Anthony Hitchens is reportedly set to sign with the Kansas City Chiefs when free agency officially opens Wednesday.
Hitchens entered the league in 2014 when Dallas selected him in the fourth round of the draft out of Iowa, and he didn't miss a game in his first three seasons. However, he missed four games in 2017 because of a tibial plateau fracture suffered in a preseason game, although doctors initially told him on the field he tore his ACL, per Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News.
He played well in those 12 games with 84 combined tackles, a forced fumble and two passes defended. To hear him say it, he will be better in 2018 for his new squad.
"There is always room to get better, but overall I was pleased with my effort and the plays I made," he said, per George. "Me being a competitor, I left some plays out there. I'll be a better player next year."
Hitchens is not known for his ability to get to the quarterback, with just 3.5 sacks in his career, but he is versatile and played weak-side and middle linebacker when Sean Lee was out. He can drop back in coverage if needed and stuff the run from the inside or outside.
He is just 25 years old, so it's not a stretch to suggest better things are around the corner in 2018.
With Justin Houston and Dee Ford manning the outside linebacker spots as pass-rushers, look for Hitchens to slot inside next to Reggie Ragland to form what could be one of the best linebacker corps in the NFL.