Charvarius Ward is a free agent, and replacing him won't necessarily be easy
Discussing an often-underrated Chief who is set to hit the market that almost no one is talking about.
Let’s start with a list of truths about the modern NFL:
Cornerback play is more important than ever.
Teams need more competent players at cornerback than any other period in NFL history.
It’s really, really hard to be a consistently decent cornerback, let alone a good or very good one.
Can we all agree on these three things? They feel non-controversial. Because teams are throwing the ball at historic rates, defending against the pass is the most important aspect of defense. Cornerbacks are a huge part of that. And because teams are now running out 3 receivers and even 4 receivers more often than having multiple ‘backs or tight ends on the field, the 3rd cornerback position (remember when slot cornerbacks were treated as lesser players?) has basically become another starter, and your 4th cornerback will probably see the field a third to half of the time even if injuries aren’t a factor (and they almost always are).
That’s a long road to a short thought; Good cornerbacks are hard to come by and important to have.
Which leads us to Charvarius Ward, who is a good cornerback and has been for multiple years in a row.
The question is how good, and that’s where the Kansas City Chiefs currently find themselves in a bit of a bind. Because the answer to “how good” is going to be a determining factor in whether or not they can bring back the 3-year starter at the position.
What’s interesting to me is that Ward’s pending free agency has flown somewhat under the radar. A large part of that is Ward has spent the last several years in Kansas City being somewhat underrated. Let’s talk about what that might be, why it’s in error, and the difficulty of replacing competency at cornerback.