For Pete's Sake

NFL analysts see two free-agent safeties as a potential fit for Chiefs

Ask a Chiefs fan what area the team should try and improve this offseason and chances are they’ll say the defense.

The Chiefs ranked 31st in total yards and passing allowed and 24th in points allowed, and that led to the team firing defensive coordinator Bob Sutton at season’s end.

Steve Spagnuolo was hired as the new defensive coordinator, and that’s one reason why Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network thinks free-agent safety Earl Thomas’ likely landing place is with the Chiefs.

“Eric Berry’s time in Kansas City might be done after this past season and all these injures, the Achilles that he had to work through,” Garafolo said on the NFL Network.

“Steve Spagnuolo, the new defensive coordinator in Kansas City, for as much as we talked about what they were able to do up front with Spags when he was the coordinator with the Giants, when he’s got a safety that can cover ground, remember Kenny Phillips, what he was able to do with him before Phillips unfortunately got hurt, having Earl Thomas, that would be a really, really good addition and would change the back end of that defense like that.”

Here is the clip of Garafolo talking about Thomas, a free safety who played his first nine seasons with the Seahawks:

Gil Brandt, who is Garafolo’s colleague at NFL Media, thinks another free-agent safety could be a good fit with the Chiefs: Tyrann Mathieu, who played last season with the Texans after five seasons as an Arizona Cardinal.

Brandt believes Berry and Mathieu could make a great tandem.

“The veteran tied a career high with 89 tackles while dispelling durability concerns, starting 16 games for a second straight season, and chipping in three sacks and two picks,” Brandt wrote of Mathieu. “As a playmaking presence whose competitiveness stands out, Mathieu would slot nicely into the Chiefs’ secondary. He’d team well with veteran safety Eric Berry on a Kansas City defense that ranked 31st overall and against the pass last season.”

You can read more of what Brandt wrote about Mathieu and his other free-agent fits for teams here.

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From covering the World Series to the World Cup, Pete has done a little bit of everything since joining The Star in 1997. He writes about baseball and has a quirky blog that augments The Star’s coverage of area teams.