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The Chiefs’ top 5 needs heading into free agency: 4 on defense, 1 on offense

The Kansas City Chiefs are hitting free agency on Wednesday. They have a bunch of their own free agents to consider and many free agents on other teams to consider. They’re going to be busy.

Let’s start with what the Chiefs need. They are, overall, a very good team that has missed the playoffs just once in the last five years. Let’s take a look at the Chiefs’ top five needs as I see it.

Defensive line

Edge rusher is the biggest need on my board but those types of badass edge rushers don’t hit free agency very often, so we will look to the draft to address that need and focus on other positions here instead. A rumor has linked the Chiefs to DT Star Lotulelei.

The Chiefs have Chris Jones on the defensive line and ... that’s about it. Rakeem Nunez-Roches is a nice piece to add but he’s not a foundational piece like Jones. The Chiefs are set to lose nose tackle Bennie Logan in free agency while defensive end Allen Bailey is a potential cap casualty (the Chiefs can save nearly $6 million by releasing him).

That means the Chiefs can add some help here. They need another starter now and they need more depth.


Still a need and this position is strong in free agency. Kendall Fuller will obviously figure in after the Chiefs traded Marcus Peters. That still leaves two more spots open, the other outside position and the slot. The Chiefs are flexible here because Fuller can play inside and outside.


I think the Chiefs go with a veteran at safety after they plan to cut Ron Parker this week. Eric Berry will be coming back next season and the Chiefs need someone to line up next to him. They could go with someone in-house like Eric Murray or Steven Terrell or they could bring in a veteran. At this point, I would prefer to bring in a veteran to compete with the young players.

Inside linebacker

Reggie Ragland looks like The Guy at one side. The Chiefs now need another inside linebacker, preferably someone who can cover a little bit. The Chiefs don’t have two inside linebackers on the field all the time so this isn’t necessarily an every-down player but it’s still someone who can help out with the run defense.

Backup quarterback

They got rid of a guy in Alex Smith but still have a guy in Patrick Mahomes. So who is the other guy? The Chiefs need a backup. Tyler Bray is scheduled for free agency. The Chiefs could end up having no one behind Mahomes this week. They’ll need to change that, preferably with a veteran backup quarterback.

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