Let’s face it, the Chiefs’ pass rush has been anything but good. We can even do a deep dive and say the whole defensive line has been garbage as of late. Frank Clark has been absent all season, Chris Jones only had one good game in Week One, the defensive line can’t pressure the QB to save their lives, etc.
If you’re a huge Metallica fan like I am, you’ll get the comparison. Remember the album dubbed Lulu? Trust me; I wish I didn’t either as it was garbage piled onto garbage. Now, think of that album and multiply it by ten; that’s the Chiefs’ pass rush/d-line. The defensive line has to improve if the Chiefs want a shot at an AFC playoff run; furthermore, if they want to go to their fourth straight AFC Championship.
In comes Whitney Mercilus, former Houston Texans’ pass rusher who is about to be released. He’s a veteran pass rusher, ready to be added by a contending franchise. With that said, should the Chiefs bid in and sign Mercilus? Let’s find out:
How Has Whitney Mercilus Been This Year?
The ten-year veteran, Mercilus, has played in 52% of defensive snaps in 2021. For his snap count, he has been a solid defensive end. In six games, he has 12 tackles (six solo), three sacks, four tackles-for-a-loss, three QB hits, and five pressures. He also only has one missed tackle this year.
If he were signed, he’d tie with Mike Danna for the most sacks on the team. He’d also be third in pressures on the Chiefs’ roster behind Mike Danna (nine) and Chris Jones (eight). He’d significantly improve a defensive line/defense that has been ranked dead last in pass rush and run defense per PFF.
Does The Cap Work Out?
The Chiefs’ have around $2.85 million left in cap space to spend. Their low number is due to bigger contracts coming in payment-wise, overpays, and dead money from players like Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher. This year alone, Whitney Mercilus was due $11,117,647, with the Texans having a potential out in 2022.
Due to his future release, he will have to gauge lower offers (unless traded, which the Chiefs are looking for first), so I don’t see teams going above the five million dollar mark in any way. Considering his age and production in the latter half of his career, he isn’t worth the price. That alone will allow teams to shoot for contracts at the vet minimum or a little over it. It’s also a rental sign due to the season being 1/3rd done already (time flies by, huh).
So, does the cap work out in the Chiefs? Yes, it does, varying on the offer they send. I can see the Chiefs’ sending him a one-year deal worth $1 million, at the vet minimum; additionally, it may entice him to come to a team with hopes of a playoff run.
Will He Fit In The Chiefs’ Defense?
This season, the Texans’ transitioned from their usual 3-4 defense to a 4-3 defense, moving linebackers to defensive end. It’s safe to say that the transition has been working well for Mecilus, considering his stats mentioned earlier in the article. Mercilus is merciless in the pass rush; moreover, it seems he’s comfortable in this defense.
Spagnuolo runs a hybrid 4-3 defense; furthermore, it will be a perfect fit for Mercilus as he doesn’t have to relearn the 3-4 defense that he was used to in Houston. If signed, he’d bold well in the Chiefs’ defensive style and could have some big plays needed for this lackluster defense.
The Chiefs should look into signing him. And, it seems like they already have looked into signing him and bringing him on board. With how weak this pass rush is, I’d love to see him come on the roster as some veteran depth that is desperately needed.
Should the Chiefs sign Whitney Mercilus? Leave a comment down below to join the discussion.
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