Chiefs linebackers: What is the plan?

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Between Johnson, Mauga, Wilson, and Alexander, it’s safe to say that the Chiefs have a plan, backup plan, and emergency plan in place for the left/weak inside linebacker.  However, that still leaves us to question the remaining inside linebacker spot.  As I mentioned earlier, Josh Mauga doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence.  So what could the Chiefs do there to assuage my concerns?

Getting another playmaker on the interior of the defense makes the Chiefs that much more dangerous. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Mychal Kendricks

Yes, he is currently on the Eagles roster.  However, Kendricks was the subject of numerous trade rumors earlier in the offseason after Chip Kelly re-signed Demeco Ryans to a two-year deal and then traded for Kiko Alonso, while leaving Kendricks on the last year of his rookie deal.  It was a situation that left the fourth-year man confused about his future, telling reporters: “I don’t know (if I’ll be on the team), but I think so.”

The former second-round pick has been successful so far in his career.  He has shown up as both a sure tackler and a playmaker.  He is also ideally built for the right/strong inside linebacker spot where his job is primarily to take on blockers and disrupt the opponent’s running game.

The connection is also there as Kendricks was one of Andy Reid’s last draft picks in Philadelphia, so Reid knows what he is all about. Mychal Kendricks would simply become the next of Reid’s former players to follow him to Kansas City, and so far we can’t complain about the results with that.  Of course, there are some questions to answer.

Can we afford him?

Kendricks is a quality player, so of course he will cost some money.  Can the Chiefs afford that considering all of their upcoming contracts?  The quick answer is “yes.”  The Chiefs’ cap situation is incredibly manageable over the next several years.  I’ve already gone into depth on that when I talked about Justin Houston.

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Adding to this is the Mauga factor.  With Mychal Kendricks on the roster, and the aforementioned options at the other inside linebacker spot, Mauga becomes an expendable commodity that would open up an additional $1.25 million.  The additional cap space will be enough breathing room for John Dorsey to manage Kendrick’s new contract.

“I don’t know, but I think so.” ~ Mychal Kendricks on whether he will be an Eagle to start the 2015 season

Is he worth it?

YES!!!  Not only because he fills a role we need now, but because he has also shown the ability to be a playmaker, which means he can also factor in as a replacement for Derrick Johnson if we need him to be.  Getting plays from a guy whose primary job is to set up others to make plays is a huge bonus.  Kendricks makes our defense even more aggressive and dangerous.  He would allow for less pressure on DJ, make it so that we don’t have to bring an extra safety into the box, and allow Bob Sutton to get more creative with how he uses the defensive front.  The presence of Mychal Kendricks would also give the Chiefs the defensive flexibility that will help John Dorsey in his roster development.

You can mark Mychal Kendricks down as one of my top targets for the Chiefs in 2016.  He brings enough diversity and ability to the Chiefs that his value will likely exceed what we end up paying him.  And getting more bang for your buck is always a good thing in the NFL.