Is DeMeco Ryans the next Joe Mays? Would the Chiefs even make room for a veteran linebacker?
These are the questions I was asking when I heard the Philadelphia Eagles cut DeMeco Ryans on Tuesday. The move was hardly surprising given that Ryans has slowed and is no longer the heart-of-the-defense sort that he was with the Houston Texans for several years. Still he is only 31 (will be 32 in July) with solid experience and, even if he's limited, he brings something to the table.
As for the Chiefs, it's hard to tell what they might do with their linebackers. They could just sit still given the young players they already have in house. Derrick Johnson needs a contract, but both sides are already hugging around a campfire. Ramik Wilson needs reps. Justin March impressed before being sidelined for the year with injury. If Josh Mauga is getting too expensive, Dorsey might shuffle the cards. Otherwise, it's hard to see a move for Ryans. But if he wants to bring an experienced run defender...
We asked a few questions to Brandon Lee Gowton, Managing Ed. of Bleeding Green Nation, to find out whether Ryans would be worth checking out on the FA market.
How much would you say he has left in the tank?
Ryans turns 32 in July so I can't see him playing too much longer. I do think he might have a season or two in him, however. The problem is injury issues have been a concern throughout his career. He suffered a second Achilles injury in 2014. He missed some time last season as well. It's hard to count on him too much.
What's going to be the best fit for DeMeco moving forward?
I think Ryans is more of a two-down player at this point. Ideally you want him playing the run and getting the defense organized by leading from the middle. You don't want him in coverage. He would be best used as a rotational guy.
Do you believe he will have to wait a while before he finds a new home?
I don't think there will be a hot market for Ryans given his recent struggles, age, and injury issues. He'll land somewhere eventually.
Thanks to Brandon Lee Gowton for answering our questions. You can follow Brandon at @brandongowton.