get Two Free, that way.

    • freshmeat62

      I think I read a day or so ago that Joseph A Banks got bought out by Mens Warehouse.

      • berttheclock

        I wonder how TV stations could exist without those commercials from the two of them.

  • freshmeat62

    I’ve read some about how the Chiefs seem to be counting on some of the injured players from last year, Kelce and Commings and maybe others who escape me now, but the Donkeys are signing a lot of high profile names, that have been thru the mill and have injury histories. They’re the ones that might ought to set up a MASH unit nearby.

    • berttheclock

      You mean Dust Offs will be constantly on Alert status?

      • berttheclock

        In the event Manning goes down, will MASH provide a “Spearchucker Jones” to take his place?

  • cyberry

    Because we lose Jackson, knowing there might be issues again the run, probably had a play in the May’s signing..

    • cyberry

      He’s a run stuffer linebacker..

    • Steve Blank

      we needed an ILB anyway…and I dont think there is going to be a drop off….Bailey and Catapano are going to surprise the league

      • Ben Nielsen

        I’m really high on Catapano.

        • mnelson52

          I’m pretty high on both. I thought our D-line was better with either one of them in last year over Jackson. Our backup defense last year held Rivers to a lot less points than our starters, and our backups did it in Rivers house.

  • Tristian

    Told you guys. But hey AA why isn’t there an article about Emanuel Sanders visit today? Like there normally is?

  • freshmeat62

    I so want the Chiefs to draft a DE that can go after the QB (namely Manning). I want to see those happy feet of his before he goes into a ‘duck and dive’.

    • berttheclock

      Best friend Sherman, Chancellor, Thomas and company ever had was Cliff Avril hitting Manning’s arm.

  • Steve Blank

    i wouldnt mind seeing bailey come to us as a safety….

    • Matthew.Martin

      Oh no…here we go…Ty Law act II.

  • berttheclock

    Teicher of ESPN has just posted a cap number for the Chiefs. With the recent signings, the Chiefs have $7,306,777 remaining.

  • Hawthorne

    Give me our FO over Denver’s any day. When Manning is gone they will be the Cowboys 2.0

  • berttheclock

    I still wonder why Elway is throwing out so much money when he could just have Papa Johns kick in pizza franchises.

  • GDL40

    PFF doesn´t talk about the Donkeys aquiring DeMarcus Ware and T.J. Ward …… Ware is getting old yea, but he still has game, and brings leadership and experience, T.J. Ward was considered by many the best Safety available or equal to Byrd…. I mean I really hope they choke, especially against our Chiefs, but those 2 signings seem like their deffense is going to be better than last year. ….. waiting on some updates on E. Sanders and Vance Walker.

    • berttheclock

      Ward is not a cover guy, but, more of a LB coming up to thump.

    • micah stephenson

      Bumcos also get Von Miller back this yr.

  • Merlin_Arrowhead_Addict

    Nice job Ben. I would take issue with your Champ Bailey comment. I don’t think Denver is losing much by losing him. He barely played last year.

    • mnelson52

      At one time, Champ was the best, but now losing him is like us losing Jackson. Not that hard to replace.