A need to be Addressed
Chiefs Focus @ChiefsFocus By: @ChiefsFan4Lyfe
The 2022 NFL Season is around the corner. Even though free agency, the draft and OTAs have come and gone and we’re also close to training camps, football truly never sleeps. It’s a 24/7 job for the majority in the NFL. Those Championship teams are partly built on these mid-summer preseason acquisitions and roster decisions. Even going into October before the trade deadline. Moves can still be made.
That’s clearly evident for Brett Veach and his staff, who made incredible moves this off-season including signing Justin Reid, Ronald Jones, JuJu Smith-Schuster, or drafting Trent McDuffie, George Karlaftis, Skyy Moore, Leo Chenal, Darian Kinnard, and signing undrafted rookie free agent Justyn Ross. They also brought back Jerick McKinnon recently.
The team is set pretty much at all positions but some can make the case that the Chiefs might not have enough Defensive lineman especially when you only have Frank Clark, George Karlaftis, Michael Danna, and Josh Kaindoh on the edge. However, you can’t sleep on new Chiefs Defensive Line coach Joe Cullen’s coaching skills. While Cullen served as Defensive Line Coach for the Ravens from 2016 to 2020, their defense led the NFL in total defense.
That could be a sign that Sack Nation could return. I expect Karlaftis to have an All-rookie team campaign, I also see Frank Clark finally having that season that resembles his old Seahawks 10 sack a year form, Kaindoh has the potential to breakout. He has similarities to guys like Jason Pierre Paul and Gregory Rousseau. We have the players and also don’t sleep on Second year player #94 Malik Herring on the edge and inside like Cullen used ZaDarius Smith and Pernell McPhee in Baltimore. But with that being said, I believe that the main problem the Chiefs haven’t addressed is someone to replace Jarran Reed or better than that, who will help Chris Jones and company get back the Sack Nation name and help our defense overall as the final chess piece to get back to the Super Bowl?
Of course there’s the option of Signing Ndamukong Suh. It’s now public knowledge that Ndamukong Suh won’t be joining Tom Brady in returning to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season. He didn’t waste much time in making it known where he did think he might want to sign to the Raiders. I wouldn’t be shocked by this move because I think Suh would rather play against Mahomes instead of playing with him. Not to say he doesn’t like Patrick but more like if you still want to be the best, you have to beat the best and competition brings the best out of players. I also believe he might not be affordable.
Suh is a no brainer if he seriously wants to win another ring but if I’m Veach, the move that I would make is for Washington Commanders Defensive Tackle Daron Payne. The Athletic’s Ben Standig reported that Washington wouldn’t extend Payne meaning he will have to play out his rookie deal. Standig noted that while the Commanders’ ask in a trade was unknown, he was told the return was “not minor.”
There’s frustration in Washington between the team and Payne and it might be the time for them to start asking who’s interested in their former first rounder. Payne is 25, entering the fifth and final season of his rookie contract. The Commanders recently extended defensive tackle Jonathan Allen and plan to offer extensions to wide receiver Terry McLaurin and defensive linemen Chase Young and Montez Sweat in the near future. There’s also Carson Wentz’s massive cap hit, which makes it impossible for the Commanders to extend Payne. They also added Phidarian Mathis through the draft, Washington basically drafted his replacement.
Payne had an excellent 2021 season. He recorded 4.5 sacks, 61 combined tackles, 15 QB hits and 47 total pressures, according to Pro Football Focus. Last season, Payne ranked 11th in pass-rush grade among defensive lineman who logged at least 328 pass-rush snaps. In addition, his 12.6 percent win rate ranked 18th.
This is a potential move that should intrigue the Chiefs front office as they continue to work towards adding young talent to their roster, especially building for the future. Analytics say he’s one of the best interior linemen in the league, He is a dominating force against the run, and last season shows he’s getting better as a pass rusher. He would be a clear upgrade to this unit if added and a scary running mate alongside Chris Jones. Imagine 2013-14 Dontari Poe teaming up with Chris Jones post 2018. Yeah, scary! Also, go look at Spags best interior duo from the 2016 Giants, Damon “Snacks” Harrison and Jonathan Hankins as a duo as the Joker would say: An unmovable object.
If Washington keeps Payne this season and he leaves in free agency, the Commanders will potentially get a fourth-round compensatory pick. They may look to trade him as opposed to letting him walk and taking the compensatory pick. I think if that’s the case, I would send them a 2023 third round pick with the possibility of extending him (in the future). His 2022 cap hit is $8,500,000.
The move would be reminiscent of when the Bengals traded Billy Price for BJ Hill last season and then Hill gets a 3-year/$30M extension or DeForest Buckner who was traded to the Colts from the 49ers and given a 4-year/$84M extension. These moves proved to be “Worth the money” deals. Hill helped the Bengals reach the Super Bowl and Buckner did help the Colts in 2020 reach the playoffs and despite their devastating end last season, they’re still a respected defensive unit because of Buckner’s presence. Keep this in mind also. Justin Reid and Daron Payne share the same agent, Joel Segal.
If not that route, I believe that Sheldon Richardson is a cheaper option especially that fact he’s from St. Louis, went to Missouri where Chiefs assistant Special Teams coach Andy Hill was there at the same time Richardson was and that he and Frank Clark dominated on the Seahawks line in 2017. I just believe that Payne is really the person I’d want our team to consider as an option. He’s young and has a motor and his presence would give the Chiefs something that they haven’t had in a long time, not just sacks but an overall great defense. Payne’s presence would open up opportunities for the other defensive players like Nick Bolton, Willie Gay, Justin Reid to fly around the field especially stopping the run. I would be a fan of this move and former Andy Reid disciple Riverboat Ron Rivera could help out his old coach like John Harbaugh did last season by giving us Orlando Brown.
Daron Payne 2021 season highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?