The Chiefs have had quite the busy offseason this year. So, what can we take away from Brett Veach’s biggest offseason so far?
It would be an understatement to say the Chiefs roster has undergone some changes this offseason. The offseason has been characterized by moving on from franchise superstars like Tyrann Mathieu and Tyreek Hill while also replacing many crucial role players like Charvarius Ward and Darrel Williams. While many teams seem to be going all-in on this season, Kansas City seems to be playing the long game while remaining competitive.
Will it work out? Only time will tell. In the meantime let’s discuss the five biggest takeaways from the team’s busy offseason, beginning with one of the most controversial offseason moves.
Chiefs Choose Depth And Cost-Control Over Top-End WR Talent
Five years from now we will get to see the full picture of how the Tyreek Hill trade played out, but until then we can only guess who got the better end of the deal. On paper, it appears to be the Chiefs who came out on top. Sure, the Dolphins get possibly the best WR in football on their roster, but they also had to pay him as if he’s the best, and trade away valuable draft assets to do so.
The Chiefs then turned the picks they received from the trade into Trent McDuffie, Skyy Moore, and Darrian Kinnard. They will also have an extra fourth and sixth-round pick next year. Oh, and they get to save 25 million dollars per year to spend elsewhere. Some of which were immediately used on former Packers receiver Marquez Valdez-Scantling. Juju Smith-Schuster had already joined the team prior to the Hill trade.
It seems as though the Chiefs are heading towards a more balanced offense. Instead of having one superstar player and a bunch of low-end role players, why not have four or five good players who may not be stars yet, but could see a breakout in the Kansas City offense? Although it hurts to lose Tyreek Hill, on paper the depth at WR is the strongest it has been since Patrick Mahomes arrived in Kansas City.
The Chiefs Want To Get Younger And Faster In Their Defense
As mentioned before, it’s not just the Chiefs who had a big offseason. Much of the AFC has improved their rosters and is aiming for the Super Bowl. Scoring points has rarely been an issue for Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes. However, stopping other teams from scoring has been another issue. It was clear watching the team in 2021 that one particular dynamic was missing along the defense; speed.
Mathieu, Ward, Daniel Sorensen, Melvin Ingram, Mike Hughes, and Anthony Hitchens are all players who started for the Chiefs’ defense at some point last season, and none of them remain with the team. Five of the players listed are at least 30 years old. It was clear a change was needed, but usually, teams do this over time and not in one offseason.
The new additions to the team are Justin Reid, George Karlaftis, Bryan Cook, Trent McDuffie, and Leo Chenal. There were others added as well, but these are the most likely to make instant impacts. With so much change coming to the defense, we can expect some stumbles early in the season, but if they are able to put it together this unit can be scary. By midseason, we may get to see the best Chiefs defense in the past decade.
The Chiefs And Veach Chose To Build Through The Draft Yet Again
After witnessing the Rams’ draft pick mentality pay off, much of the league has followed suit. Los Angeles went their own route of trading away picks for star players, and even the Chiefs have done this in the past with Orlando Brown Jr. and Frank Clark. The 2022 draft saw the most teams with two first-round picks in NFL history.
This year the Chiefs decided to go in the other direction and build their roster through the draft. Trading away one of their best players for more draft picks to build upon. It makes sense to build for the future when you have Mahomes, but also keep the team competitive in doing so. This offseason I believe we saw the perfect balance of infusing youth and talent into a roster without tearing apart your team, which is very difficult to pull off.
The strategy could very well backfire on the Chiefs this season, but it lays down the building blocks for the future. The roster may take a step back this year but should be able to bounce back even stronger in the future. We’ll have to wait and see how it plays out this year, but I believe the team has a bright future.
The Chiefs Will Have To Overpay For One Player To Be Successful
Last year the Chiefs rebuilt their offensive line, and a big part of that was filling the left tackle spot. Orlando Brown Jr. started slow but was playing at an elite level by the end of the year. Brown hasn’t earned the title of a top-five tackle, but he probably falls in the 10-20 range. The one thing he does have going for him is leverage.
At this point in time, the Chiefs have zero alternatives if they can’t get a contract worked out with Brown. There is no real choice other than to pay Brown as one of the highest-paid tackles in the NFL. Brown holds all the cards as the Chiefs didn’t prepare a contingency plan. Of course, they franchise-tagged him, but if Brown holds out it could be trouble for Mahomes. Brett Veach won’t allow that to happen.
Every team has to overpay players at some point, and it could always be worse. The Chiefs will still get a top-end left tackle to protect Patrick Mahomes for the foreseeable future. Left tackles don’t grow on trees. Overpaying for Brown shouldn’t hurt the roster long-term.
Questions Remain About Chiefs’ OC Bieniemy As A Head Coach
The Chiefs’ coaching staff saw some minor changes this offseason, but one thing that didn’t change was their offensive coordinator. For the past three seasons, Eric Bieniemy has been in contention for head coaching jobs but still hasn’t landed one. So, what’s the deal?
Many will point to the fact that Bieniemy doesn’t call the plays, and that Andy Reid “does everything” on offense. This is why Bieniemy can’t land a head coaching job. However, that has been disproven time after time. There have also been rumors of poor interviews, but if you have ever seen a Bieniemy press conference it makes that theory hard to believe. At some point, you have to wonder if there is some discrimination going on behind the scenes.
At this rate, Bieniemy’s best chance at landing a head coaching job might just be with the Chiefs once Reid retires. There is no clear timetable for how much longer Reid will coach, but it’s unlikely he sticks around for Mahomes entire career. If Bieniemy is unable to land a head coaching job elsewhere, perhaps someday it will be with the Chiefs?
What are your thoughts on the Chiefs’ offseason? Did they nail it, or will they regret it? Let us know in the comments down below. To read about the Chiefs’ biggest threat next season click here.
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