It has not been a good season so far for Bashaud Breeland.
If you’re up not to date on how Breeland is doing in his new environment with the Minnesota Vikings, just know that it’s been a quarter season to forget. Whether he’s not taking well to a new defensive scheme or he’s hit a wall or he’s playing through an injury—whatever the reason—Breeland is having a horrible season at corner for the Vikes.
To be clear from the outset, nearly every cornerback who puts on a Minnesota jersey on Sundays is struggling in 2021. That’s Patrick Peterson and Mackensie Alexander and Bashaud Breeland. Just check out the following samples.
Only four weeks into his stint in The Gopher State and Breeland is generating headlines that read, “Should the Vikings bench Bashaud Breeland?” or “Mike Zimmer comments on Breeland’s awful debut.” In the last week, Breeland has shown up on the team’s injury report with an illness, although at least he was a full participant in practice earlier this week.
Bashaud Breeland could make a logical trade target for Chiefs.
Per Pro Football Reference, Breeland has allowed 22 of 26 completions coming his way. He’s already allowed 4 touchdowns in 2021 when he only allowed 4 all of last season. That’s horrible. There’s a reason all the metrics are saying he’s among the worst pass defenders so far this season, and even the eye test has fans asking for his benching. It doesn’t help that others like Cam Dantzler have been placed on the COVID/reserve list.
But it wasn’t that long ago that Breeland was a solid citizen in the secondary. With the K.C. Chiefs, he’d proven to be the sort of overly sticky cornerback who would frustrate opposing pass catchers. Steve Spagnuolo, the team’s defensive coordinator, tends to demand a lot from his corners but Breeland had proven able to rise to meet those expectations.
The Chiefs clearly liked what they had in Breeland at least from 2019 to 2020 because they re-signed him to another one-year deal after the former went out and gave him a $1M raise in the process. This offseason, however, Breeland lingered in free agency for some time and the Minnesota Vikings offered up $4M for a single year. The Chiefs apparently weren’t ready to match, or maybe the veteran corner wanted a change of scenery. Either way, both parties have been worse off.
For the Chiefs, the younger core hasn’t lived up to expectations. It’s still very early in the season and it’s quite possible that Deandre Baker and other younger corners can turn the corner. It’s also true that Charvarius Ward has missed two of four games and Rashad Fenton has missed time with a concussion as well. A young unit has also been thinned out by injuries.
Perhaps it’s too soon for anyone to judge anything at this point. Maybe Breeland just needs time to settle into life with the Vikings, and maybe the Chiefs need to be patient with the decisions they made during the offseason. But if the Vikings are ready to bench or even get rid of Breeland, it makes sense for the Chiefs to at least consider the idea of bringing back Breeland if his skill set is such a natural fit.
What if a late-round swap of picks could give the Chiefs a veteran option who is a known quantity? Is that not worth a trial balloon? There’s no way of knowing if Breeland is just cooked, for some reason, at the pro level of playing through some sort of unknown misery or injury.
However, if Breeland’s got something left and could slot back into something familiar in which he could offer a positive presence, it could help heal the Chiefs defense with an import who wouldn’t be a stranger to the whole scheme.