After an uncertain offseason of occasional rumors and intermittent reports, former Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Bashaud Breeland has a new home with the Minnesota Vikings.
According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, Breeland's deal is worth "up to $4 million." He signed a one-year, $3 million deal with Kansas City ahead of the 2020 season.
Breeland tweeted his goodbye to the Chiefs and Kansas City shortly after the news was announced.
This was a tough decision when heart was sold on kc and the brotherhood that I’ve made over the last two years when one door close another always open it’s been my life story but I will always love the Kansas City chiefs organization. I wanna thank the Hunt family, Coach Reid
Coach Spagz, Coach Merrit and my dog coach Madison the love was real and this is a Fairwell but not a break up! To my brothers and the city itself the memories won’t be forgotten and the love will continue from this day forth. Big Love Breezy
Breeland's time in Kansas City ends after two seasons with the Chiefs, winning two AFC Championships and one Super Bowl as a consistent starter in the Chiefs' revamped defense under defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.
Without Breeland, the Chiefs' cornerback depth chart looks to be more or less locked in for the 2021 season, with some competition down the line.
Charvarius Ward and second-year cornerback L'Jarius Sneed will likely start on the outsides of the defense, moving Sneed out after spending the second half of the season predominantly in the slot. Rashad Fenton, a part-time player who played 15% of the Chiefs' defensive snaps in his rookie year of 2019 and 49% in 2020, will likely be the Chiefs' first man up in the slot.
This leaves two former first-round picks in position to revitalize their careers as Deandre Baker recovers from a broken leg suffered in Week 17 of the 2020 season and Mike Hughes looks for a fresh start after being traded from the Vikings to Chiefs this offseason.
Was this the right move for the Chiefs?
I sure don't think so. If the Chiefs would have brought Breeland back for another year at the completely reasonable $4 million price tag, everyone on the depth chart would have been able to take one step down, making the group more talented and deeper with one reasonably valued move. I'd rather see the Chiefs start Breeland and Ward on the outside with Sneed in the slot, making Fenton the first man up and giving Baker plenty of time to get back to NFL speed. With Breeland, the Chiefs would also be much more capable of weathering an injury to one of their starters, where Fenton could safely step into action rather than seeing if a player like Hughes or 2020 seventh-round pick BoPete Keyes is ready for the spotlight.
Are the Chiefs doomed without Breeland? Well, no, of course not. But there's suddenly a lot more riding on some of the aforementioned to-be-determined players. Fenton needs to take another step forward if he plans to play something like 75% of the Chiefs' snaps as a full-time slot corner. Sneed needs to prove that his rookie year wasn't an aberration. Baker's career was endangered by what now appears to be an extortion scheme, and then when he did return to the field, he suffered his broken leg. When will he be back on the field? What will he look like when he does? Hughes was a disappointment in Minnesota. Can the Chiefs return him to his collegiate form?
I like the Chiefs' cornerback depth. I really do. I think they have smart bets at cheap prices, but I fear a future in which the Chiefs only have one or two starting-caliber players when they need three or four. Breeland would have eliminated those concerns in my book.