When the NFL Draft concluded on Saturday evening, Tom was ready with a list of the Kansas City Chiefs’ winners and losers from 2020’s virtual edition.
Darwin Thompson, Darrel Williams and DeAndre Washington: Before the draft, all of these players might have been regarded as locks to make the final 53. However, the selection of Clyde Edwards-Helaire threw a spanner in the works. This is the camp battle we will all be keeping an eye on, as we expect these three players to be fighting for the third and fourth spots in the running back room.
By Sunday morning, Kent had whipped up top-level takeaways on all six players the Chiefs had selected.
We’ve been calling Edwards-Helaire the perfect fit at running back for the Chiefs for a long time. He’s a special pass catcher for a running back with a diversified route tree and natural hands. He’s tough between the tackles with good contact balance. He has outstanding vision and great lateral agility to pair with it. Looking at the totality of the draft class should make those concerned about the value argument surrounding early running backs (I’m part of that group) feel a lot better. It wasn’t going to take much to talk to me into Edwards-Helaire after the fact — he was one of 20 “My Guys” for me in the KC Draft Guide. I love the player.
But the Chiefs were still hard at work. By early afteroon, we had word of 18 undrafted free agents the Chiefs had acquired.
Sunday afternoon also gave us Chiefs general manager Brett Veach’s annual draft postmortem.
“We stayed aggressive all weekend long even though we didn’t do trades in the first two days,” he said in his opening statement, “but you guys knew I had to sneak one in there at the end.”
It wasn’t just because Veach was simply itching to make a trade. It was also because one of the players the Chiefs had identified as a target — Tulane cornerback Thakarius “BoPete” Keyes — was about to be picked by another team.
“We were very confident that BoPete Keyes would have been drafted,” Veach explained. “In fact, his agent texted me with a text message from another team — I won’t say the team — but he was going to go, I think, four or five picks later.”
On Monday, John took a final overview of the draft.
Make no mistake: Damien Williams did a solid job as the starter. His work in both the 2018 postseason and the Super Bowl run is especially noteworthy; he played a significant role in the team’s success in both playoff runs — particularly in Super Bowl LIV. But Williams just wasn’t the explosive every-down threat that Kareem Hunt had represented.
Williams got the job done. But the Chiefs were seeking someone who could do more. Clyde Edwards-Helaire looks like the guy who could do exactly that.
Before most of us had a chance to gulp down any coffee on Tuesday morning, we were faced with a new reality: the Chiefs without punter Dustin Colquitt. In the early morning hours, Tom broke the news.
Colquitt was due to make $2.65M in 2020 — by releasing him the team saves $2M in cap room.
The Chiefs had flirted with the idea of releasing Colquitt for a season or two, often welcoming punter competition during training camp. Thankfully, he held onto his job long enough to be a part of a Super Bowl-winning team — something his tenure in Kansas City certainly deserved.
The ever-reliable punter holds the franchise record for punting yards (50,393), and more importantly appearances (250, including playoffs). His departure means that no one from the team that Andy Reid inherited in 2013 remains on the roster.
By Tuesday afternoon, Craig had assembled a summary of the the Chiefs’ options at punter
But that wasn’t Tuesday’s only roster news. We learned of two more releases to get the team down to the 90-man offseason roster limit.
The Kansas City Chiefs waived running back Marcus Marshall and defensive lineman Anthony Lanier on Tuesday, according to the NFL’s official transaction report.
Marshall, 23, signed with the Chiefs after trying out last year at the Chiefs’ rookie minicamp. Marshall spent time on the Chiefs’ practice squad last season before being waived in October. He signed a reserve-futures deal in January and was activated in early February only to be waived.
Lanier, 26, signed a reserve-futures deal with the Chiefs in early January. He originally entered the league as an undrafted free agent with the Washington Redskins in 2016. Lanier has appeared in 15 games but not since 2017.
Then early on Tuesday evening, there was a thunderbolt about one of the Chiefs’ starting cornerbacks.
According to a report published by ESPN’s Adam Teicher, Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Bashaud Breeland was arrested in York County, South Carolina on Tuesday — and is now facing multiple charges.
Breeland, 28, faces charges of resisting arrest, having alcohol in a motor vehicle with the seal broken, having an open container of beer or wine in a motor vehicle, possession of 28 grams or less of marijuana or 10 grams of hash, and driving without a license.
Teicher reported that the Chiefs said they were “aware of the situation” but would have no further comment.
On Wednesday, Kent reviewed the film on the Chiefs’ first-round draft pick.
Edwards-Helaire is going to add a ton of value to the Chiefs passing game — especially with all the weapons he’ll have around him. Kansas City’s offense forces defenses to defend more blades of grass than any team in the NFL, so Edwards-Helaire will be operating against lighter boxes in the run game and vertically stretched defenses, allowing him to work underneath in the passing game.
Just because the Chiefs invested significantly in the running back position doesn’t mean they’re all of a sudden going to start running the ball more. Hunt never broke 30 carries in Kansas City. I do anticipate an RPO-heavy offense at the Chiefs dialed them up in 2018.
Reid can drop Edwards-Helaire in the offense and call anything he wants at any time. The rookie running back will never have to leave the field if Reid so chooses. That is a valuable asset for the play-caller — you’re never tipping your hand based on what back is in.
Meanwhile, Stags gave us quick rundowns on all 18 of the Chiefs’ undrafted free agents.
It wasn’t surprising that it hardly took a day for video of Breeland’s arrest in South Carolina to surface — nor was it a shock that it came through TMZ. We brought you the video — and reaction from the head coach.
“What we’re going to do with this, we’re just going to let the law enforcement part of it take its course. Let’s see what exactly went on with the situation. I know there’s video out there. I’ve seen the video. I’ve talked to the kid. Let’s find out what the base of this thing was — and what caused everything to take place. I’m curious to see that part — as we all are, I think — and then we’ll evaluate it from there. We’ve always done this. We’ve always let law enforcement kind of take it — and then we go from there.”
On Friday, we brought you the highlights of an emotional local radio interview with the former Chiefs punter.
“As someone who enjoys literature and books and all that stuff, it would have been fun to go through a training camp battling against a young kid and be like, ‘All right. Dude, it’s yours. I guess you’re better.’ But that’s dangerous. Kansas City knew that, so they said, ‘Look, we’re going to give you the opportunity to be on another team. Financially, we’ve moved on from our obligation.’ Sometimes that’s OK. That’s respected. I think they said, ‘You know, we’re probably never going to be able to physically beat you out of this organization, so we’re going to give you an opportunity to latch with somebody else and help them.’ So I’m appreciative of that, too.”