Ring Chasing and Dominance Makes Sense
Chiefs Focus @ChiefsFocus
The Chiefs are preparing for Training Camp in St. Joseph to continue on their journey to getting back to the Super Bowl. Of course, some national media outlets that cover the NFL will point to the Chiefs needing edge rusher help. Isn’t that the obvious positional need? Of course it is. The designated pass rusher is the second most important position in the NFL. However they don’t grow on trees, you groom them in those players. Yes, the Chiefs got a lot of young players that have yet to put on the pads and proving their status among their peers.
I personally believe that the Chiefs are missing a proven veteran either that be on the edge of the interior. It’s common knowledge that the Chiefs are considering that option and they’re not done yet. They did sign Taylor Stallworth from the Colts but there is no guarantee he could make the roster. Just ask Carlos Hyde. Last season, The Chiefs had high hopes for Jarran Reed once he became available due to his falling out with the Seahawks. Much of the optimism came from the fact that he played some of his best football playing next to Frank Clark in Seattle. But Reed never really lived up to the hype despite a contract season. In 17 regular-season games, Reed only managed 43 tackles and 2.5 sacks.
I previously explored the idea of trading for Daron Payne as an option. He’s 25 years old and affordable for his 2022 cap hit. This time around, I will explore the idea of what it would take to keep Ndamukong Suh away from the Raiders. It’s a fact that Ndamukong Suh won’t be returning to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He did say he might want to sign to the Raiders. I know I said he would consider that option and that he might not be affordable. There’s an Internet picture of a young Suh wearing Raiders gear with Charles Barkley in the 90s. I can understand the love for an organization and what they represent to you, you have to consider the many possibilities that are in front of you and if I’m Suh and Brett Veach, I would be having conversations about ring chasing together. All the Chiefs really need from the market is a guy who can rotate with Derrick Nnadi and Tershawn Wharton while he spotlights as the 3-tech pass-rusher next to Chris Jones so that they’re not only relying on rookie George Karlaftis or Malik Herring.
Suh is still a very effective player despite being 35 years old. He has had 6.0 sacks each of the past two seasons and remains a stout run-defender. He was a key figure in a Buccaneers defensive front that allowed the third fewest rushing yards in the NFL after fishing first in that category in both 2019 and 2020. This is what the Chiefs need.
Suh has played in 4-3 defenses before and with our defense, Steve Spagnuolo will design run plays for Chris Jones and Suh to eat up the blocks of the center and both guards. That will allow free gaps for Nick Bolton and Willie Gay and on occasion Leo Chenal to attack and get to the ball carrier. Jones is a dynamic pass-rusher, but the run-stopping play of Suh would allow Jones to freelance more as a rusher and get more sack opportunities. One of the more remarkable aspects of Suh’s NFL career has been his durability. He has played in and started 213 of a possible 215 games since first joining the Lions in 2010, playoffs included, and has never missed a game due to injury. He has active streaks of 164 games played and started in the regular season, easily the longest in the NFL.
The question would be whether or not the money would be right for both sides, as the Chiefs have $13,957,453 million dollars in remaining cap space according to the NFLPA Public Salary Cap Report. What’s the other hold up? Orlando Brown Jr.’s contract situation. The Chiefs and the franchise-tagged left tackle have until July 15th to agree to a long-term contract extension. With that hard deadline, we should have clarity soon on whether the team will be in the position to add a edge rusher or interior guy via free agency or trade.
However, there is a possibility that Suh may not have a big market, which could play into the Chiefs favor in terms of getting some sort of contractual discount.
As many NFL fans know, Suh was a huge integral part of the Super Bowl runs both the 2018 and 2020 seasons for the Rams and Buccaneers, so a chance to come in provide the leadership presence and experience for the Chiefs defensive line room with Super Bowl aspirations makes sense for a player at the tail end of his career seeking to title chase in his final years. He’s the type of veteran like Terrell Suggs and Melvin Ingram would will force everyone around him to raise their level or play and give their best effort every play. What Suh offers the Chiefs is that relentless motor. That motor where you play whistle to whistle. A trait that can’t be coached.
He doesn’t have to sack the quarterback but effect the play. That’s the thing Suh could still offer even at 35 years old. Someone that still effects their play rather rushing the passer or not. His clutch forced fumble off Rams running back Cam Akers with less than three minutes left in regulation gave the Buccaneers a chance to complete a stunning 24-point rally in a Divisional Round contest, though Los Angeles would go on to win the game with a last-second field goal. Regardless of all of that, Suh is a crafty veteran, been around the league a long time, super talented and works his tail off. The Chiefs should consider this option especially if they don’t want their other AFC West opponents to get their hands on the sooner to be Hall of Famer.