The Dallas Cowboys have released Pro Bowl linebacker Jaylon Smith. This was both a football and a financial decision. Jaylon Smith signed a 5-year, $63 million contract extension in 2019.
Should the Kansas City Chiefs sign him?
At the time it was a good move, but Smith’s production has rapidly decreased over the past few year, which in large part is due to his lengthy injury history. The Cowboys also found younger and cheaper talent via the draft.
In 2021, the Cowboys drafted linebackers Micah Parsons and Jabril Cox with their first two picks. The duo of Parsons and Cox have played so well together that Smith became expendable. Following the decision to release Smith, the Cowboys are still responsible for paying out the remaining 7.2 million dollars of his 2021 salary.
Could Jaylon Smith help the Kansas City Chiefs defense?
Now, Smith is a free agent that could help contribute to a championship-caliber team. Specifically, the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs defense has been abysmal this year, but Smith’s addition could provide a much-needed boost. In fact, signing Jaylon Smith could potentially solve two problems at once.
In the past, Smith has been praised for his ability to stop the run, an area in which the Chiefs have had continuous problems. He’s also shown flashes of being a good pass-rusher. Smith has recorded nine sacks, 15 quarterback hits, and 20 tackles for loss over the course of his career.
However, I’d be lying if I said the Chiefs would get the Pro-Bowl version of Smith. Unfortunately, he’s no longer an elite-caliber player.
His biggest strength has always been his sideline-to-sideline speed. The ability to fly around the field making difficult plays, but in 2021 he just looks slow.
Quite frankly, he’s been exposed on tape countless times this season. He’s allowed a staggering 9.6 yards per reception in coverage and his run defense hasn’t been the same. Smith just looks like a shell of his former self.
However, with all the negatives being mentioned, the Chiefs should still look into Smith. He’s still a competent linebacker that could provide both leadership and depth. Smith’s a player that could thrive in a limited role in a scheme that caters to his strengths.
In fact, Smith played with current Chiefs linebacker Anthony Hitchens in Dallas. In recent history, the Chiefs even won a Super Bowl with a pair of former Cowboys linebackers. Anthony Hitchens and Damien Wilson were both under the radar signings that were instrumental pieces in a championship team.
Jaylon Smith would be a nice bench piece for Chiefs
I’m not saying Smith is the answer at linebacker, but I guarantee he would be an improvement over Ben Niemann.
This move would ultimately be for depth, and Jaylon Smith would be a valuable bench piece. Smith’s athleticism and innate tackle ability should be enough for the Chiefs to strongly consider him. Smith might be the addition at linebacker the Kansas City Chiefs have been looking for all along.