The new captain’s supporter Drue Tranquill probably doesn’t need to think about joining an AFC West opponent this season.

Switching allegiances and joining a divisional rivalry may pose as a moral quandary for some NFL players, but not Drue Tranquill.

The newly minted Kansas City Chiefs linebacker gave four mostly healthy years to the Los Angeles Chargers before deciding to join the reigning Super Bowl champs this offseason.


And as the popular tattoo goes: he has no ragrets.

After a breakout 2022 season that saw Tranquill rack up 146 combined tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and five sacks, he walked right out of the Chargers’ hands and into the Chiefs facility. As the Chargers’ marquee free agent, Tranquill signed a one-year, $3 million deal with Kansas City, a deal so cheap that Los Angeles weren’t projected to receive a compensatory pick in return.

When asked about the intra-divisional move, Tranquill said it was “weird” at first to be in his rival’s building signing a contract, but that he was ultimately “excited” for this next new chapter of his career.


In all likelihood, the Chargers would have been more than happy to pay Tranquill as much as the Chiefs were paying him. LA already inked former Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks to a lucrative deal, but Tranquill had turned into a beloved fan-favorite and productive starter in the last half decade and could have served as a defensive cornerstone piece to build around.

Seeing Tranquill leave for a division rival just hurts even more.

Tranquill apparently had another reason for joining the Chiefs, which was the fact that he had something to prove in Kansas City. In Los Angeles, his spot was secure. On a Super Bowl-caliber roster like the Chiefs, Tranquill was told he would have to “earn his way,” and he happily invited the challenge.

As covered by Arrowhead Addict’s Matt Conner, Tranquill described how Kansas City lured him over:


Brett Veach’s and Andy Reid’s message was, ‘Drue, there are no promises here. We love you as a player and love what you’re able to do. You’re super versatile and a total linebacker who can do it all, but we’ve got a lot of great players here. You’re gonna have to come in here and earn your way.’

The former Notre Dame product explained that he picked Chiefs for the same reason he picked the Fighting Irish over Purdue. Whereas Purdue told him he would play right away, Notre Dame told him he would have to fight for a roster spot.

Tranquill’s last comment on his Chargers-Chiefs switch will make Chargers fans a little hot under the collar:


If I’ve learned anything in my story, it’s when I’ve surrounded myself with people who are as good or better than I am, I have always felt better coming out the other end.

The insinuation being: the Chargers’ roster isn’t as “good” as the Chiefs one. Get ready for some fireworks in this AFC West rivalry in 2023.

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