With former top cover man Bashaud Breeland still available for the taking on the free agent market, the Kansas City Chiefs elected to address its need for cornerback depth in a different fashion on Thursday, May 13.
As first reported by NFL insider Adam Schefter, the Chiefs have agreed to acquire fourth-year cornerback Mike Hughes from the Minnesota Vikings. The compensation, per ESPN colleague Field Yates, also includes a 2022 seventh-round draft pick from Minnesota in exchange for Kansas City’s 2022 sixth-round selection.
The 24-year-old’s status in Minnesota had already been “in question” this offseason after the Vikings re-signed former second-round cornerback Mackensie Alexander back in March.
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Hughes Adds First-Round Talent to Chiefs Secondary
Hughes, originally drafted 30th overall by the Vikings in 2018, becomes the latest ex-first-rounder targeted by general manager Brett Veach, who has also signed cornerback DeAndre Baker, defensive end Taco Charlton and offensive lineman Kyle Long as reclamation projects over the last two seasons.
Throughout his first three seasons in the league, the 5-foot-10, 189-pounder has compiled 80 total tackles, 13 pass breakups, three forced fumbles and a pair of interceptions across 24 games and seven starts. Hughes has also previously contributed on special teams, having returned 16 punts for 117 yards and four kickoffs for 107 yards, all between 2018-19.
With limited playing time under his belt, Hughes offers the Chiefs some untapped potential heading into the 2021 season. The Central Florida product has been significantly hindered by injuries early in his career, missing 10 games as a rookie after tearing his ACL and seeing action in only four games last season while battling a neck injury sustained in Week 17 of the 2019 campaign.
Chiefs Previously Expressed Interest in Hughes
According to USA Today’s Chiefs Wire, Kansas City had previously expressed interest in Hughes having hosted him for a top-30 visit and attending his UCF pro day prior to the 2018 NFL draft.
Much like Baker, who is working his way back from a gruesome leg injury in Week 17 last December, Hughes will now have a reset opportunity in Kansas City. The fourth-year veteran will join a group currently headlined by 2020 standout L’Jarius Sneed, Charvarius Ward, Rashad Fenton, BoPete Keyes and Baker.
Interestingly enough, FanSided national NFL reporter Matt Verderame also tweeted on Thursday that Hughes’ addition “doesn’t close the door on Bashaud Breeland going back to KC.”
Should Hughes make the team’s regular season roster, it’s likely he wouldn’t be counted on for any significant snaps early on, but rather more of a depth and situational piece for Steve Spagnuolo — especially if Breeland returns to the fold. Now in the final year of his four-year rookie deal, Hughes also enters a “prove it” year in 2021 after the Vikings declined to pick up his fifth-year option on May 3.
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!