The Kansas City Chiefs are hosting veteran pass rusher Paul Kruger today after he visits the New Orleans Saints. The Chiefs have struggled to generate an outside pass rush in preseason.
The Cleveland Browns just released Paul Kruger as a part of their rebuilding transition. Kruger’s production has not met the expectations of many fans.
However, the veteran pass rusher has been productive over the past couple of seasons. Kruger recorded 11 sacks in 2014, and was 12th in the NFL in creating pressure last season.
The Chiefs absolutely need Kruger’s help early on in the season. Until Justin Houston returns (which is not guaranteed), Kansas City will be relying on Dee Ford to create pressure. Ford, now in his third year, has not shown the development that many Chiefs fans had been hoping for. Clearly, the KC front office and coaching staff feel the same way.
The Chiefs pass rush should improve with the return of Tamba Hali, who can still create a lot of pressure. However, Hali is not the same player he once was and does not finish sacks like he used to. Adding Paul Kruger should increase the pressure and serve as a solid counter-balance to Hali.
Can Chiefs Strike A Deal?
Before visiting the Chiefs, Kruger will be meeting with the New Orleans Saints. However, it is hard to see where the Saints can offer more than the Chiefs. Kansas City has an advantage in terms of a winning team, available cap space, and potential for future earnings. The best the Saints can offer is a multi-year deal, which the Chiefs are unlikely to offer.
The Kansas City Chiefs are likely only going to offer Kruger a one year deal. While that may not sound like much, it is an opportunity for Paul Kruger to showcase himself and get a big deal from another team. A deal like that is very similar to what Rod Streater, and other former Chiefs, have signed.
There is also the question of the return of Justin Houston. It is unlikely the Chiefs will keep Kruger once Houston is back on the field. That may deter the veteran from signing in Kansas City. Of course, the Chiefs interest in Kruger may also signify that Houston is not expected to return very soon.
The Chiefs need pass rush help, and Paul Kruger is just sitting there. In theory, this is a bit of a match made in heaven. Both sides should be getting what they want out of a contract agreement. However, you never know how contract agreements will go down. Plus, the Saints may simply blow Kruger away with their offer and end the whole situation before it begins. Time will tell, but this would be a good signing.