While the Kansas City Chiefs have one of the most loyal and rabid fanbases in the NFL, their followers aren’t always the most sensitive when the team starts losing games. A 2-3 record after five weeks has Chiefs fans taking matters into their own hands with a player whose performance has been substandard. A GoFundMe campaign was created this week with the goal of covering the remainder of safety Daniel Sorenson’s contract as a bargaining chip to get him off the roster and out of the starting lineup.
The veteran defensive back has had an awful start to his 2021 campaign, still missing more tackles than any defender in the league with 12, and playing coverage so loose it practically begs for quarterbacks to rip him to shreds every Sunday. Football may be a team sport, but Sorenson’s failings on-field have cost the team more than just their pride. He has managed to singlehandedly castrate the defense’s ability to employ effective coverage downfield or even slow opponents’ progress with any kind of consistency while playing virtually every defensive snap for the Chiefs through five games.
Meanwhile, 2019 second-round pick Juan Thornhill, the presumable long-term replacement for Sorenson, has sat. The coaching staff insists that this is due to the veteran having a better training camp and that the younger talent is still working his way back from a knee injury sustained late in his rookie season.
The buck seems to have come to a full stop for Sorenson after another pitiful performance against Buffalo, at least for the fans, as the newly organized fundraiser clearly demonstrates. Their lofty $2,462,000 goal might be just a bit out of reach, and with a total of about $85.00 raised since the listing was posted, indications are only a vocal minority is prepared to put their money where their mouths are.
Regardless of the outcome on GoFundMe, this movement is unlikely to change the front office’s mind about cutting Sorenson. It would cost the team about $1.25 million in new money against the cap, as well as a $2.46 million penalty in dead cap space. The Chiefs are unlikely to consider this feasible given they only have about $1.7 million in cap space available per the NFLPA’s public salary cap report. Knowing that their effort will likely fail, the GoFundMe’s organizer claims the money raised will be donated to the 15 and the Mahomies foundation.
Either way, Kansas City’s issues at the safety position will remain dire, even if the fundraiser accomplishes its mission to get Sorenson out of the equation. The Chiefs’ defense ranks at or near the bottom in virtually every relevant defensive statistical category, and it’ll take more than a better effort out of Sorenson, or Thornhill for that matter, to fix the systemic issues the unit faces.
Sorenson may be a convenient scapegoat for the time being, but defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will need players up and down the roster to contribute more in order to get the Chiefs back on track.