Several veteran linebackers remain available for Kansas City Chiefs

SAN DIEGO, CA - JANUARY 01: Antonio Gates
SAN DIEGO, CA - JANUARY 01: Antonio Gates /
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CLEVELAND, OH – DECEMBER 11, 2016: Linebacker Rey Maualuga
CLEVELAND, OH – DECEMBER 11, 2016: Linebacker Rey Maualuga /

The Chiefs have already brought in Rey Maualuga to Arrowhead Stadium this offseason, and then let him leave without a deal. That doesn’t mean they don’t like him, however. It simply means that they didn’t want to sign him right then and there. For the Chiefs, linebacker might be a position where they’re willing to simply check out the assortment of options before making an official move, including draft prospects. That might explain Dorsey’s “just browsing” behavior with the free agents available so far.

Maualuga would provide the Chiefs with a very solid run defender, a need in the middle after last year’s defense struggled against the run. The Chiefs already bolstered the defensive line with Bennie Logan to help with that, but they also need help at the second level. Most games, it was clear the linebacking force lacked the ability to stop the run, and watching Le’Veon Bell do his thing in the playoffs was exhausting for Chiefs fans. The team clearly missed a thumper in the middle.

That’s one thing Maualuga does bring. While his coverage skills are suspect and his overall athleticism isn’t what it used to be, he’s got plenty left in the run support tank along with the knowledge acquired from 104 career starts in the NFL.

The Bengals decided to replace Maualuga with Kevin Minter earlier this offseason, a move that gives them a three-down option in the heart of their defense. But the Chiefs don’t need that at this point. They could sign Maualuga and let him do what his throwback skill set allows him to do best: shut down the opposing team’s running game.