The Chiefs' ideal decision for each defensive free agent

The Kansas City Chiefs are set to embark upon a quest to extend their dynasty and potentially become the first team to win three-straight Super Bowls. Appropriately, addressing a laundry list of pending defensive free agents is the key to getting the offseason off to a good start.

NFL Combine
NFL Combine / Stacy Revere/GettyImages
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LB Drue Tranquill

One of the hidden keys to defensive success for the Chiefs in 2023 was the level of depth they had up and down the roster. That depth was no more evident than in the middle of Kansas City's defense at linebacker. There, fellow pending free agents Willie Gay and Nick Bolton missed a combined 11 games between the regular season and NFL playoffs. The defense was able to manage thanks in large part to the signing of former Los Angeles Charger Drue Tranquill. According to Pro Football Focus, Tranquill posted a 70.5 grade in the 2023 season. He was one of Kansas City's best defensive additions a year ago, should be re-signed, and will likely command a larger role next season.

DE Mike Danna

In the run-up to Super Bowl LVIII, many of his defensive teammates cited Mike Danna as one of the unsung heroes of the team. Over the past several seasons, he's been a stalwart on the defensive line as the Chiefs faced suspensions, injuries, and inexperience on the edges. Danna has ascended in four seasons with the Chiefs posting 23 starts, 128 combined tackles, and 17 sacks. Not too shabby for a fifth-round pick. With two top 35 draft selections invested into the edge position the past two seasons, it's time for Kansas City and Danna to part ways. He's earned himself a more generous contract. Were I general manager Brett Veach, I would allow Danna to hit free agency.