What the Stat of the Chiefs nation? Pretty darn good.
AFC West Champs, AFC Champs, Super Bowl Champs
2019 Regular season record: 12-4
2019 Scoring Offensive Rank: 5th 28.2 PPG
2019 Scoring Defensive Rank: 7th 19.2 PPG
2020 Draft First Pick: 32
Coach: Andy Reid
The Offseason Scenario
Expectations are high in Kansas City after their first championship in fifty years. And why not? They have one of the game’s most exciting young quarterbacks, loads of weapons on offense and a much-maligned defense that improved steadily all season long.
So, what moves are they looking to make this offseason?
First things first, they need to prepare themselves for the obvious (and obviously wildly expensive) resigning of Patrick Mahomes next year. Sure, it would be neat-o if Mahomes would sign on to a team-friendly deal that doesn’t reset the quarterback market, but we all know that Mahomes has all of the leverage here, and my guess is that he doesn’t want to become the game’s fourth or fifth highest paid guy. That means that some salaries are going to need to go away, but from where?
Free Agent Frenzy
Well, some will walk in free agency.
Bashaud Breeland is set to become a free agent, the Chiefs will need to decide if he’s worth the asking price. My gut tells me that he’ll want more than Kansas City is willing to spend. Chris Jones might try to walk, but word is that the Chiefs will keep their star defender with the franchise tag for another season, before inking a long-term extension.
What about on offense? LeSean McCoy?
Probably gone in favor of a younger, cheaper replacement. And that might be the rallying cry around Kansas City on offense. Patrick Mahomes has made a blazing-fast special teams guy like Tyreek Hill into a star receiver, but they have Mecole Hardman waiting in the wings, and he’s on a four-year, five million dollar contract. His forty time was only .04 seconds slower than Hill, and he costs around fifteen million less…per season.
Seriously Premature Draft Hunches
Sitting pretty as the champs, the Chiefs shouldn’t need to do a lot to contend in the AFC again, but what about the draft? Well, since they pick last in each round, they won’t get a crack at any of the buzzier names we’ll all be talking about for the next several weeks. The Chiefs will want to look for a player that gives them depth and youth on defense, especially against the run. They might be tempted to pick a cornerback at thirty-two, especially if Breeland walks, but I see more need for a fast, run-stuffing sideline to sideline linebacker. The Chiefs struggled all season long to contain runs at the edges, and a versatile backer will help keep opposing offenses honest.
Congrats to the champs, but if they want to build a dynasty, they need to start being strategic about how they can stay in the conversation, next season and beyond.
For more thoughts and opinions from Tom, check out his author page.