Former Chiefs 4-Year Defender Signs With Division Rival Raiders: Report

Getty Former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Darius Harris.

Free agent linebacker Darius Harris, formerly of the Kansas City Chiefs, is signing with the Las Vegas Raiders, according to NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo on July 31.

Harris, 27, entered the NFL undrafted out of Middle Tennessee State in 2019. He began his NFL career on the non-football injury (NFI) list and received no playing time during his rookie season. He managed to play in four games during the 2020 season, recording 14 tackles, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 pass defensed, according to Pro Football Reference. He did that despite being cut by the team on three different occasions during the regular season.

In 2021, Harris played in seven games but was solely a special teams asset. During the 2022 season, Harris earned his largest defensive role with the Chiefs and recorded career-highs in games played (17), defensive snaps (291), tackles (43), and tackles for loss (3). He was also active for all three of Kansas City’s playoff games, including Super Bowl LVII.

Steve Spagnuolo Gushes Over New Chiefs LB

Along with the departure of Darius Harris this offseason came the arrival of a new, more versatile linebacker to Kansas City’s defense.

On March 17, the defending Super Bowl champions signed former Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Drue Tranquill to a one-year, $3 million deal. The deal includes incentives that could earn him up to $5 million, per The Score’s Jordan Schultz.

Tranquill, 27, is capable of playing on all three downs, but most importantly in passing situations, which was an area of need for the Chiefs heading into the offseason amongst their linebackers.

Speaking to the media on July 31, Kansas City defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo spoke glowingly of Tranquill and what he’s seen from the fifth-year linebacker in training camp thus far.

“Yeah, it’s nice to have guys like that, that can do more than one thing,” Spags said of Tranquill’s versatility. He’s played – right now he’s playing, he’s played all three base linebacker positions, and then he’s been in the sub-package when he’s been in with Nick (Bolton), plus he’s been in there with the mike with one of the other linebackers. That helps us a lot – listen it’s all new to him as far as the verbiage and the system so it tells you that he’s pretty intelligent if he’s playing in that many spots this early.”

Drue Tranquill Shares Thoughts on Chiefs Defense

On the same day Coach Spags spoke with the media, Drue Tranquill also spoke to the media and shared his thoughts on how transitioning to Kansas City’s defense has been thus far.

“Well man it’s an honor to be here and playing for Coach Spags and the defending champs. We just have so many great guys in that room that I’m trying to learn from each and every day” Tranquill said.

“It’s certainly different from the defense I played in LA, but football is football. You pick up on things as you go throughout your career and certainly there are things throughout my time at Notre Dame and throughout my time in the league that I have picked up on that have helped me translate and learn this defense, it’s a process nonetheless.”

As it stands, Nick Bolton, Willie Gay, and Leo Chenal are Kansas City’s projected starters at linebacker for the 2023 season. Tranquill will be sprinkled in at all three linebacker spots and provide great value based on his versatility and contract. He’s a welcomed addition to Chiefs Kingdom as the defending Super Bowl champions attempt to win back-t0-back championships.

Read More
Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments