View Full Version : Chiefs 30 FAs in 30 Days: Jim Leonhard

02-27-2012, 07:52 AM

NAME: Jim Leonhard


COLLEGE: Wisconsin

GP/GS: 94/60

AGE/EXPEREINCE: 29/7 seasons

BACKGROUND: Jim Leonhard’s 2011 season ended on a Tyler Palko interception. A starting safety for the Jets, Leonard was tackled awkwardly by Chiefs wide receiver Steve Breastonafter picking off Palko’s underthrown pass.

Leonhard suffered a torn patellar tendon in his right knee when he attempted to pull away from Breaston, who had latched on to Leonhard’s right ankle. The interception may have been Leonhard’s final contribution as a Jet.

Surgery occurred three days later and the seven-year veteran is set to become an unrestricted free agent on March 13th. Leonhard tweeted an update on his recovery last week.

“Update: 10 weeks out from surgery and every day is better than the last. In the rehab world that's a win. Now I just need a new contract.”

Undrafted out of Wisconsin in 2005, Leonhard got his start as a special teams player for Buffalo. He spent three years with the Bills before seeing his career takeoff with Baltimore in 2008

Signed to a one-year contract, Leonhard became a 13-game starter for the Ravens and also served as one of Baltimore’s primary return men. In 13 starts, he finished fourth on the team in tackles (68) behind linebackers Ray Lewis, Bart Scott and Terrell Suggs. He also returned an interception 35 yards for a touchdown.

After one year in Baltimore, Leonhard followed defensive coordinator Rex Ryan to the Jets on a three-year contract and became a starter in New York’s defensive backfield.

AVAILABILITY: Both Leonhard and Brodney Pool are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents next month, leaving the Jets with significant decisions to make regarding the future of their defensive backfield

Leonhard has said he’d like to return to the Jets, but Rich Cimini of ESPN New York believes both players will be low priority for the Jets to re-sign.

COACHING CONNECTIONS: Leonhard has no direct ties to the Chiefs coaching staff.

WHY HE FITS: Leonhard was the de facto coach of the Jets secondary, never a flashy player but always reliable. He’s rarely out of position and, at one point in his career, was considered one of the best safeties in the league. Leonhard also isn’t afraid to hit.

If Jon McGraw doesn’t return to the Chiefs as an unrestricted free agent, adding a player like Leonhard could make a lot of sense.

The three players who saw the most time after Pro Bowler Eric Berry was lost for the season – McGraw, Sabby Piscitelli and Reshard Langford – are all currently without contracts for 2012. Add Kendrick Lewis’ off-season shoulder surgery to Berry’s continued rehab and the Chiefs are extremely thin at safety heading into the spring and summer months.

Even if Berry and Lewis make a full recovery, which is expected, the Chiefs still need to make a decision regarding a third safety.

Nearly half of the Chiefs defensive snaps last season featured sub-package personnel and Romeo Crennel often uses three safeties in those sets. Finding a third safety that can increase competition and play significant snaps is a need for the Chiefs this off-season.

02-27-2012, 07:59 AM
To the ship.

02-27-2012, 09:56 AM
As opposed to our white safeties, Jim is pretty good. Would be a great depth signing even though he'll likely sign to be a starter elsewhere.
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02-27-2012, 10:40 AM
AGE/EXPEREINCE: 29/7 seasons torn patellar tendon

No thanks....not a good combo.