Chiefs need young secondary to step up

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In the wake of the news that Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah was retiring due to health concerns a defense that was among the best in the league last season has now lost another key contributor to its success.

With Sean Smith signing a long-term deal with the Oakland Raiders, safety Tyvon Branch signing with the Arizona Cardinals and Justin Houston’s knee surgery that will keep him on the sidelines anywhere from six to 12 months, fans have good reason to be a bit nervous heading into 2016. The only veteran defensive player signed by the team is Jonathan Massaquoi, a 27-year-old outside linebacker who didn’t play in the league last year.

While the defensive line remains largely intact it’s fair to wonder if John Dorsey and the front office are putting too much faith in their young players to be able to fill those gaps with similar success, especially in the secondary.

When I heard Sean Smith’s deal with the Raiders was for four years and $38 million with $20 million guaranteed (all in the first two years) I was pretty surprised that the Chiefs were unwilling to match that. Smith had been a big reason for the defense’s success since he arrived in Kansas City and created a dynamic cornerback duo with Defensive Rookie of the Year Marcus Peters.

Next: Where the secondary is headed