The Kansas City Chiefs saw the departure of several players at the safety position in the past few months, ranging from a full-time starter/leader to a player who primarily saw action in special teams.
Let’s review some of the Chiefs’ most notable departures at safety since this offseason began.
After three seasons, two pro bowl appearances, two super bowl trips, and a super bowl victory, the Chiefs opted to not offer Tyrann Mathieu a new contract for 2022 & beyond. He then left for his hometown Saints on a three-year, $33 million contract.
When Mathieu was not re-signed by the beginning of the “legal” tampering period, many Chiefs fans emotionally moved on and accepted the possibility that the Honey Badger would not return to KC. After the season, it felt like it was just a matter of time before an extension was announced but that time never came.
Outside of Tyreek Hill, one can make a valid argument that Tyrann Mathieu was the biggest loss for the Chiefs this offseason. The Chiefs will miss his leadership on and off the field as well as his consistent play. One may argue that, over the past decade, no other acquisition on defense changed this franchise for the better more than his signing. Despite some rough times, he will be greatly missed by Chiefs Kingdom.
When you think of players the Chiefs have lost this offseason, Armani Watts’ name is not brought up often. After being selected in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Watts never quite established himself as a starter on defense. He never topped 102 snaps on defense in a given season.
While he was never a major contributor on defense, he was a regular on special teams. He played at least 300 snaps on special teams every season since 2018. His most notable play last season was recovering a Derek Carr fumble in the 48-9 Week 14 win over Las Vegas.
Perhaps the most polarizing player on the Chiefs last season was safety Dan Sorenson. Like Mathieu, he also left for New Orleans, but I think most fans are more comfortable with this breakup than with the Mathieu one.
Sorenson played his role on the defense as a hard-hitting safety who was always willing to put his body on the line. But he did have his downsides. Especially in 2021, he was charged for a lot of blown coverages which led to numerous touchdowns for opposing offenses.
There’s no way to quantity this but Dan Sorenson was responsible for a lot of exciting plays (both good and bad) during his time in Kansas City. He will never be forgotten but he had run his course with the Chiefs. Perhaps a change in scenery will serve him well.