The idea of a major defensive import sounds really good right about now for fans of the K.C. Chiefs. That’s also true for the fan base of any NFL franchise.
With the tier of players reportedly available on the trading block these days, swinging a deal sounds like a good move for teams serious about contending. Pass rusher Chandler Jones is perhaps the single most underrated pass rusher in the game and he’s ready to leave Arizona Cardinals behind in the desert. The same can be said of Xavien Howard‘s relationship with the Miami Dolphins.
Howard in particular is a popular face on Twitter these days with Chiefs fans after demanding a trade away from South Florida for the ways in which he feels disrespected by the Dolphins’ treatment of his contract. He signed an extension only two years ago that made him the highest-paid corner in the game, but the market has eclipsed his deal even as he’s continued to provide elite-level play for the Fins.
Don’t expect the Chiefs to get into any bidding for Xavien Howard.
The Chiefs haven’t made a major investment at cornerback in quite some time and waved goodbye to Bashaud Breeland this offseason in free agency. The Chiefs have a nice collection of young players headed by L’Jarius Sneed, but Charvarius Ward is in his contract year and there are questions surrounding Deandre Baker coming off of injury and Mike Hughes as a change-of-scenery candidate.
There’s room in the pecking order for a top-shelf veteran to come in and elevate the entire unit, to be sure, but that’s also true for almost every NFL team. Howard is an elite pass defender who would improve any team, and he’s positioning himself to become very expensive for some team. Given the Chiefs already have their fair share of expensive performers, it doesn’t make much sense to give up both the draft capital and the finances to Howard when the team wasn’t even interested in Breeland’s return for a few million.
That’s not to say that the Chiefs couldn’t move some money around if they really wanted to add a player. But right now, the team still has to worry about big money extensions for both safety Tyrann Mathieu and left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. In addition, if the team were to invest heavily in a position, it makes sense that it would be at a position already approached as a needy one, such as wide receiver where the Chiefs chased JuJu Smith-Schuster and others in free agency to no avail.
While it sounds good to dream of such a move by general manager Brett Veach, it’s likely that the Chiefs will sit still with what they have in house than go out and add a player like Howard or even Jones. The money doesn’t make sense, and the team hasn’t signaled any worry on their part at the position. The idea of Howard is great, but if the Chiefs are looking at the cornerback, it’s only because they are window shopping and not at all because they are serious.