Ex-Bills safety Micah Hyde named as free agency fit for Chiefs.

Ex-Bills safety Micah Hyde named as free agency fit for Chiefs.


Former Buffalo Bills safety Micah Hyde was named as a potential free agency fit with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Opinions are mixed on the Kansas City Chiefs secondary following the L’Jarius Sneed trade with the Tennessee Titans.

The staunch KC believers will tell you that this unit will be fine without Sneed. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and DBs coach Dave Merritt have done a great job developing cornerbacks and safeties in the past, and they’ll continue to do so in 2024.

The other side of the debate will tell you that the Chiefs need to make at least one veteran addition in the secondary, whether at cornerback or safety. Remember, Kansas City lost Mike Edwards in free agency too.

Last Word On Sports analyst David Latham suggested that player be long-time Buffalo Bills starter Micah Hyde on March 28.

“While Trent McDuffie is great and Chamarri Conner showed some promise as a rookie, this team needs to find at least one more cornerback and could use another safety,” Latham argued, regarding the Chiefs.

“Micah Hyde is a cost-effective free agent, and having a player who can patrol the deep part of the field is vital when opposing offenses will be throwing early and often to try and keep up with Patrick Mahomes,” he continued, stating his case.

Hyde’s contract extension expired this spring after turning 33 in December. He’s not in the prime of his career anymore, but he’s still a former second-team All-Pro and Pro Bowler that put up solid numbers in 2023 — plus he’s an ex-team captain and a positive locker room presence.

Due to an oversaturated safety market, Hyde might have to settle for a cheap veteran deal with a win-now franchise if he elects to try for one more Super Bowl run in 2024. Who better to do that with than the Chiefs?

Would Micah Hyde Be Willing to Play Depth Safety Role With Chiefs?

The Chiefs’ safety room has three key pieces that are guaranteed to make the 53-man roster, barring health. Those players are Justin Reid, Bryan Cook and the aforementioned Conner.

Assuming his ankle is back to full strength, one would expect Cook to retake his place as the second starter alongside Reid heading into training camp. Conner would then slot in as the versatile third safety as this time.

Behind those three, the depth is uncertain. The Chiefs brought back veteran special teamer Deon Bush once again, and they also have a couple of flyers on the 90-man roster in 2023 UDFA Trey Dean and NFL journeyman Tyree Gillespie.

Hyde would likely play an auxiliary role in Kansas City if he came aboard. The question is whether or not the Chiefs want to add some quality experience behind Cook and Conner, and whether or not the long-time starter would sign up for a depth role in KC.

If both of those answers are yes, Hyde feels like a good fit to replace Edwards.

Micah Hyde’s Best Attribute Has Dipped in Recent Seasons

If one were arguing against pursuing Hyde as a third or fourth safety, they might cite his coverage analytics in 2022 and 2023.

Hyde has always been a coverage DB, known for his instinct, ball hawking ability and versatility as a pass defender. According to Pro Football Focus, however, that top attribute has taken a noticeable hit as Hyde has aged — as has the rest of his game.

Over the past two seasons, the long-time safety’s passer rating against has ballooned from 78.8 up to a career-high 121.1. Hyde didn’t play much in 2022 due to injury, but he also registered career-highs for his reception rate allowed over the past two years (100% and 78.1%, respectively), with four touchdowns against in 2023.

Hyde’s most recent missed tackle rate isn’t far off from his career average (12.3% compared to 10.9%), but his run defense grades have dipped along with the coverage numbers. The vet did snag two interceptions for Buffalo last year, so one part of his game appears to have remained intact.

Michael Obermuller covers the Kansas City Chiefs, New York Giants, Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals for Heavy.com, where he began working in 2021. An NYC area native and Quinnipiac graduate, his previous bylines include FanDuel’s The Duel, King Fantasy Sports and Pro Football Mania. More about Michael Obermuller

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