The Kansas City Chiefs are moving on from the Tyrann Mathieu era and starting a new one with Justin Reid.
The Chiefs made a splash by bringing in another former Houston Texans’ safety. With Tyrann Mathieu out the door, Justin Reid steps in to fill the vacancy at the safety position. The 25 year old agreed to a three-year, $31.5 million deal (20m guaranteed) with the reigning AFC West champs.
Reid played for the Stanford Cardinal before entering the 2018 NFL Draft. He was selected with the 68th overall pick by the Houston Texans after lighting the NFL Scouting Combine on fire. He is the younger brother of former San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid.
Reid has recorded multiple interceptions in three of his first four seasons in the league, highlighting his ability as a playmaker. Along with being a ballhawk in pass coverage, Reid uses his otherworldly range to make tackles all across the field. This makes him versatile enough to play centerfield for a defense or line up inside the box for run support.
The biggest knock on the budding star is his durability. Reid has missed time in each season since playing the full 16 as a rookie. In 2019, he only missed a single game but revealed at the end of the season that he had been playing with a torn labrum in his shoulder. In 2020, a hand injury cut his third year short. This past season, COVID and concussions were to blame for his absence from the lineup.
The Chiefs will be banking on him to remain healthy and provide stability on the backend of the defense. It was reported that the team did not extend an offer to their starting safety of the past three seasons — Tyrann Mathieu.
This is a bold move considering how much personality The Honey Badger brought to their defensive unit. It makes sense for the timeline of the team though, with Reid being nearly five years younger than Mathieu. Even when Reid’s deal ends, he won’t be as old as Tyrann is today.
Kansas City Chiefs Sign Justin Reid and Restructure Frank Clark, Lose Tyrann Mathieu and Charvarius Ward
The secondary is getting a major facelift this offseason, as the team lost starting cornerback Charvarius Ward to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday. Shaking up the lineup is not necessarily a bad thing, considering Steve Spagnuolo’s unit ranked 27th in the NFL in passing yards allowed.
To add to the shuffling in the secondary, general manager Brett Veach and defensive end Frank Clark were able to restructure the latter’s contract. The Chiefs were prepared to cut the soon-to-be 29 year old that they acquired in 2019 from the Seahawks for a hefty haul.
Rather than counting for a cap hit exceeding $25 million, they agreed to a two-year deal with a maximum value of $36 million that will result in a cap hit that is half of what it was slated to be. Clark is coming off of his lowest sack total since his rookie season, but with how little the team has on the defensive line around Chris Jones, they could do far worse than Frank Clark at this adjusted price.
If Monday was any indication, I expect the Chiefs to be active in addressing the cornerback position. Now that Charvarius Ward has departed, the depth chart is not pretty outside of the former fourth-round steal L’Jarius Sneed. The team still needs to scour the market for some value at linebacker, as well as the wide receiver position on the other side of the ball.
Cornerback, defensive line, linebacker, and wide receiver are the positions to watch for. A trade for an established player at any of those positions should not be ruled out either.