Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach held a press conference Wednesday evening to address the team’s moves in free agency now that the league year has officially begun.
Prior to Wednesday at 3 p.m. Arrowhead Time, the Chiefs were not able to announce any signings or trades. Here’s Veach:
Chiefs GM Brett Veach starts off recognizing Derrick Johnson, Tamba Hali and Ron Parker. pic.twitter.com/tUOgTsZ6tL— Matt Derrick (@mattderrick) March 14, 2018
While the Chiefs have moved on from Derrick Johnson, Tamba Hali and Ron Parker, they have yet to make anything official regarding punter Dustin Colquitt, who is now officially an unrestricted free agent.
Veach says his negotiations with Dustin Colquitt are going in a positive direction and looks forward to announcing something soon— Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) March 14, 2018
Colquitt has a case for being the highest-paid punter in the league and I questioned whether he would be back in February. Veach saying he hopes to announce “something soon” sounds like a good sign.
Jumping backwards, Wednesday marked the first time Veach could discuss the Alex Smith trade that occurred in late January. The Chiefs traded Alex Smith to the Washington Redskins in exchange for a third-round pick and cornerback Kendall Fuller, who, like our own Seth Keysor, Veach praised.
Veach describes CB Kendall Fuller as an ascending player with tremendous potential. Very excited to acquire him in Alex Smith trade.— Matt Derrick (@mattderrick) March 14, 2018
Veach was also asked about the other trade.
These were Veach’s comments when asked about cornerback Marcus Peters, who the Chiefs sent to Los Angeles along with a sixth-round pick in exchange for a 2019 second-round pick and 2018 fourth-round pick:
(that’s if the official Chiefs statements weren’t telling enough)
Veach reiterates there was no mandate from ownership to trade Marcus Peters, says it was made on the full body of work, both on and off the field.— Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) March 14, 2018
"At the end of the day, everyone is where they need to be," Veach said.
Veach was sure to add that the trading of Peters had nothing to do with his national anthem protest.
Veach says trading Marcus Peters was in the best interest of the team. It was not just a matter of game days on Sunday. Anthem was not an issue -- "100 percent." It was a body or work over three seasons that prompted the decision.— Matt Derrick (@mattderrick) March 14, 2018
When it came to free agency, Veach made it sound like he did not believe that wide receiver Sammy Watkins would be available.
Veach says Rams not tagging Sammy Watkins was a surprise. Reached out at the first moment they could to work on deal.— Matt Derrick (@mattderrick) March 14, 2018
Veach says the Chiefs felt Sammy Watkins was the best player on their board in free agency— Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) March 14, 2018
In fact, the team had previously reached out to the Rams and Dallas Cowboys about Watkins and new linebacker Anthony Hitchens, respectively.
Brett Veach said they had inquired about trading for Anthony Hitchens and Sammy Watkins last year during training camp.— BJ Kissel (@ChiefsReporter) March 14, 2018
With Watkins signed, the Chiefs’ biggest need on offense is probably backup quarterback. Veach wants someone with experience to join Tyler Bray and Patrick Mahomes.
Veach says the Chiefs have always had an experienced backup and expects the same this year. Hopes to have something done soon with a veteran backup.— Matt Derrick (@mattderrick) March 14, 2018
It looks like the Chiefs are moving forward with linebacker Dee Ford. We explained while he’ll likely be back for 2018 earlier Wednesday.
Brett Veach on Dee Ford: “I think he’ll be 100% by April 1st” and followed it by saying he thinks he is going to have a great year— Cody Tapp (@codybtapp) March 14, 2018
The Arizona Cardinals made a bit of a surprise move Wednesday when they released cornerback Tyrann Mathieu. Mathieu will likely get paid handsomely for his services, but Veach is interested.
Veach says he's interested in Tyrann Matthieu if he can make the money work.— Matt Derrick (@mattderrick) March 14, 2018
In case you’re curious:
Heard the Cardinals were willing to go to about $9M/year with Tyrann Mathieu before he was cut. Other teams figure he wants to beat that— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 14, 2018
And you can’t end a press conference without a good tease:
Veach is excited for the draft... “Who knows, maybe we’ll be back in the first round” #ChiefsKingdom. pic.twitter.com/sHXlA4bceJ— Todd Leabo (@Leabonics) March 14, 2018
Night one of the NFL Draft is April 26.