Coming off a career year, linebacker Drue Tranquill left the Los Angeles Chargers for the AFC West rival and Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs this offseason.
On Thursday's NFL Total Access, Tranquill detailed the Chiefs' pursuit, which convinced him to defect to K.C.
"Well, obviously, to me, obviously football is a business, but football's also family," he said. "I poured my heart out there for four years in L.A. Unfortunately, things didn't work out. I was really honored by the way the Chiefs pursued me, all the way from the front office down to the coaching staff. Andy Reid literally texted me the morning of [when] I was going to make my decision and he was like, 'Think red. Think red. Think Super Bowls.' I just felt really valued over there, felt like they really had a role for me and really wanted me over there. So, I'm excited to join up with those guys. I'm going to miss a lot of my teammates and coaches over there in L.A., but excited for this next step."
Reid's text underscores the pitch K.C. can make to free agents that other teams can't: Come join Patrick Mahomes and increase your chances of winning a Super Bowl. Surely other clubs can claim to be championship contenders, but Mahomes cinches the case for the Chiefs -- as Tom Brady once did for the Patriots and Buccaneers.
After three seasons as a rotational player, Tranquill became a full-time starter in 2022, earning career highs in tackles (146), sacks (five) and passes defensed (four). The linebacker is stellar in coverage and offers good timing on blitzes.
The 27-year-old inked a one-year, $3 million contract in Kansas City, adding depth to the linebacker room. Tranquill's ability, particularly in coverage, brings needed versatility to the middle of Steve Spagnuolo's defense.
"I just love what Spags does with his players," Tranquill said. "He puts them in positions to be successful. I think one of my key traits is my versatility: my ability to defend the run, play the pass, play man-to-man, zone coverage, make plays on the ball down the field. And I think one of the things that kinda sets me apart as a linebacker is my ability to rush the passer. Spags obviously does a lot of different things with blitzes, so I'm excited to see what we're able to put together and try to get back-to-back (championships) here."