The top priority for the Kansas City Chiefs heading into the 2018 offseason is their pass rush and I don’t think it’s particularly close. The Chiefs need a stronger pass rush and perhaps their next Justin Houston.
Why pass rush? It’s a bigger priority than any other position. The Chiefs aren’t decided yet at quarterback but they know their two options there. Receiver is intriguing but not at a high pick with Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce (basically a receiver) and Kareem Hunt as the top options on offense. Barring a personnel move, offensive tackle isn’t likely. The defensive line is always a possibility, especially with Bennie Logan on a one-year deal, and so is cornerback. Don’t toss those out. Inside linebacker is also a consideration but the Chiefs do have young players there they like.
For me, it’s so obviously pass rush. This is where they need to put the most of their resources this offseason.
Justin Houston had a good but not great season. He’s 28 years old and was healthy for the playoffs for the first time ever. I’m not sure how good of a bet it is to rely on him to get better after age 28. Is he past his prime? Maybe he has some domination left in him.
Dee Ford has been hurt and can’t be relied on. The Chiefs have a decision to make on him by March. He may not even be in KC next year. The Chiefs did pick up his fifth-year option last year but that doesn’t lock them into anything. Quoting myself from last May here: “This doesn’t guarantee the Chiefs will have Ford on their team in 2018 and pay him $10 million (actually, $8.7 million) so don’t freak out (for good or bad reasons). Picking up this fifth-year option is not fully guaranteed until March 2018 so what the Chiefs have done here is buy themselves some time. They can get another year of Dee Ford to decide what they want to do in 2018 and beyond.”
Frank Zombo is a role player and Tanoh Kpassagnon is young enough that I wonder how much the Chiefs can trust he will take the next step. I hope he does but he didn’t play enough that I can rely on that. Tamba Hali doesn’t figure into the Chiefs plan years down the line.
Pass rush. That’s the priority this offseason.