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
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LB Willie Gay

The presence of Drue Tranquill complicates the decision on Willie Gay. On the one hand, he's by far the Chiefs' most athletic linebacker and plays an underrated role in aiding the morale of the defense. On the other, it's probably unreasonable to expect the Chiefs to retain both him and Tranquill. Add the ascension of Leo Chenal, and I have even less confidence he will return in 2024. It doesn't help that Gay has never put it all together during his tenure in Kansas City. That said, I love his athletic profile and believe having depth at this position is important. I'd bring Gay back for one more season.

S Mike Edwards

Mike Edwards was another valuable role player for Kansas City in 2023. His veteran savvy and ball-hawking ability added another important layer to this defense. Having a player who is always around the ball gives a defense a different dimension. Safety was another position that suffered an injury loss when starter Bryan Cook went down with an ankle injury. Cook will return in 2024 and Justin Reid is already under contract. The emergence of Chamarri Conner helps, but he's still a young player who needs more time to mature. Bringing a two-time champion with vet leadership back makes sense, but I'd prefer to invest elsewhere.