The Chiefs roster today is well-rounded and poised for another Super Bowl run. What if they could add some all-time greats from the franchise’s past? Which legends would you add?
Most Chiefs fans today have endless appreciation for what Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and many others are currently doing for the franchise. All of the AFC title game appearances and two Super Bowl appearances as well as the Super Bowl win are irreplaceable. But what if today’s team added some of the all-time greats from the Chief’s past?
Some key players from the franchises’ past who might not have seen a Super Bowl but would surely help bring one to Kansas City if they played on today’s roster. It’s not possible, sure, but it’s still fun to imagine! Let’s check it out, shall we?
(Photo Credit: Robert Hanashiro, USA Today)
First up, we have probably one of the most obvious choices in Derrick Thomas. Thomas is considered one of the best, if not the greatest, players to wear a Chiefs uniform. From his nine Pro Bowl appearances to two All-Pro seasons and numerous other accolades, Thomas was everything you could want in a linebacker.
Today, the Chiefs feature a linebacker core of Willie Gay Jr. and Nick Bolton. The two young talents will likely be leading the Chief’s linebacker room for years to come. However, the addition of Derrick Thomas to this linebacker room would put them at an elite level. Thomas racked up 126.5 sacks in his career as well as 641 combined tackles and 41 forced fumbles. Imagine the two young emerging stars in Gay and Bolton learning from a prime Derrick Thomas. It would be truly unstoppable.
The Chief’s defense in 2021 went from one of the worst to one of the best. If this current Chiefs defense added a talent like Thomas, they might not lose a single game. Bolton and Gay could easily fill the linebacker role and Thomas could play a hybrid role of defensive end/linebacker. That version of the Chiefs defense along with Chris Jones rushing the QB? The Chiefs would steamroll teams just on defense alone. I think any smart Chiefs fan would welcome the talents of a prime Derrick Thomas. Wow, that would be insane.
Next up, we have arguably the greatest tight end in NFL history in Tony Gonzalez. Tony G accumulated most of his resume while wearing a Chiefs uniform despite how much he thanks the Falcons organization for his career. In his 12 seasons with Kansas City, Gonzalez racked up 10,940 receiving yards and 76 touchdowns, both of which are the most in franchise history.
The Chiefs are now blessed with the presence of Travis Kelce who is on pace to pass Gonzalez within two years. Kelce has already broken the NFL record for consecutive 1,000-yard seasons by a tight-end and most receiving yards in their first ten seasons. So why would you want Tony G on today’s roster?
Imagine a dual-tight end offense similar to when a team has two dominant receivers. Patrick Mahomes has the freedom to throw passes to either Kelce or Gonzalez. That sounds great to me. Tony G and Kelce would both serve as elite options for touchdowns and first downs during any drive. I personally would take Kelce for the homerun plays and Gonzalez for the more structured plays. However, I think an offense with both guys playing would give the playbook plenty of freedom to use them interchangeably.
(Photo Credit: Brad Mills, USA Today)
Lastly, we have a more recent player to wear a Chiefs uniform, a former star running back, Jamaal Charles. Charles played in Kansas City from 2008 until 2016 so he just missed getting to be on the current roster. Charles was released by the team in 2017 following quite a few missed games from injuries as well as saving over $6 million in cap space. However, by the time he was released, Charles left Kansas City as the all-time leading rusher in franchise history.
I have talked about this before but the current Chiefs offense lacks a “dynamic running back”. A running back that can lift the workload from Patrick Mahomes to throw for 300 plus yards every game. They got that with Kareem Hunt but it was short-lived considering he was out of town before the end of the 2018 season. Jamaal Charles just had a different kind of speed and explosive ability that made him stand out in the NFL.
Charles racked up 7,260 rushing yards (franchise leader) and 64 total touchdowns in his career with the Chiefs. He also has the NFL record for career yards per carry with 5.4. Imagine if Patrick Mahomes had that level of talent in the backfield; this offense which is already hard to predict would be completely unpredictable. The amount of freedom the playbook would have might just make the Chiefs’ offense the best of all time and it wouldn’t be close.
A prime Jamaal Charles would elevate this offense to new heights that Mahomes and company haven’t seen yet. It is fun to imagine Patrick Mahomes and company paired up with a Chiefs running back that just missed out on being a key piece in what could’ve been the greatest offensive unit of all time. It is fun to daydream folks, especially when that daydream was nearly a reality, missed by only a single season.
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