The Kansas City Chiefs spent much of their offseason assets on revamping the defensive side of the ball. What veterans could see fewer opportunities in 2022?
In 2021, the Kansas City Chiefs‘ defense had two seasons. At the season’s beginning, the unit was historically bad in several areas. Defensive tackle Chris Jones was floundering on the edge, and defensive end Frank Clark was not doing much opposite him. The secondary was porous, allowing more than 225 passing yards in six of the season’s first seven games. The offense struggled to start 2021, and the defense did not pick up the slack.
The unit did turn things around, especially after acquiring defensive end Melvin Ingram. The Chiefs were on pace for a historically bad season, but their improvements made them an average defense. While they still finished low in several key defensive metrics, fans were happy with the defense’s quick in-season improvements.
After the season, things quickly changed for the Chiefs. Kansas City cut linebacker Anthony Hitchens, leaning into the youth movement amongst the linebackers. General manager Brett Veach ultimately failed to bring back Ingram, a divisive development amongst fans. Lastly, three-time All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu moved on to the New Orleans Saints after a successful tenure in Kansas City. The defense will look very different in 2022.
Veach invested a lot of offseason capital into the defense, via free agency and the draft. Whether it be safety Justin Reid, cornerback Trent McDuffie, or defensive end George Karlaftis, there are several new faces on the Kansas City defense.
What established veterans could lose starting jobs or considerable snaps to Kansas City newcomers in 2022?