Welcome to another edition of our Kansas City Chiefs Monday Mailbag where we take your fan questions and provide in-depth answers to each and every one! Some news that broke yesterday was that Chiefs, who couldn’t find a trade partner, have released linebacker Justin Houston. We also heard some news over the weekend that the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers were the top suitors for Dee Ford. We have 7 questions today and couldn’t be more appreciative of the response to these articles, so definitely keep the questions coming! Now let’s start this mailbag off with a question about the release of a still very good player and one of the team’s leaders, Justin Houston.
Houston, Do We Have a Problem?
The Kansas City Chiefs tried to trade Justin, but with a base salary of over $15 million, there just weren’t going to be any takers for that cap number. I understand this question as the Chiefs are so close to a Super Bowl. Does it make sense to save some money, but lose a good player you may not be able to replace? My answer to that is that Brett Veach wants to get younger across the board and the Chiefs need to start getting their cap problems under control. The Chiefs have Tanoh Kpassagnon and Breeland Speaks who haven’t done much since being on the team, but should have more opportunities as they are a better fit the 4-3 scheme. The biggest loss to the Chiefs in releasing Justin Houston won’t be on the field. Justin had become the veteran vocal leader this team needed last season. We all saw him in the locker room after the playoff win vs. the Colts where he was telling the guys they have all offseason to plan vacations and relax, but now is the time to stay locked in and focused. I think Patrick is ready to take on the complete team leader role singlehandedly in 2019 and beyond which ends up making this decision to move on from Justin just that much more of a no-brainer.
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Bienemy vs. Kafka: Andy Reid’s Successor
Mike Kafka still needs quite a bit of time under Andy and in different roles before he is considered the next in line and appealing as a coaching candidate for other teams. However, Eric Bienemy is another one in the long line of Andy’s assistants that I feel has a very bright future. He has a gregarious personality, yet is tough and has walked in the players’ shoes as a former NFL running back. Eric obviously has a great eye for the running back position. He has not only coached up the supremely talented backs like Jamaal Charles and Kareem Hunt, but has gotten the most out of less talented options such as Spencer Ware, Charcandrick West, and now Damien Williams. I think it’s important for the Chiefs to hang on to Eric, but I’m not sure how long that’s going to be an option, as I expect Eric to get heavy consideration to be a team’s head coach in 2020. I also don’t believe Andy is going to walk away from Patrick Mahomes anytime soon so Andy’s successor may not even be a part of this coaching staff at this time.
Thanks for another great question Shane! Check out Shane’s Chiefs 2019 Free Agency Show with Clay Wendler from Red Tribe Cinema and Lance Twidwell from the Spoken!
The Eric Berry Situation
Eric Berry will not be back with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2019. Whether he’s cut soon or his a post June 1st cut; I just don’t see how this man can be allowed to be a part of this roster again. Are we going to take a cap hit by releasing him no matter what? Yes, but we will also free up some money in the meantime that we can use on his replacement whether that’s Landon Collins, Ha Ha Clinton Dix, Kenny Vaccaro, or a rookie. This situation reminds me a lot of the Kawhi Leonard situation with the San Antonio Spurs last season in the NBA and now Kawhi is with the Toronto Raptors. Eric’s career may not be done in the NFL, but it most certainly is in Kansas City. He was curt with the media and look uninterested on the sidelines, almost as if he’d rather have been anywhere else in the world. In fact, I’m proposing the Chiefs be done with any player with the first name Eric! Eric Fisher is not worth the money we are paying him and hasn’t lived up to the number 1 overall pick. And what about some of the other Eric’s this franchise has been riddled with: Eric Hicks, Eric Warfield, Eric Kush, Eric Downing, and let’s not forget Eric Murray as I think most of us feel that Jordan Lucas is the better player.
Thanks for the question Glenda! What are everyone’s thoughts on Eric Berry? Let’s here them in the comments section below!
The Patriot Way – Don’t Pay!
