Kansas City purge could be coming, on defense

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Not since Ryan returned to Scranton and Creed dyed his hair with toner from the copier has there been more anticipation of a youth movement. As explained by Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star, Chiefs G.M. Brett Veach is expected to make dramatic changes to the roster in an effort to make it “younger, faster and in certain spots cheaper.”

Mellinger writes that the changes will be “significant,” especially on defense.

“Veach’s emphasis on youth and the Chiefs’ institutional stance that their problems on defense are the fault of the players and not coordinator Bob Sutton mean a massive roster turnover is likely,” Mellinger explains.

Already (and not surprisingly), cornerback Darrelle Revis has gotten a pink slip. Other fairly obvious candidates for a wrong-side-of-30 purge include 35-year-old linebacker Derrick Johnson and 34-year-old linebacker Tamba Hali. (33-year-old quarterback Alex Smith will be traded, unless the deal falls through.)

Linebacker Justin Houston is only 29, but he has a salary of $14.5 million and a cap charge of $20.6 million for 2018. Cutting or trading him would result in more than $12 million in dead money hitting the cap, but with Houston having 21 total sacks in the three seasons combined since getting 22 in 2014, the Chiefs need to ask the hard question of whether his best days are behind him — and whether the cash and cap space can be better devoted to other needs.

Mellinger also pegs cornerback Ron Parker, linebacker Frank Zombo, defensive lineman Bennie Logan, safety Daniel Sorensen, and defensive lineman Allen Bailey as others who could be out.

If the Chiefs believe last year’s failings on defense trace to the players, and as the time to get new players (and get rid of existing ones) approaches, the Chiefs could indeed be a hot spot for change.

And then a bunch of those former Chiefs may end up with former Chiefs G.M. John Dorsey in Cleveland.

22 responses to “Kansas City purge could be coming, on defense

  1. Yes, the defense gave up over 20 points in the second half of the playoff game, but the 90 million dollar QB going to the Redskins had 37 passing yards and no points in the second half.

    That said Parker, Johnson, Zombo, Hali need to all be gone. They’re backups at best and aren’t producing when needed.

  2. Veach understands (hopefully) that he cannot operate as John Dorsey did, keeping players because of some kind of failed loyalty to longtime Chiefs, like Johnson and Hali. The bad contracts and cap hell that Dorsey put the Chiefs in is most likely, but not the only things that cost him his job.

  3. Justin Houston still sets the edge better than ANYONE in the league, and can still rush the passer just fine (when Bob Sutton isn’t having him drop into coverage for whatever reason). You want to cut the rest of those guys? Fine. But Justin Houston is by no means the problem. Anyone who says otherwise has an uninformed opinion.

  4. Problem is with the Head Coach, who can’t get past the 1st round in the playoffs. They focus on just getting to the playoffs, not winning.

  5. Sacks are way overrated AFTER a big year. Teams scheme against it thus freeing up others to make them.

    So it’s not Houston’s faul he’s a target, the Chiefs need other’s to step up or scheme against those scheming them.

    Football 101

  6. When you finally see what Mahomes looks like next year, you will quickly realize that KC is not “starting over with a young QB”. Mahomes has so much more upside than Alex ever had; so much more confidence (balls); and doesn’t feel phantom pressure that ends up serving as a drive killer. Yes, he will throw more INTs than Alex. But the net benefit will be a positive for KC starting from year 1.

  7. Justin Houston isn’t going anywhere. The previous poster is right he can set the edge and cover and rush with the best of them still. The others will probably retire or get cut. This notion the kc is starting over or is somehow going to only go 8 and 8 next year is just crazy talk. There is a ton of playoff experience on this team. You are all ignoring the fact that Reid owns the afc West. The chiefs are clearing out a ton of cap space. My guess is the will sign at least 1 major fa. Then draft heavy on defense. I reserve rights to change my prediction closer to preseason but the chiefs are still and still should be favorites to win the west. Who else you going to pick. The broncos have no qb and are getting old on d. The chargers have a qb but he is getting old and the chiefs beat them easily twice last year. The raiders just hired a guy who hasn’t coached in a decade and still have there own huge defensive issues. Chiefs return the oline, stud rb, stud wr, stud te. The qb may be young but with the talent around him he is going to put up huge numbers or at least comparable to Alex last year.

  8. Berry’s contract is why teams should put 100 million into their scouting department and stop giving out tons of dough to any one player not the QB. Blink of an eye, they out…..and your cap is hamstrung.

  9. Now that Andy Reid actually has to shape the team by bringing in his own guys instead of working with what he inherited, it’s basically over in KC.

    In Philly, when the defensive personnel that he and Jim Johnson inherited started getting old and / or leaving in free agency, it was the death knell for that team. Too many Stewart Bradley for Jeremiah Trotter and Quentin Demps for Brian Dawkins type swaps.

  10. unless andy finds another jim johnson (not likely) the chiefs defense will be lousy. andy’s eye for talent isn’t very good (see kevin kolb or danny watkins) and he has always undervalued linebackers and safeties. but next year he will have someone else to scapegoat, kind of like he did the personnel guy this time.

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