Even before 2021, Kansas City Chiefs fans either loved or despised safety Daniel Sorensen.
The former Brigham Young Cougar has spent his entire career in Kansas City, joining the team as an undrafted free agent in 2014. Sorensen served as a special teams starter for his first few years but steadily increased his defensive snaps. After playing in nearly half of Kansas City’s defensive plays in 2016, the Chiefs re-signed Sorensen to a four-year, $16 million deal. The once nondescript rookie had evolved into a glue player for Kansas City, being a reliable third or fourth option at safety.
“Daniel has been a very efficient player for us, both on defense and special teams,” then-General Manager John Dorsey said. “He’s a relentless worker and a team-first guy. He’s grown each year in our system and I look forward to watching him develop even more as we move forward.”
After that extension, Sorensen quickly turned into a starter for the Chiefs. He started in 14 games. logging 89 combined tackles and six passes defended. At that time, Sorensen had the support of fans, despite a middling performance on the team. His no-nonsense style appealed to many Midwestern fans and he was rarely a liability on the field.
Those 14 starts in 2017 remain the most in a season for Sorensen, as he was moved down the depth chart. His name was usually on the roster bubble lists each offseason after 2017, courtesy of his mediocre numbers at $4 million APY. But, both defensive coordinators Bob Sutton and Steve Spagnuolo decided to keep him around.
2020 saw Sorensen’s regression hit high gear, recording career-highs in missed tackles and passer rating allowed. He was an obvious weakness, yet started 11 games for Kansas City. Fans called for Sorensen’s tenure to end in Kansas City, yet the team brought him back on a one-year deal. He remained the third safety on the depth chart, squarely behind Tyrann Mathieu and Juan Thornhill.
Now that Sorensen’s contract is over, is there any reason to bring him back? Or will Sorensen’s Kansas City career end with a whimper?