This is not the first time that I’ve written about the Chiefs acquiring Arizona Cardinals linebacker Haason Reddick. However, it is the first time that we’ve discussed trading for the former first-round pick.
The Cardinals quite obviously believe that the former 13th overall draft pick is not a starter for the team. He started only five games last year, has not started a single game in 2020, and the Cards also drafted linebacker Isaiah Simmons in the first round of the 2020 draft. Reddick has long been available on the block, but has thus far survived to remain on the team’s roster.
Reddick, to his credit, is incredibly athletic and underutilized in Arizona. Based on the way that defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo deploys his linebackers—run support occasionally, pass coverage regularly—Reddick would be a perfect fit for the team. Kansas City would absolutely be improved by adding the Cardinals veteran to their roster. Perhaps Veach can find a way to replace Ben Niemann with Reddick, but at the very least, Kansas City will not have to worry about a long term investment if it doesn’t work out.
The Alex Okafor end of this deal is about dealing from a position of strength. The Chiefs have incredible depth at defensive end and can afford to move a piece from that part of the depth chart to improve elsewhere. Tanoh Kpassagnon, Taco Charlton and even rookie Mike Danna have all been just as effective as Okafor in 2020. In fact, Okafor hasn’t even started a game this season.
The other bonus of this trade is that the salaries for Okafor and Reddick are nearly identical, with each playing on expiring deals for which they’re due just over $2 million the rest of 2020. Improving the linebacking corps could be integral to the Chiefs chances in the AFC Playoffs, and Haason Reddick could go a long way in doing so.