Chiefs Signing Former Buccaneers Safety Mike Edwards

Kansas City adds to its safety room shortly after losing Juan Thornhill to the Cleveland Browns.

The Kansas City Chiefs lost former 2019 NFL Draft pick and four-year safety Juan Thornhill to free agency this week, and they’re already hitting the open market to replace some of his production with someone taken in the same draft class. 

Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network on Friday afternoon, Kansas City is signing former Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Mike Edwards:

Rapoport adds that the one-year contract for Edwards is worth $3 million and has the chance to get to $5M with incentives. This serves as the second deal of its kind for the Chiefs on Friday, as former Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Drue Tranquill was signed to a similarly-structured offering as well.

Edwards, who was selected one round later than Thornhill in 2019, has played in 58 games over the course of his first four seasons. The veteran safety has career stat totals of 184 tackles (seven for loss), 21 passes broken up, seven interceptions and three fumble recoveries. The Kentucky product started a career-high 12 games for the Buccaneers in 2023-23, setting a personal best mark with 82 combined tackles.

According to Pro Football Focus, Edwards was given a 56.7 overall defense grade for his efforts in 2022 after posting figures of 73.6 and 77.0 in 2021 and 2020, respectively. Lining up 455 times as a free safety last season, he also offered a bit of versatility by spending 213 snaps in the box and 97 in the slot. In coverage, per Pro-Football-Reference, he surrendered a 110.4 passer rating when targeted this past season. Those ratings were 67.9 and 21.9 in the two years prior.

Outside of his volume stats, it’s reasonable to imply that 2022 wasn’t a terrific showing for Edwards as he prepared to hit the open market. He still managed to gain valuable experience in a starting role, though, and could be battling with 2022 Chiefs draft pick Bryan Cook for solid reps in the safety room as he advances through the offseason. This transaction helps offset some of the ability lost from Thornhill’s departure. Nick Korte of OverTheCap writes that while Edwards counts as a compensatory free agent against Kansas City, the team’s exact cancellation chart as of Friday afternoon is a bit shaky:

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