As he enters his contract year, Juan Thornhill sounds ready for an impact season for the Kansas City Chiefs in the secondary.
No matter how things turn out for Juan Thornhill in the second half of this year, it’s going to go down as a big season for his pro football career. The good news at this early stage is that the Kansas City Chiefs safety sounds more than ready for it.
In recent days, Thornhill has taken to Twitter to express his focus and energy for the coming season, and for Chiefs Kingdom, it all sounds very exciting and positive. We’re not sure whether this relates to his physical or mental health but either way, we’re stoked to read the following.
Entering the ’22 season, Thornhill is at that familiar intersection of the contract year with a body of work that hasn’t quite guaranteed him that big payday on the other side. The hope is that with another productive season, the Chiefs or someone will be ready to reward him handsomely in free agency with that desired second contract.
The Chiefs’ social media team is well aware of this, too, and even pointed to this in recent days and Thornhill’s response said it all—a man who is ready to grab the brass ring and get paid.
At this point, it’s difficult to tell how anything will go given the factors involved, but if Thornhill is ready to take his game to a new level, it would be perfect timing for all parties involved. The Chiefs just lost the leadership, presence, and production of Tyrann Mathieu, and the void there could be a space in which Thornhill provides further value.
What might also be motivating for Thornhill is knowing he’s the lone holdover in an offseason in which the secondary has been completely rebuilt. Mathieu isn’t the only one gone. In fact, Thornhill is the only safety left after the team also allowed Daniel Sorensen and Armani Watts to leave in free agency (to the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts, respectively).
The Chiefs have no shortage of new competition all around for Thornhill and company, so nothing is guaranteed for the fourth-year safety. Bryan Cook is the second-round pick out of Cincinnati and Justin Reid was the biggest free agent acquisition of the offseason. Together with Thornhill, they give the Chiefs the most talented safety trio they’ve had in years. If Thornhill can use his talent and experience to hold off Cook for more reps, this entire unit could look sensational.
For Thornhill, an impressive year would be a nice finishing touch on a career that started so well and then experienced a frustrating ACL injury that robbed him of some of his effectiveness. If Thornhill is feeling as good as he says, it might be time for a breakout season just before he’s set to hit the open market.