The Kansas City Chiefs have lost a number of key depth players this offseason, and they lost yet another defensive star on Monday. Free agent defensive end Mike DeVito, who had spent the last three seasons with the Chiefs, decided to retire after nine NFL seasons. DeVito was a strong presence up front and the team will certainly miss him.
Although DeVito was a free agent at the time of his decision, there had been mutual interest between the two sides to bring him back for one more season before he decided to call it quits. While DeVito was never really a pass rushing threat, only logging a career total of 5.5 sacks, he was absolutely stellar in run support and was a main reason why the Chiefs’ defense had been so successful along the front line over the past few seasons.
The good news for the Chiefs is that they will be prepared to replace DeVito in the starting lineup. Jaye Howard can occupy the left end position that DeVito started five games at last season while Dontari Poe will continue to start at nose tackle for them. Alvin Bailey will round out the team’s three-man front, which will create a relatively strong unit.
However, the main question now is the depth up front for the Chiefs. Having DeVito meant that they had a solid run-stuffer who could come in and rest their big guys Poe and Howard. Now, they do not have a proven option behind them.
Second-year player and former sixth-round pick Rakeem Nunez-Roches will likely get the first crack at being the primary backup for the team, but he is extremely unproven. Aside from him, the team does not have any real upside players, so they may find themselves in the market for a new backup soon.
Losing DeVito will definitely have an impact on the Chiefs’ defense. He is the third key depth player to leave in the recent weeks along with Tyvon Branch and Husain Abdullah. If the Chiefs have injury issues, they could end up seeing a major decline on defense, unless they can add some solid depth in the draft.