After 32 starts across two Super Bowl-bound seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, cornerback Bashaud Breeland has taken his talents to Minnesota for the 2021 season. While the signing was made official on June 4, the grieving process — at least for some of Chiefs Kingdom — continues a week later after Breeland’s contract details were revealed publically on Friday, June 11.
According to the Minnesota Star Tribune’s Ben Goessling, the eighth-year veteran’s new one-year deal comes with a fully guaranteed base salary of nearly $1.1 million and a very modest cap hit of $2.7 million for the Vikings.
Despite bonuses that could bring Breeland’s earnings up to $4 million next season — a potential 25% raise over last year — the 29-year-old was once again a victim of a diluted free agent cornerback market, forced to settle for a fourth consecutive one-year contract with his fourth NFL organization.
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Chiefs Fans Sounds off on Breeland’s New Deal
Left with a top-heavy, but otherwise very strong roster, Kansas City’s cornerback situation will be under the microscope throughout the summer and into the regular season. Outside of taking a flier on ex-Vikings first-rounder Mike Hughes in a May 13 trade, the Chiefs will go to battle with much of last season’s group, headlined by 2020 rookie standout L’Jarius Sneed, and veterans Charvarius Ward, Rashad Fenton and DeAndre Baker.
For context, Breeland’s new $1.075 million base salary trails both Ward ($3.3M) and Hughes ($1.8M) this coming season, and ranks 73rd among active cornerbacks. Even with approximately $7.8 million in available cap space, per Over The Cap, the Chiefs’ reluctance to bring Breeland back speaks volumes to the front office’s outlook — either on Breeland’s career trajectory or the anticipated development of its rostered players.
Still, not all of Chiefs Kingdom is as bullish as general manager Brett Veach and company may be, especially after seeing the latest financials on Breeland’s short-term deal.
“I am utterly perplexed that the Chiefs didn’t make this deal. You’re basically saying he’s not even quality depth at that point,” Arrowhead Guys’ Tony Sommer wrote on Twitter.
“What? Wow, Chiefs could have found a way to beat this and retain Breeland who played with physicality we need,” said a Chiefs season ticket holder.
Others, such as former Chiefs team reporter BJ Kissel, expressed disappointment that Breeland didn’t get the payday he had been seeking since 2019.
“First miss of the offseason for Veach. That is dirt cheap for a proven corner with experience in your system,” replied another fan.
Breeland Reveals Key Reason Behind ‘Slowed’ Free Agency
Speaking to the local Minnesota media for the first time with his new club, a high-spirited Breeland opened up his introductory press conference by thanking Chiefs Kingdom for a memorable two years.
“I want to start off with my farewell to Kansas City,” Breeland told reporters on June 9. “I really want to allow myself to really tell the fans how much I appreciated my time there — the two years I was there with them. I learned a lot, it was a good part of my development. It’s a farewell, but it’s not a breakup. It was never done on bad terms. Sometimes when one door closes another one opens and now I’m here with the Minnesota Vikings.”
After taking an initial visit to Vikings headquarters on May 20, Breeland shared that it was “really easy” to make the decision to sign elsewhere even though his “heart was sold on staying in Kansas City at the time.” The timing of the deal should also benefit the 2019 Super Bowl champion as he enters a new defensive system under co-defensive coordinators Adam Zimmer and Andre Patterson, with mandatory minicamp set to begin on June 15.
Breeland also revealed one potential reason for his free agency delay, and perhaps another key factor in the Chiefs’ decision not to re-up for a third season.
“I ended up having surgery on my shoulder after the season in Kansas City,” Breeland shared. “So it kind of slowed my free agency up.”
Despite that, Breeland confirmed that he remains “on track” in his recovery as offseason programs around the league begin to kick it into high gear. Joining a Vikings group headlined by All-Pro Patrick Peterson and former first-round selection Mackensie Alexander, the 2014 fourth-rounder will look to record multiple interceptions for the seventh time in eight seasons as a pro.
Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs from enemy territory in Denver, Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join the Heavy on Chiefs Facebook community for the latest out of Chiefs Kingdom!