It’s been over a week since Bill Barnwell of ESPN wrote that the best landing spot for free-agent cornerback Bashaud Breeland is the Kansas City Chiefs. I can’t get this connection off my mind.
It just makes too much sense.
Before delving into why Breeland is still a free agent, you have to look into what he can bring to a team. In four years with Washington, he had eight interceptions and 59 passes defensed. That’s nearly one pass defensed per game for his career.
Pro Football Focus ranked Breeland as their 54th-best cornerback in the NFL last season, solidly a No. 2 corner.
Compare that to David Amerson, who the Chiefs signed this offseason to compete for a starting job. He’s been notoriously streaky during his five-year career, and has the same number of interceptions over his (longer) career as Breeland.
Approximate Value, a metric from Pro Football Reference which tries to combine a player’s total value into one number, assigns a higher value to Breeland (23) over four seasons than to Amerson (21) over five.
Matt Derrick of ChiefsDigest.com spoke to 580 Sports Talk last week and said he doesn’t expect the Chiefs to pull the trigger on Breeland. A big reason why, he explained, is because Kansas City already signed Amerson to a one-year “prove it” deal, which Breeland is likely to get at the offseason.
That rationale makes sense, but it’s also hard to argue against taking better talent when it becomes available. There’s a reason Breeland initially signed a three-year, $24 million contract with Carolina this offseason and Amerson took a bargain deal right away with Kansas City.
Of course, that brings up the reason Breeland is still available in the first place. Breeland needed a skin graft on his foot after suffering a cut while in the Dominican Republic. The foot issue is why his deal with the Panthers fell through.
The benefit for his eventual team, and the detriment for him, is that he’s going to be a cheap sign at this point.
The Chiefs still have $7.6 million in cap space according to Over The Cap. Considering Breeland’s original free-agent deal was worth $8 million on average, and he now has a failed physical and prolonged waiting period tied to him, that annual value is likely plummeting, or falling considerably at least. Monetarily, he should still be in play for the Chiefs.
There are a lot of questions still in the Kansas City secondary entering this season. Outside of safety Eric Berry and cornerback Kendall Fuller, the team still has needs that must be addressed.
Kansas City has several rookies (Armani Watts, Tremon Smith and Arrion Springs) who could contribute. The tandem of Amerson and Steven Nelson will likely handle the CB2 duties. Is that group, specifically the latter pairing, enough to forego trying out a likely better player who could help a team looking to win a division title? It probably shouldn’t be.
On the bright side, if the Chiefs don’t signed Breeland, everyone can avoid confusing Bashaud Breeland with Breeland Speaks.