The best free agent bargains still available for the Kansas City Chiefs

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CB Steven Nelson

Steven Nelson's NFL career, at 31 years old, is in decline. After all, Father Time remains undefeated. But the 2016 third-round pick does have a chance in Kansas City: An opportunity to return as the veteran leader in the cornerback room where he started his career.

Nelson is still a notably productive defensive back, playing with the Houston Texans in 2023. He led all Texans defenders in total snaps and was 2022 first-round pick Derek Stingley Jr.'s partner in pass coverage. PFF gave Nelson a 73.1 coverage grade, which trailed Stingley's 84.9 by a long shot. Several teams would still take Nelson's six pass breakups and 70.6 passer rating allowed, both among the best marks of his career.

Despite playing for three different teams in the last four years, Nelson continues to leave a significant impact wherever he plays. At his age, a long-term deal feels unlikely. So, like Lawson, why not chase a ring with the franchise that drafted him?

Why should Kansas City be interested?

There is a competition to determine who will be Trent McDuffie's running mate at the top of the cornerback depth chart. Joshua Williams, Jaylen Watson, and others all offer controllable and cheap options, but at the cost of productive NFL experience. Nelson continues to predominantly play as a boundary corner, a crucial position required to fill the void left by L'Jarius Sneed's performance.

Nelson will not be a one-for-one replacement, but his Houston playing days and Kansas City ties make this an enticing pairing. While other teams focus on Stephon Gilmore and Xavien Howard, Veach adding Nelson would be a shrewd move.