We’re halfway there, Chiefs Kingdom.
2020 has proven to be a wild year in all aspects, including football. Due to these unfortunate circumstances and the nature of the NFL season, many teams find themselves looking to sell at the trade deadline. Naturally, this has many Chiefs fans excited about every single name they see on the block.
However, I have to be the big bad monster who dumps cold water on the hopes of the fanbase. While yes, some of these players may be talented, they either don’t fit a need, the scheme, or are out of the Chiefs’ price range.
This doesn’t mean the Chiefs can’t be active at the deadline. Actually, I’d love the opposite.
If Brett Veach can rebuild the Chiefs defense a la Eric DeCosta with the 2019 Ravens, it would be a dream come true.
DO inquire about Leighton Vander Esch
If I’m Brett Veach, Leighton Vander Esch is my No. 1 target at the deadline.
Thus far in 2020, Vander Esch has only appeared in three games due to injury, but just recently had his best game of the season against the Washington Football Team, registering 12 total tackles. With Vander Esch’s injury history, it may be feasible to get him for a second-round pick and some change.
Vander Esch would immediately fill the largest hole on the Chiefs’ roster, stepping in to start in the middle of the defense. His expertise would also undoubtedly help 2020 second-round pick Willie Gay, Jr., who has struggled to see playing time this year.
Overall, this move would only improve the win-now Chiefs, and he would be cheap enough to fit into their $5.5 million cap space.
DON’T sniff around Quinnen Williams
I’ve seen a lot of Chiefs fans begging the team on Twitter to go after Quinnen Williams. And I cannot, for the life of me, understand why.
First, he doesn’t fit a need for Kansas City. The problem with the Chiefs defense is their linebackers, not their defensive line.
Secondly, it would create a logjam for playing time across a talented front-four. The Chiefs currently have stud DT Chris Jones starting alongside DTs Derrick Nnadi and Mike Pennel, both above-average linemen who have shown to provide a positive impact to the Chiefs defense. Adding Williams would simply reduce their playing time and create a wealth of players at a position where the Chiefs already have depth.
And thirdly, Williams most likely wouldn’t be cheap for his position. Being the third-overall pick in 2018, Williams’ price tag would be in the ballpark of a second-round pick — way too high for a DT who can’t rush the passer.
While it might be nice to have him on the team, it doesn’t make sense if the Chiefs want to address the real holes on the roster.
DO go after Myles Jack
As one of the only members left from the 2017 Sacksonville defense, Jack has continued to perform at a high level, grading out as PFF’s top linebacker thus far in 2020.
Another veteran option for Kansas City, Jack would come in as a proven commodity and be a lighting rod to the middle of the Chiefs defense. Showing both a proficiency in coverage and against the run, Jack would free up safeties Tyrann Mathieu and Juan Thornhill to cover the deep ball while he can run with tight ends at the second level. The Kansas City defensive line does its job in keeping linebackers clean, and Myles Jack would actually be able to take advantage of it. With Jacksonville going into full rebuild mode, it might even be possible to get Jack for a third-round pick — a steal, if I’m the Chiefs.
The issue ultimately comes down to his cap hit. Jacksonville signed him to a four-year extension in 2019, giving him a $15.4 million hit in 2020. With the Chiefs having only a third of that, it could mean shuffling around other players to create space for Jack. While he did just sign his contract, Jacksonville is clearly blowing up the ship and starting over, exemplified by their trades of Calais Campbell, A.J. Bouye, and Ronnie Harrison.
Don’t be surprised if Jack is gone by the deadline.
DON’T trade for Jarrad Davis
I saw this earlier, and because it’s from CBS, I feel like I need to address it: Jarrad Davis is not the solution.
Davis has continued to regress since putting up 100 tackles in 2018, registering just 63 in 2019 and only 17 thus far in 2020, with reduced playing time each year. He is on a downward trend and has clearly lost the favor of the Detroit coaching staff. While the Chiefs linebacking corps is not great, Davis would not be an answer.
If the Chiefs are going to bring in talent, they need to try and maximize their value. Davis would perform at about the same level as the Chiefs’ current rotation, which would only reduce playing time and development from rookie Willie Gay, Jr.
Even if it’s only for a sixth- or seventh-round draft pick, the move feels very lateral.
(Featured Image Credit: Chiefs.com)