In addition to these moves, Veach has also made trades for linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis and offensive lineman Cam Erving during his short time as the general manager of the Chiefs. So far, Chiefs fans can’t complain with the job Veach has done. After switching general managers three times in nine years, Chiefs fans have plenty of reasons to be excited about the future with Veach in charge.
As the 2017 AFC West champions, the Chiefs will have to play the AFC East champions in 2018. This means that Kansas City will travel to Foxboro, and the team will do so with a new starting quarterback: Patrick Mahomes, the tenth overall selection of the 2017 NFL Draft. Mahomes only played in one game during his rookie season but despite the limited playing time, the Chiefs have now opted to hand him over the keys. Given his upside and draft status, not really a surprise
“I still can’t really describe it,” said Kelce, the Chiefs’ star tight end who was making the Super Bowl media rounds Wednesday at the Mall of America. “It’s a (bad) feeling.”
In sum, however, it’s very difficult to see Washington falling out of contention in the NFC East with Smith. His floor in Kansas City, with good surrounding talent or bad, was 9-7, giving his new team a floor with which to work with as they head into the draft and free agency, where they have (even after Smith’s new deal) a nontrivial amount of cap room and a pick in the top 15.
Brett Veach’s work in his short tenure as GM of the Chiefs has impressed me. It’s not just about acquiring Reggie Ragland for a 2019 fourth round pick and it working out. It’s not trading DJ Alexander for a better fitting Kevin Pierre-Louis, or take a shot at developing Cameron Erving. It’s not the fact that the Chiefs just fleeced Washington for third round pick and player that would have been taken in round one this year.
Long road trips are nothing new for the Rams, as they’ve been the NFL’s most-traveled team for multiple seasons now having playing multiple games in England over the past few seasons. This will be a new journey for the Rams as they haven’t played in Mexico City yet. Owner Stan Kroenke is no stranger to pushing the Rams to spread out their brand, and maybe with good reason. Los Angeles is home to a huge population of Mexican-Americans, many of whom the team is hoping to turn into Rams fans in the coming years for those they haven’t already. The game certainly won’t hurt on that front.
It’s a concern the Chiefs are trading draft picks, particularly in a year when they don’t have a first-round choice. But they received one from Washington and will probably get a compensatory choice as well. Overthecap.com, which does a good job of projecting comp picks, suggests the Chiefs will get a sixth-round pick for losing quarterback Nick Foles in free agency last year.
The quarterback deficit they frequently faced can help explain their playoff futility. They went up in those 11 losses against six quarterbacks who either are or someday will be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Chiefs wanted a quarterback like that of their own. It’s far too early to tell whether Mahomes will be one, but he’s got the tools and is off to a good start.
The KC Chiefs traded quarterback Alex Smith to Washington on Tuesday, and The Star’s Sam Mellinger (@mellinger), Vahe Gregorian (@vgregorian), Blair Kerkhoff (@BlairKerkhoff) and Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) convened for an emergency podcast as they graded the trade, announced their expectations for Patrick Mahomes, took a moment to appreciate Smith’s Kansas City career and answered your questions for over an hour.
The Chiefs understandably have high hopes for Mahomes, who was reportedly the No. 1 player on their draft board. They also have a coach in Reid who has done an excellent job of developing quarterbacks and building schemes around their strengths. It's reasonable to believe Mahomes will be a fine option at quarterback, but this is swapping a low-ceiling/high-floor quarterback for a high-ceiling/low-floor option. There will likely be short-term growing pains even if Mahomes does grow into his role in time.