It was announced earlier today that former Kansas City Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah is retiring after a seven-year career. Abdullah was a starting safety for the Chiefs over the last couple of seasons, but he had remained on the free agent market this offseason prior to making his retirement announcement. Losing Abdullah will be a big blow to the Chiefs defense and will take away more depth from their secondary.
Abdullah is the second high-profile safety to leave the Chiefs this offseason. Earlier in free agency, the team lost their top backup, Tyvon Branch, to the Arizona Cardinals which really ate away at their depth. Now, without Abdullah the team only has two proven safeties in Eric Berry and Ron Parker, and the former is only under contract for one season thanks to the franchise tag.
Granted, the team is planning on moving cornerback Jamell Fleming to safety and they did sign Jordan Kovacs in free agency, but that will not be enough to keep the defense afloat. I especially do not like the idea of moving Fleming to safety, because he was a key depth player at corner for team last season and they are not exactly deep there after losing Sean Smith in free agency. As a result of this, the team is going to have to target some secondary help in the 2016 NFL Draft.
The Chiefs are picking late in the first round, so they may end up having a shot at a top cornerback or safety prospect. There is a chance that William Jackson or Kendall Fuller could fall to the team if they are lucky, but it is far more likely that a player like Eli Apple will be the top corner on the board for their pick. In terms of safeties, the only player worth selecting would be Florida’s Keanu Neal, and there’s a good chance he will be available as well.
Given the relative strength of the rest of the Chiefs’ defense, it is going to be important for them to ensure that the secondary can hold up. The only way to do that will be to reinforce their depth. They need to target some help at some point in the draft, and their best option will likely be to select a defensive back in one of the first two rounds.