"Brett Veach and Andy Reid's message was, 'Drue, there's no promises here,'" Tranquill said on the Ross Tucker Podcast. "'We love you as a player. We love what you're able to do. You're super versatile. You're a total linebacker and can do it all -- but we've got a lot of great players here, and you're going to have to come in here and earn your way.'"
Throughout his career, the 27-year-old has recorded 202 solo tackles, 19 tackles for a loss and 11 quarterback hits. In 2022, Tranquill had his best season, recording 95 solo tackles, eight QB hits and one interception returned for 20 yards.
Tranquill did not plan on leaving Los Angeles anytime soon, but it was not his choice.
"I was a little surprised the Chargers didn't want to bring me back," Tranquill said. "There were people in the building that really wanted me back -- and there were a few people who wanted to move on. Business is business, but when you give four years so hard to an organization -- and it doesn't feel reciprocated -- that's hard. We had three kids out in LA. We were hoping to stay out there. And it didn't pan out."
Before the Chargers drafted him in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, Tranquill went to Notre Dame, where he had 292 total tackles, 25.5 tackles for a loss and 5.5 sacks. When reflecting on what Veach and Reid told him, Tranquill thought back to when he was choosing a college and made comparisons to a similar approach by the program he elected to attend.
"It was kind of the same message when I chose Notre Dame over Purdue," he remembered. "Purdue was like, 'You'll come in here and you'll play right away.' Notre Dame was like, 'Hey, you're going to have to earn your way.' If I've learned anything in my story, it's when I surround myself with people who are as good or better than I am, I always end up coming out better on the other end."
In the meantime, Tranquill is looking to the upcoming season to prove himself every chance he gets.
"I think the ultimate goal for me is I want to be the best player that Drue Tranquill can be," he said. "I felt like being with the Kansas City Chiefs -- out of all the teams that made a push for me in free agency -- gave me the best chance to do that."