On Thursday — one week ahead of Day 1 of the NFL Draft — Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach spoke to the media. It marked the first opportunity to publicly hear from the general manager since signing several free agents, including former Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Mike Edwards and Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Drue Tranquill.
Veach and the Chiefs signed Edwards on March 17.
“Mike Edwards was a guy that we actually have a lot of familiarity with,” said the GM. “A couple of years ago, when (former Chiefs linebackers coach) Matt House was here, we brought him from Kentucky — he was a [defensive coordinator] at Kentucky. He coached Mike Edwards and since then, Matt’s now down at LSU. Once we started this free agency process, we talked to Matt and recalling his days at Kentucky (and) just the scheme fit here.
“Even though [Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo] doesn’t run exactly what Matt did in Kentucky, there’s a lot of carry over from an X and Os standpoint that just fit the bill with Juan [Thornhill] leaving here, [and] we wanted a third safety. It made a lot of sense.”
With Thornhill now in Cleveland, Edwards joins a safety room that includes Justin Reid, Bryan Cook and Deon Bush. Kansas City will likely add another safety with one of their 10 selections in next week’s NFL Draft.
On the same day they signed Edwards, the Chiefs also signed Tranquill.
“Sometimes it’s just really good value,” said Veach, who signed the Chiefs’ former foe on a one-year deal worth up to $5 million. “I don’t know if we went into free agency saying linebacker was a super high priority – I think we probably focused on the O and D-line, predominantly. But then as free agency goes, there’s always some guys that for some reason they’re just out there, and they’re really good players, and we just picked up communication because Drue Tranquill actually has the same agent as JuJu [Smith-Schuster].
“So when we were trying to work through that JuJu situation [and] once we congratulated JuJu’s crew and his team of agents, we were made aware that Drue Tranquill was still out there and having had a lot of experience playing against him, knew how good he was. [He’s] a guy that can play all three [linebacker] positions. He can play MIKE, he can wear the green dot and back up [Nick] Bolton, he can play some WILL, and he can play some on the line of scrimmage. [He’s] a great blitzer, great in pass coverage.”
Tranquill joins a linebacker corps that includes Bolton, Willie Gay Jr., Leo Chenal, Jack Cochrane and Cole Christiansen. Bolton recently discussed how he likes that the former Charger brings years of experience to the table.