Chiefs Should Pursue Former Super Bowl LV Champion, Says Analyst

Jason Pierre-Paul, Patrick Mahomes

Getty Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul pressures Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes II during Super Bowl LV.

If there’s one area the Kansas City Chiefs could legitimately still make a splash, it’s at defensive end.

The depth is thin behind Frank Clark and first-round draft pick George Karlaftis and depending on how the rookie acclimates himself during training camp, general manager Brett Veach could still supplement this area in free agency.

The Athletic’s KC beat reporter Nate Taylor alluded to as much on July 7. “Karlaftis’ progression in camp will be a huge subplot,” he explained. “He is slated to be a starter opposite of Clark, and his intensity and powerful bull rush will be worth tracking when the Chiefs have their padded practices. The Chiefs, of course, could add another veteran defensive end to the roster.”

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Copycat Maneuver Could Be Just What the Doctor Ordered

There are several edge rushers that are still available on the open market and one of them just so happened to be part of the pass-rushing unit that stifled Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City in Super Bowl LV.

If you can’t beat ’em, maybe you should recruit them — right?

That was the thought process from Bleacher Report analyst Jake Rill when he suggested that the Chiefs sign former New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers edge, Jason Pierre-Paul. He voiced:

The Chiefs should still be pursuing a veteran defensive end on the free-agent market, especially with some solid players still available. One of the best remaining pass-rushers is Jason Pierre-Paul, who spent the past four seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Although he’s 33 and recorded only 2.5 sacks (his fewest since 2015) in 12 games last season, he could still make an impact as a rotational player who could split time with Karlaftis early in the rookie’s career.

Coming off a down season at his current age, the two-time NFL champ and former All-Pro pass rusher could be more affordable than he seems. After all, if there was a ridiculous market for him, he wouldn’t still be available.

“JPP” also provides experience with 91.5 career sacks and three playoff runs — three sacks and seven quarterback hits during the postseason. Pierre-Paul wasn’t able to bring down Mahomes personally in 2020, but he did record three tackles and one pass defense while contributing QB pressures within a dominant pass-rushing performance.

“What if Karlaftis experiences growing pains?” Rill reasoned. “Kansas City doesn’t have much depth on the edges, so it could be in trouble if either Karlaftis struggles a bit at first or if he and/or Clark gets injured.”

It’s a fair point, and one at the forefront of most minds in Chiefs Kingdom. That’s why the idea of bringing in another defensive end feels plausible.

The writer concluded: “Pierre-Paul may no longer be the type of defender who can register double-digit sacks in a season, but he can still provide a strong veteran presence on the edge. And that’s something that Kansas City’s defense could use and may take the pass-rushing unit to another level.”

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Brown Resolution Could Free up Space

Although a Robert Quinn trade or a more productive veteran might be the preference, most fans would probably welcome a JPP addition at the right price. That is the key question though — how much would the aging star cost?

The Chiefs currently have a little over $14 million in cap space according to Over the Cap and an Orlando Brown Jr. extension could free up more, but it would have to occur before tomorrow’s July 15 deadline. Unfortunately, that’s looking less and less likely by the minute, as recent reports have detailed that the two sides are “not close” to reaching an agreement.

Just a couple of hours ago on July 14, ESPN NFL insider Jeremy Fowler noted that “it’s not looking good but sides [are] talking” during a deadline update.

With more money tied up in Brown’s franchise tag, an upside bargain like Pierre-Paul could end up making more sense than a big-money acquisition like Quinn or Carlos Dunlap. Friday’s resolution should allow the Chiefs to brainstorm their next move — one way or the other.


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