So Long, Kendrick Lewis


October 14, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Kansas City Chiefs free safety Kendrick Lewis (23) during the second quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Parting is such sweet sorrow, and the Chiefs have done a lot of parting the last few weeks. Today, we say goodbye to defensive stalwart back Kendrick Lewis.

The tragedy of Kendrick Lewis begins in 2010. A fifth round pick out of Mississippi, Lewis was once considered to be a longterm solution for the Chiefs at free safety. Playing in Romeo Crennel’s cover two defense, Lewis intercepted three passes, defended six more, and forced two fumbles in his rookie season. This was enough to earn him a +4.2 grade from Pro Football Focus and receive the early distinction of a valuable Scott Pioli draft pick.

2011 saw Lewis start all 16 games. He intercepted three more passes, forced and recovered a fumble, and finished in the top 25 for coverage grade for safeties for the second-straight season.

Lewis and Romeo were a match made in heaven.

Then a terrible thing happeend. In 2012 Lewis had surgery on his shoulder during the off season and then re-injured the same shoulder during a preseason game against St. Louis. In total Lewis would miss seven regular season games and would perform poorly in the games he did play.

Romeo was fired and his relationship with Lewis was terminated.

Lewis was heartbroken. 2013 saw a complete scheme change for the Chiefs, which did not benefit Lewis much. Still slowed by his bad shoulder, Lewis was asked to play a different role from Crennel’s defense. This led to a difficult season for Lewis, especially around the time Kansas City’s pass rush started slowing down.

Injuries plus scheme change meant it was time for Lewis to go, and Lewis fell on his sword. We say so long to you, Mr. Lewis. May you find Romeo to be as sweet in the afterlife as he was here in Kansas City.

So long, Kendrick Lewis.