News that former Miami Dolphins safety Adrian Colbert intends to sign with the Kansas City Chiefs broke shortly before we started recording the Wednesday episode of the Arrowhead Pride Laboratory podcast; we discussed it to lead off the show.
If the Chiefs hadn’t already signed safety Tedric Thompson during the last week, Colbert’s potential addition wouldn’t be much to talk about — considering that 2019’s rookie standout Juan Thornhill is still on the team’s physically-unable-to-perform list.
But until Thornhill is back on the field, safety depth is thin. While Daniel Sorensen in a fan favorite, he is more of a rotational player and special teams standout. He’s a great third safety, but as a No. 2, he’s lacking. In fact, the depth behind Tyrann Mathieu, Thornhill and Sorensen is among the most worrisome on the roster.
At minimum, the Chiefs will need to keep four safeties. So they feel compelled to bring in more competition to help push someone to the top of the group. If Thornhill is unavailable for Week 1, the Chiefs will likely be starting the season with at least two of Thompson, Colbert, third-year player Armani Watts and rookie Rodney Clemons. These players will have to show their value on special teams in order to stick — but the idea that any of them will have to play significant time on defense is concerning.
Last season, Chiefs safeties were crucial to the team’s defensive performance. They protected the cornerbacks, providing a significant challenge to opposing offenses between the numbers. If that group’s depth remains thin, the entire back end of the defense becomes more vulnerable. The hope for all Chiefs fans should be that this competition breeds a quality fourth safety — and Colbert could be that player.
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