Skip to main content

Report: KC Chiefs Signing LB Drue Tranquill to New Multi-Year Contract

The Kansas City Chiefs are reportedly locking up a major contributor before the start of free agency, closing in on a new contract with linebacker Drue Tranquill.

The Kansas City Chiefs are reportedly making a move before free agency begins, keeping a major 2023 contributor in KC for the team's pending three-peat campaign.

The Chiefs are "expected to reach an agreement on a new contract" with linebacker Drue Tranquill, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. Adam Schefter reported that Tranquill's deal is for three years and $19 million, with $13 million fully guaranteed.

Tranquill signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the Chiefs ahead of the 2023 season before playing more than 53% of the Chiefs' regular-season defensive snaps and taking on a variety of roles in Steve Spagnuolo's defense.

In the midst of Kansas City's Super Bowl parade this February, Tranquill highlighted exactly how much he appreciated his 2023 season in Kansas City.

"Hey, this is way better than LA, I can tell you that much, baby," Tranquill said to KSHB 41. "These streets are live, there's millions of people here. It's a special moment. I'm about to take your mic from you. I mean, my goodness. Miami, got 'em. Buffalo, got 'em. In a blizzard in the snow, in Baltimore. Can't beat them, big bad wolves, no chance! And then the big bad 49ers. Oh, coming in. Oh, this, that and the other, man. Big Red [Andy Reid], T-Swift [Taylor Swift] and the boys came and took it. We took it; they didn't give us nothing, and we took it. I don't even have a voice right now. I love you guys!"

Leading up to the Super Bowl, Tranquill discussed what his "whirlwind" year was like in KC, looking back on a text he received from head coach Andy Reid during last year's free agency.

"It's been a whirlwind," Tranquill said. "You know, you dream of this as a kid. You want to play in this game. This is the pinnacle of the football world — the biggest game in the biggest league in the world. To look back on that text from Coach Reid, it's something to laugh about, but it's crazy. It's been a long eight months, or I guess 10 months, since that moment but we've put a lot of hard work in and we're super excited for this opportunity."

What does Tranquill's new contract mean for the Chiefs?

With fellow pending free-agent linebacker Willie Gay Jr. previously tweeting that he had "probably played my last game in Arrowhead," Tranquill's signing now stabilizes KC's linebacker position with starting middle linebacker Nick Bolton and third-year linebacker Leo Chenal delivering a starting-caliber group with potential depth behind them from Jack Cochrane and Cam Jones.

Tranquill took on several roles throughout 2023, including filling in for Bolton without the defense suffering a noticeable drop-off, meaning the Chiefs could have any number of potential paths in mind for Tranquill's future. He can be short-term Bolton insurance if Bolton suffers another injury, or long-term insurance if KC can't arrive at a reasonable number for a potential Bolton extension. 

Regardless of the next steps, this is a legitimate investment in Tranquill, essentially a guaranteed two-year deal for the 28-year-old who will turn 29 in August. His versatility, ability to play a number of roles in Spagnuolo's system, and matchup fit against modern passing offenses makes this a completely logical fit as the Chiefs stabilize a key part of their defense before free agency breaks loose.