Kansas City Chiefs: 5 free agent targets for the defense

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Mike Pennel – Defensive Tackle – New York Jets

At this point some of you are realizing that there isn’t a single cornerback or safety on this list. I’ll address that in a minute. First, let’s talk about why Mike Pennel would be a great signing for the Chiefs. Pennel is a true run stopping nose tackle. He’s 6-foot-4 and 330 pounds and is a really strong run stopper. Pennel does not offer any real upside as a pass rusher, which should make him very affordable in free agency. Plus, Pennel is only 26 years old so, again, his best years aren’t behind him yet.

If Bennie Logan isn’t re-signed, the Chiefs HAVE to get someone who can play the nose tackle in the base defense and be a force in short yardage and goal line situations. While it would be great to sign someone that can do those things AND rush the passer in the sub package, there is nothing that says they have to go that route.

Signing a guy like Pennel who would be cheap to play the run stuffer role would give them more cap space to spend on pass rush guys. Plus, often rookie defensive linemen can contribute more as pass rushers than they can as a two gapping run plugger. You need NFL strength and technique to do that and Pennel has those things.

Now, I know many of you would prefer to see more cornerback help or even an upgrade at safety but I’m just not seeing it. The Chiefs now have Marcus Peters, Kendall Fuller, David Amerson, Stephen Nelson, and Terrance Mitchell at cornerback. They may add another rookie to that mix, but I can’t see them spending big money on a corner unless they really don’t see a future for Peters in K.C. (which I don’t think is the case).

As far as safety goes, with Eric Berry already being one of the NFL’s highest paid safeties I can’t see them breaking the bank there and investing that much of their cap in the safety position. Yes, they could cut Parker and free up some money there, but as I look over the list of free agent safeties the only ones that I think would be upgrades over Parker are going to be expensive. Safety simply isn’t a position that most NFL teams want to invest THAT much money in. Again, I think you’re more likely to see them go after someone in the draft than free agency.

Next: The single most important task for the Chiefs this offseason

So that’s my list of free agent targets for the defense. What do you think Chiefs fans? Are there not enough big names for your liking on this list or do you agree with me that the Chiefs aren’t looking to break the bank on free agents this year? Do you think there are better young/cheap players out there than the ones I listed? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

As always, thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!!!!!