The Houston Texans released starting strong safety Danieal Manning yesterday after he was unwilling to take a paycut, but he has already found two teams with significant interest in signing him. After visiting the Cincinnati Bengals tomorrow, Manning told SiriusXM NFL Radio that he will visit the Kansas City Chiefs tomorrow, and I would be surprised if he doesn’t sign with either team.
Since Manning is looking to start somewhere again after starting in six games last season before breaking his leg and missing the rest of the year, the Chiefs are his best option. The Bengals already have a solid starting safety duo locked in and are merely looking for depth, whereas the Chiefs would like a viable starting free safety next to Eric Berry, who is one of the game’s best strong safeties. Berry excels in an in-the-box role and covers underneath routes well, but the Chiefs desperately need a free safety who can play well in deep coverage, especially with corners who specialize in press coverage.
On paper, Manning looks like an underrated fit for the Chiefs defense, and he shouldn’t be regarded as a strong safety at all. Although the Texans started him at SS, they really misused him by not placing him in a high safety role for all of his snaps. That’s the role he was used in while with the Chicago Bears during the best years of his career, and he was a very solid starter for them and an underrated player. Manning could have a bounce-back season with the Chiefs, and I think they should sign him to what would be an affordable, short-term contract.