Chiefs’ Spot Starter on Defense Poached by Lions: Report

Mike Hughes

Getty Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Mike Hughes trots into the end zone for a touchdown on December 12, 2021.

The Kansas City Chiefs have lost another piece of the defensive secondary.

Cornerback Mike Hughes has signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract with the Detroit Lions, according to Doug Kyed of PFF.

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As a first-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings in the 2018 NFL Draft, Hughes didn’t live up to expectations during his time in Minnesota. He played in 24 of a possible 48 regular-season games during his three seasons with the Vikings, and recorded 67 tackles, 13 passes defended, three forced fumbles, and two interceptions during that timeframe, according to Pro Football Reference.

Last offseason, the Chiefs traded for Hughes and a 2022 seventh-round pick in a deal that sent Kansas City’s 2022 sixth-round pick to the Vikings, per ESPN’s Field Yates. The draft capital required to obtain Hughes was rather minimal, but the impact he had in the Chiefs’ secondary during the 2021 season outweighed it.

Hughes played in all 17 regular-season games last season for Kansas City, and earned five starts as well. He registered a 72.9 defensive grade by PFF, which ranks 18th overall among all cornerbacks. Hughes recorded a career-high 40 tackles, had six passes defended, and had his first fumble recovery for a touchdown of his NFL career, per Pro Football Reference. He also returned five total punts for an average of 13.6 yards per return.

Hughes is Second Chiefs CB to Depart in Free Agency

Hughes becomes the second Chiefs cornerback to leave during free agency this offseason. The other was Charvarius Ward, who signed a three-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers that’s worth up to $42 million with $26.7 million guaranteed, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

With Ward and Hughes officially gone, Kansas City’s cornerback room now consists of L’Jarius Sneed, Rashad Fenton, Deandre Baker, Zayne Anderson, Dicaprio Bootle, and Luq Barcoo, whom the team signed on March 22, per his agency, Synergy Sports International.

As it stands right now, Fenton will likely be thrust into a starting role opposite of Sneed in the secondary next season if the Chiefs do not sign another high-profile cornerback. But that could change, even if they add one through the draft.

Twitter Reacts to Hughes’ Departure

Twitter users reacted to Hughes leaving Kansas City for Detroit.

“Love hearing this Chiefs defense getting gutted, LOL!!! First the secondary:Tyrann Mathieu, Charvarius Ward, mike Hughes, now Reed signing and Melvin Ingram is a Free agent, not a good year to be a Chiefs fan, because how are you going to stop this????” one Twitter user wrote.

“I’m really not trying to be mean but if Mike Hughes is your best offseason move so far then things must be really bad over there. He was terrible for the Chiefs,” another user wrote.

“Chiefs secondary, is seriously undermanned , they lost tyrann Mathieu , Charvarius Ward, and Mike Hughes today, and are low on money and won’t be able to adequately replace them on top of that melvin ingram is a free agent, Raiders and chiefs by far worst defense,” another user wrote.

“Goooood pickup in Mike Hughes. A nice veteran player to fill the void in case our guys aren’t ready at the beginning of the season. Okudah and Jacobs both recovering from torn ACLs,” another user wrote.


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