The Las Vegas Raiders made a couple free agent signings on Thursday and both of them should look pretty familiar to K.C. Chiefs fans. Perhaps it was the Raiders ability to see them up close with Kansas City in the AFC that made them partially confident in signing linebacker Darron Lee and defensive back De’Vante Bausby.
Lee will be the most exciting of the pair for Raiders fans only because of his status as a former first-round pick out of Ohio State. Lee came into the NFL as a playmaking linebacker with significant pass rush skills who could serve as a sort of chess piece for defensive coordinators. The New York Jets took the risk at No. 20 overall, but Lee lasted only three seasons with Todd Bowles’ team.
After the Jets soured on Lee enough to decline his fifth year option (for the 2020 season), the Chiefs offered a sixth round pick in order to see how he’d look in Kansas City in a classic Brett Veach change-of-scenery deal. Lee played in every single game for the Chiefs and picked the perfect single season to play for Andy Reid as he won a Super Bowl with the team. However, his 31 total tackles weren’t very impactful and he was even inactive for the biggest game of the year.
Lee spent part of last season suspended for the first four games before finding a bit of playing time near the end of the season with the Buffalo Bills.
As for Bausby, he’s nearly complete with his tour of the AFC West at this point after also having spent time with the Chiefs and Denver Broncos. The K.C. native deserves credit for keeping his career alive so much longer than the average, especially as a former undrafted prospect out of Pittsburg State.
The Chiefs gave Bausby his first chance as a rookie free agent, but a broken collarbone led to his release. From there, he’d earn looks from the Chicago Bears, Arizona Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles and multiple stints in Denver and Kansas City. Bausby has played in only 26 games combined during his six seasons in the league due to injury and shortened opportunities.