The Patriots are always helped out by the fact that one of the best quarterbacks in the game is married to a supermodel, therefore, doesn’t require to be paid as one of the best quarterbacks. However, I don’t think the Chiefs are going to mimic the Patriots strategy of trading away players before their contracts come up. I just feel the Chiefs want to get younger, are moving to a 4-3, and need to get their cap under control that those are the 3 reasons they are moving on from Houston and Ford. Houston is aging and his cap number didn’t match his production anymore. Dee Ford had one good season and the move to the 4-3 are two strong reasons the Chiefs aren’t thrilled with the thought of giving him a big payday. The Chiefs did spend top dollar on a safety and it went worse than anyone on Mother Earth could have imagined! The Chiefs also need money as they have to pay Chris Jones, Tyreek Hill, and Patrick Mahomes very soon. I do like the Patriots way of trading players before you lose them for nothing in free agency. Especially, when it’s a player you know you don’t want to pay what the market says you’ll have to. We will see if the Chiefs move carefully through free agency and spend wisely or they make a splash with a Landon Collins and think that’s the difference in making a run to the Super Bowl in 2019.
Great question Owen! What are your thoughts on the Chiefs possibly mimicking how the Patriots do things in the way of allocating their salary cap dollars?
Can Eric Berry Stay Healthy in 2019
The Chiefs cleared him to play and Eric finally got around to giving it a try late in the season. I think the Chiefs aren’t letting him get surgery because something could go wrong and if he doesn’t pass the physical then he is guaranteed a lot of money. Eric will not be a member of the Chiefs in 2019, but if he does try playing for another team I doubt he makes it much more than the 3 games you suggested. It just doesn’t appear that his heart is in the game of football anymore. I’m not sure if something has happened between him and the Chiefs organization or he’s just been through too much in his career, but whatever it is, it’s just not working. I hope a change of scenery is what he needs to get reinvigorated or he retires and finds the next chapter in his life, but the Chiefs just need to move on and put this situation and drama behind them!
Great question Skip! Thanks for commenting on the last mailbag to get this question in! What are everyone’s thoughts on Eric Berry and if he will even play again and if so, for how long?
Big Time Free Agent
The Chiefs are wanting to get younger so I believe they are going to rely mostly on the draft to fix these defensive issues. They really like Kendall Fuller and Chardavius Ward at corner. Having said that, I could see the Chiefs making a real play for Landon Collins to take over as the leader in the secondary. As far as a pass rusher, the Chiefs will need to address that with someone like a Cameron Wake on a 1 year deal as Kpassagnon and Speaks are unproven and cannot be counted on. I don’t think the Chiefs have the money to really go out and dump two big contracts on a secondary player and an edge rusher. That’s exactly what got the Chiefs into trouble here in the first place by having Houston and Berry on two massive deals that didn’t work out. The Chiefs believe that the change in defensive philosophies and player acquisition/development will be the difference in this years squad, even if it doesn’t have as many household names.
Thanks for the question Nicholas! What are your thoughts on the Chiefs possibly not picking up one of the big names in free agency?
Chiefs 2019 Draft
It’ll be interesting to see if the Chiefs get a deal done with the 49ers or Packers in the coming weeks for Dee Ford and what the compensation will be. I definitely expect it to be another defense heavy draft, but could see the Chiefs snagging a running back, tight end, or slot wide receiver they like at some point. The first several picks should be secondary help whether that’s corner backs Deandre Baker, Byron Murphy, or Trayvon Mullen or possibly at the safety spot with Nasir Adderly or Deionte Thompson. The Chiefs will also need address edge rusher as Tanoh Kpassagnon and Breeland Speaks haven’t shown us much yet. Later in the draft I expect the Chiefs to look to build up their depth on the defensive side as well as an offensive lineman at some point. The Chiefs are most likely going to lose center Mitch Morse to free agency so while I think the Chiefs will be fine with their starters, depth could become an issue. I think we are all excited about the future of this team, but this is a crucial offseason to fix a glaring weakness in the defense. It’s also crucial for the Chiefs to keep the offense ahead of opposing defensive coordinators who are trying to come up with ways to stop the Mahomes machine!
Thanks for another question Kim! I love talking about the draft and all the new potential rising stars the Chiefs could be picking up. Will the Chiefs have another 2nd round pick for dealing Dee Ford? Guess all we can do is wait and see!
That’s it for another edition of our Kansas City Chiefs Monday Mailbag! Thank you to Kim, Shane, Owen, Nicholas, Skip, and Glenda for submitting the questions and thanks to all of you for reading this! Til next time, take of yourself and each other!
Let Your Voice Be Heard in the Comments Section Below
- What are your thoughts on the Chiefs moving on from Justin Houston?
- Should the Chiefs move on from Dee Ford and Eric Berry as well?
- What do you want the Chiefs to do in the upcoming draft?
- Have a question for the next Chiefs Monday Mailbag? Let’s hear it!