Coming off their Super Bowl LIV victory, the Kansas City Chiefs have chosen to be less aggressive in free agency this offseason than they were last offseason, when they signed then-free agent Tyrann Mathieu and traded for and signed defensive end Frank Clark.
It is a stark change — but a necessary one, as the Chiefs still need to sign their draft picks, extend Patrick Mahomes and potentially re-sign defensive tackle Chris Jones.
Rather than the marquee names, general manager Brett Veach instead signed role players he and his staff feel can contribute in 2020. Veach has now revealed his thought process on four players — cornerback Antonio Hamilton, offensive lineman Mike Remmers, tight end Ricky Seals-Jones and running back DeAndre Washington.
He discussed all four players in detail during his pre-draft conference call on Thursday morning.
(Editor’s note: I covered Veach’s comments, then added a link to my player feature below each player. If you’re looking to learn more about these new Chiefs, those links will provide some additional background.)
Cornerback Antonio Hamilton
The Chiefs agreed to terms with Hamilton back on March 20, but they had their eyes on him long before that.
“Hamilton is an interesting guy,” said Veach. “Every year at the cut-down day, director of pro personnel Tim Terry and director of football operations Mike Borgonzi do a great job of really identifying young guys that we think are developmental talent guys – and at the trade/cut-down day last year, we identified Alex Brown and Antonio Hamilton as two guys that we thought we’d like to add — if not to our active roster, to our practice squad.
“Hamilton ended up making a team (the New York Giants) but Alex Brown we were able to get on the practice squad. And Alex did a good job for us and was active late in the season for our Super Bowl run. So, Antonio was a guy, he was on the bubble and he made the team, but we monitored him throughout the season in case they had a roster crunch where they had to cut him, but they never did. But we certainly kept that in our back pocket for free agency. When the window for negotiation opened up, if we liked him back then and we wanted to add him back then, we may be able to do it, it makes sense for him and for us.”
Veach mentioned that the Chiefs wanted to sign Hamilton for multiple seasons but he and his representation wanted to “bet on himself” on a one-year deal.
“We’re excited about him,” said Veach. “You can never have enough depth. Certainly, losing Kendall Fuller, bringing Bashaud (Breeland) back, having (Charvarius) Ward and (Rashad) Fenton, and now Hamilton, gives us four corners that we think can help us on the field. Alex has done a great job on special teams and Antonio, as you know, is a good special teams player. So that really went all the way back to last year at the cut-down day.
Offensive lineman Mike Remmers
Once Stefen Wisniewski left the Chiefs to play for his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers, the Chiefs turned their attention to Remmers, who also signed with the club on March 20.
“This was a very comparable player (to Wisniewski),” said Veach. “He has a little different versatility. Where Wisniewski was more of a center-guard, Remmers gives you more of a tackle-guard. And Cam (Erving) not being on the roster, now we have a guy that is experienced and gives us a little bit different versatility in regard to tackle and guard. He’s played a lot of football. He’s smart and tough and we think he’ll fit right in. We’re excited about him.
Remmers has experience everywhere on the offensive line — except at center.
Tight end Ricky Seals-Jones
With Blake Bell headed to the Dallas Cowboys, the Chiefs signed Seals-Jones on April 3.
“When you look at Ricky Seals-Jones, it was a similar scenario to when we went through the Blake Bell signing last year,” said Veach. “We were looking for a young guy with some upside that had a good receiving skill set. (Tight ends coach) Tom Melvin did a great job working with Blake.”
Bell caught eight passes for 67 yards during the regular season and three catches for 24 yards in the playoffs. Bell’s touchdown put the Chiefs up 48-31 against the Houston Texans in the divisional round.
Coming from the Arizona Cardinals and Cleveland Browns, Seals-Jones has yet to play in the postseason.
“We actually feel that at this stage in his career that Ricky may be a little ahead of the curve in regard to the passing game. So, we’re excited to work with a young guy with a receiving skillset and a nice complement to Travis (Kelce).
Running back DeAndré Washington
Washington’s case was similar to Hamilton’s, in that the Chiefs have liked him since his rookie season back in 2016.
“That one just kind of worked out where the more patient you are, sometimes people fall back to you,” said Veach. “DeAndré Washington was a guy we liked coming out. We were being cognizant of our cap and making sure we had enough flexibility to do things we wanted to do. But with running backs, that position last year, Damien Williams was hurt early in the season. Then (LeSean) McCoy got nicked up. Then Darrel Williams had his hamstring. Then we signed Spencer Ware and he got hurt. We had four running backs get hurt last year. You can never have enough of those guys that have talent and experience. The fact that he played with Pat (Mahomes) obviously didn’t hurt.”
Washington played with Mahomes at Texas Tech in 2014 and 2015.
“He’s a guy that can run, can catch, smart, great worker,” added Veach. “Again, just that experience we went through last year losing so many guys, we had an opportunity to add a player that is proven in this league and we jumped at that opportunity.”
Which of the four free agents will have the biggest impact on 2020?
This poll is closed
CB Antonio Hamilton
TE Ricky Seals-Jones
OL Mike Remmers
RB DeAndré Washington