Kansas City Chiefs: 5 free agent targets for the defense

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ArmchairAddict1 /

The Kansas City Chiefs need some reinforcements on defense. Here are five players that the Chiefs can target that won’t break the bank.

The Kansas City Chiefs have several big name star players on defense. Guys like Justin Houston, Marcus Peters, and Eric Berry are all among the very best at their positions already, and they have a couple other ascending talents in Chris Jones, Reggie Ragland, and the newly acquired Kendall Fuller. Those six players make up about half of their starting defense.

With that many quality players, you would think the unit would be a force to reckon with. Unfortunately, in 2017 the defense was a disappointment. The return of Berry from injury and the acquisition of Fuller should help this defense but they are going to need more new blood added to the mix (especially in the front seven) if they want the defense to be significantly better in 2018.

Last week, I wrote a post on the five guys I thought the Chiefs should focus on signing on offense. While some readers were on board with my suggestions, others were unimpressed due to the lack of big names on the list. If you were one of those that was disappointed last week, brace yourself, because you may not love today’s list either. Some names you will NOT see on this list that you might be seeing elsewhere include: DeMarcus Lawrence, Sheldon Richardson, Dontari Poe, Navorro Bowman, Trumaine Johnson, Malcolm Butler, Lamarcus Joyner, Kenny Vaccaro and Eric Reid.

Some of you may be about to give up on this post about now after seeing all your favorite big name free agents on my list of guys that didn’t make my list. Before you bail on me though, hear me out. First, if the Chiefs were to sign any of those players I listed I would be thrilled. Every single one of them would improve this team. However, I think if you are going into free agency with your heart set on landing one of the biggest names (and therefore price tags) I think you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

Brett Veach is in the process of trying to reverse the salary cap hell that John Dorsey left the Chiefs with. Alex Smith and Derrick Johnson are already gone and there are likely more cuts on the way (I’m looking at you, Tamba Hali). The Chiefs are beginning the Patrick Mahomes era now and while fans should be excited I don’t think Veach’s mindset is that he has to try and win the Super Bowl THIS SEASON. I believe he’s building for the long haul. He’s not going to cut veterans like DJ and Hali just to use up every bit of salary cap space on high dollar free agents again.

Instead, I believe he’ll target young and relatively inexpensive (at least compared to the guys I mentioned before) players that can contribute now, possibly be part of the future going forward, and will still allow them the cap freedom to re-sign some of their star players in the coming years without the cap getting out of control again.

So the players I targeted for the Chiefs are mostly guys in their mid-to-late twenties that have proven themselves to be valuable players but shouldn’t break the bank to sign this offseason. Let’s start the list with my favorite option at inside linebacker.