As NFL free agency continues to slow down, it is a perfect time for the K.C. Chiefs to capitalize and potentially sign a few bargain bin contributors at positions of need who are still out there. Many solid veterans and high-upside players are still available, whether it be because the asking price is too high or teams are just skeptical of what kind of shape these players are in. However, as free agency drags out, many players may finally bite the bullet on pursuing that big contract and instead opt for playing on a team-friendly deal for a year or two—most likely a contender.
One of the best free agent options remaining that would be a match made in heaven for K.C. is defensive end Aldon Smith. It was announced earlier this offseason that the Dallas Cowboys would be moving on from Smith following his first season back in the NFL after to a five-year hiatus. Why the Cowboys want to move on from Smith is honestly a little bit of a head-scratcher considering he was one of the only bright spots for Dallas’ defense in 2020. In his first season back in the NFL, Smith recorded 31 solo tackles (5 of them for a loss), 5 sacks, 2 passes deflected, and 14 QB Hits. Considering the fact Smith had not played a down of football for 5 years, his ability to step in and immediately contribute was an impressive feat and a sign of promise.
One of the biggest reasons the Chiefs should consider signing Smith is because it would make for a nice homecoming. Smith attended Raytown High School and played at the University of Missouri, so a potential signing with the Chiefs and a chance to further his career with a Super Bowl contender so close to home would be a meaningful story.
Outside of being a nice story, Smith would actually provide quality play for the Chiefs and could prove to be a perfect fit. First, Smith has been a star in this league before. As a former first round pick, he was on pace for league-wide stardom before his off-field issues plagued him, racking up 44 sacks, 120 solo tackles, and 46 tackles for a loss in just his first four seasons. Now with his first year since his league ban under his belt, he may thrive on a team that features other stars on the defensive side of the ball. Plus Andy Reid and staff have been very good in taking in former troubled players and turning them into productive players and people.
What about a homecoming for Aldon Smith and the K.C. Chiefs?
At 6’5″, 260 lbs, Smith has the ideal size to play in Steve Spagnuolo’s scheme and he seems to have stayed in really good shape over the years as his massive shoulders and unreal strength allows him to get off blocks and remain effective against the run. Smith’s sheer talent and ability is why he was able to have a successful comeback this past season and he seemed to not lose much of a step as pass-rusher as he was one of just 20 edge defenders last season to record 50 or more pressures. Now, imagine Smith who was able to get 5 sacks and 50 pressures on a bad Cowboys defense joining a deep Chiefs D-line and solid defense. That would allow Smith to be very productive and maybe show out enough to get one more big contract before he hangs it up.
One last thing to note is, since Smith took so much time off, his body has little wear and tear. He also appears to have matured since his earlier days which makes him a more appealing option than someone like Melvin Ingram or Jadeveon Clowney because Smith appeared in all 16 games last year yet still has some intriguing upside. The veteran pass rusher would surely be an upgrade over Alex Okafor and an ideal stop-gap player until the Chiefs transition to someone younger.
At this point, the Chiefs certainly still need another edge presence. If there was ever a time for the Chiefs to sign Aldon Smith, it would be now.