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How to handle 3 of the Chiefs’ upcoming free agents

On Monday’s Out of Structure podcast, we used the bye week to look into future offseason decisions.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

On the latest episode of the Arrowhead Pride Out of Structure podcast, we answered questions submitted from you on Twitter — topics ranged from Thanksgiving food to the outlook of the 2021 Kansas City Chiefs.

(Listen to the podcast above or by clicking here. It is also available on Spotify).

Since we didn’t have a game to react to, we decided to look even further in the future than the rest of this season. We peeked at the list of upcoming Chiefs’ free agents and picked out three to highlight.

We decided to sign a player, let a player walk or negotiate a low-ball offer with each of the three players we discussed:

Byron Pringle

Over this four-game win streak, Pringle has established himself as the No. 2 wide receiver in the offensive rotation: he has 25 more snaps than every other receiver, excluding Tyreek Hill in that stretch.

Pringle shouldn’t be the long-term answer for a second wide receiver — but that doesn’t mean the team should let him walk in free agency. If he is retainable with a short-term, inexpensive deal, his ability to play a specific role — on offense and special teams — is significant enough to secure.

However, if Pringle continues to be featured in an improving Chiefs offense, he could demand more money from a competing team on the open market. Either way, the Chiefs should consider re-signing Pringle.

Verdict: Negotiate low-ball offer

Charvarius Ward

If Ward continues to play at the level he has in the recent stretch of wins, he could be one of the most coveted free agent cornerbacks on the open market. The 26-year-old has shown legitimate improvement in his coverage skills this year.

Knowing how general manager Brett Veach handles the cornerback position, it’s hard to see Ward getting the long-term contract he’s likely — and rightfully — seeking from the Chiefs. Veach’s strategy to invest a small amount in the cornerback position has worked so far in his tenure.

Plus, other young secondary members such as safety Juan Thornhill and cornerback L’Jarius Sneed will likely be more significant priorities to sign in the upcoming years.

Verdict: Let him walk

Orlando Brown Jr.

So far this season, Brown has proven that he’s a dominant force as a run blocker — while also showing that he has plenty of room for improvement as a pass protector. It has gotten better as the year has gone on.

By the end of this entire season, he will likely have proven enough for the team to sign long-term before 2022 — even if he is franchise-tagged initially. The 25-year-old has the pedigree and the expressed motivation to continue improving and refining his skills.

On top of all that, signing Brown would give the Chiefs a stretch of at least three future seasons with all five starting offensive linemen signed. It can’t be understated how vital that continuity can be for quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the offense.

Verdict: Sign him

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