New Era has begun: Chiefs sign Safety Justin Reid

Justin Reid is heading from Houston to Kansas City.

The Chiefs signed the former Houston Texans safety Justin Reid to a three-year, $31 million deal that includes $20 million in guaranteed money, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source.

Reid’s arrival could signal the end of Tyrann Mathieu in Kansas City. As reported by @ChiefsFocus on Chiefs Focus 1st & 10 Show over the past two months. Tyrann Mathieu who has been the heart and soul of this defense was never offered a new contract. However, Our Chiefs insider JP did get word that there were talks with Tyrann possibly coming back but based off the news of Reid, it sounds like the two parties couldn’t come to the agreement that they were looking for.

If this signing is the end of Tyrann in KC, I’m grateful I had the privilege of watching Tyrann. His love for the game is incredible, and he’s passed on that passion and his knowledge to a lot of our young players. I can see him being a coach one of these days. He’s built a tremendous legacy here in Kansas City, and without him, the Chiefs wouldn’t have won their first Super Bowl in 50 seasons in 2019 and I wish him the best as he moves forward.

Justin Reid is an able, willing, and confident tackler for the Chiefs who can absolutely fly to the football. No matter where the ball ends up on the field, Reid will be there, if not involved in bringing the ball carrier down.

He is a heat-seeking missile that is quickly becoming a player that every team will have to account for before the snap. Being the younger brother of NFL safety Eric Reid set up Justin Reid with a head start for a NFL career. Reid turned into a quality safety out of Stanford and entered the NFL with the Houston Texans as a well-rounded player who contributed in both phases as a versatile safety.

Reid is 25 and a former 2018 third-round draft pick out of Stanford. He spent his entire four-year NFL career with the Texans in the AFC South division. In those four seasons, he started 53 regular-season games for Houston, recording 315 total tackles, 11 tackles for loss, two sacks, three fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles, 23 passes defended and seven interceptions.

In the ground game, Reid is a physical safety who can function well as the eighth man in the box just like what Tyrann Mathieu and Eric Berry have done in the Andy Reid era. He is a reliable tackler and willing to take on any back. While Reid might be a tad undersized, he could play some as the eighth man in the box.

In pass coverage, Reid is reliable in zone. He covers ground well and is adept at picking up receivers who come into his area. He is better suited to play man coverage against tight ends or helping against big wide receivers along the sideline which is the type of player the Chiefs have needed for a long time. Justin Reid’s man coverage skills translate well into the true safety role that Spagnuolo is looking for. He has fluid hips, understands multiple zone concepts, and is a ball hawk. I was tired of seeing Daniel Sorensen covering those guys in man coverage on sub packages.

Reid’s skill set should help improve a Chiefs secondary that ranked 27st in the league last year in passing yards allowed per game (251.4).

With Reid on the roster, the Chiefs will probably still target a safety in the draft or maybe in the second through fourth wave of free agency, someone who doesn’t have to worry about starting in a major role replacing one of our legendary leaders as a rookie. This replacement be the third safety, a rotational defender in a role that was previously held by Dirty Dan.

One safety prospect the Chiefs could consider selecting in the first two rounds of the draft is Daxton Hill from Michigan who is known for his coverage skills and versatility. Hill has good ball skills and that can play almost anywhere in the secondary. Fluid and fast. Ran a 4.38 at the 2022 combine. Other names like Baylor’s Jalen Pitre who has some Honey Badger comparisons. Can do it all and did at Baylor. He was a competitive player and will be a versatile safety or hybrid piece. Penn State’s Jaquan Brister who ran a 4.49, versatile and has great length, he was an exceptional piece on a really good Penn State defense. He can cover the mismatched tight ends or roam the middle. Another Baylor safety JT Woods (One of my Chiefs draft sleepers) is long, fast, and a twitchy playmaker that had an awesome 2021 season. He will need some tweaking but he’s an exceptional athlete that can find a role on special teams while he develops. Lastly, Maryland’s Nick Cross (I like him too) also ran a 4.3 and is twitchy and explosive. He looked great in drills at the combine and was versatile to stop the run or play nickel.

As a result of this signing, I can see the Chiefs now focusing their attention towards revamping the defensive line possibly with bringing back Melvin Ingram and looking at Joe Cullen connected players who are available free agents: Za’Darius Smith, Calais Campbell, Brandon Williams, Michael Pierce, a Anthony Hitchens replacement via the draft or a low option deal for a veteran, get a cornerback to replace our guy Charvarius Ward who signed with the San Francisco 49ers, and get some offensive weapons for Patrick Mahomes like a RB to replace Darrell Williams and finally a WR2.

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