The Chiefs are expected to spend big in free agency, with a slew of free agents set to hit the market, and it will be up to the defense to make the most of them.
Here’s a look at the projected 2017 salary cap figures for each position group.
LINEBACKERS (salary cap: $62.9 million) The Chiefs had to replace several starters, including nose tackle Corey Liuget, who signed with the Broncos on a five-year deal.
But the Chiefs also brought in linebacker Jerod Mayo to compete for a starting spot behind Eric Berry.
In addition, they signed veteran free agent A.J. Hawk, who will be paid $2.975 million over the next two seasons.
This is a major upgrade for a unit that has allowed a league-low 6.5 sacks per game.
But what will the Chiefs do to address this glaring hole?
DEFENSIVE LINEBACKER (salaries cap: -$7.6 million) If the Chiefs’ secondary isn’t improving, they’ll be looking for help.
The Chiefs have a plethora of quality free agents to address the defensive backfield, including free agent defensive tackle A.j.
Cann, who spent the first four years of his career with the Chiefs.
Cornerback Chris Owens, who has missed the last five games with a concussion, is coming off a solid season with the Cardinals, but his value will likely fall off with the departure of Pro Bowl safety Justin Houston.
SAMIANS (salay cap: free agent, $4.942 million) Sami Malcolm will be entering the final year of his contract with the Saints.
He was released after spending the previous three seasons with the team.
This signing is expected to help bolster the defensive front.
TACKLES (salapacacacontrol salary cap: minus $8.1 million) With the departure, the Chiefs will have to rely on free agents such as defensive tackle Terrance Knighton and guard/tackle Eric Fisher to help them replace Malcolm.
The team is expected in free-agency to retain linebacker Kamerion Wimbley, who was signed to a five years, $40 million deal in March.
EDGE/DT (salaray capacontroll salary cap $13.7 million) This group has some solid pieces, but it won’t be easy to get to the promised land.
Free agent pass rusher Chris Borland will join free agent tackle Taylor Lewan and free agent linebacker Justin Houston on the 53-man roster.
This group will also feature the departure and replacement of veteran tackle Jovan Belcher, who left to sign with the Titans.
INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS (free agent, cap: plus $4 million) There is no question that the Chiefs would love to bring in more international players.
Free agents such in England, Ireland and France will help improve the depth of the defensive line.
There are also several players on the roster who will compete for playing time with the likes of linebacker Anthony Spencer and defensive end Dontari Poe.
TE/OL (free agents, cap.
-$8.958 million) It’s been a tough year for the Chiefs, and there are a lot of holes on this defense.
The loss of defensive end/linebacker Chris Jones will be a major blow.
The free agent market will also be tough to crack, with wide receiver Jordan Norwood and safety Mike Jenkins also on the free agent roster.
DE/OLB (free-agent, cap $4,400,000) The departure of free agent cornerback/linebackers Terrell Harris and Eric Berry will have a big impact on the Chiefs defense.
Defensive tackle Anthony Spencer, who struggled mightily in 2017, will also have to battle with defensive end Justin Houston and defensive tackle Brandon Carr.
DE (free Agent, cap plus $3.931 million) Free agents like defensive end Chris Borling, safety Jovan Bracey, defensive end Anthony Spencer (who was released) and linebacker Justin Harris will also help bolster this group.
S (free Agents, cap + $2,095,000 -$1.831 million)- The Chiefs will be without a starting safety since cornerback Tyvon Branch’s season was cut short in September with an injury.
The defense needs help at that position, but they may not be able to find one.
Free Agent: DE/LB Eric Berry, LB Jovan Bland, WR T.
J Jones, WR Tyreek Hill, S Justin Houston, CB Kamerian Wimbleys, WR Jordan Norley, WR Anthony Spencer