The NFL offseason is in full swing, and with the Kansas City Chiefs losing in the Super Bowl, the focus has quickly shifted to how they can address areas of need so that they can return to the big game for the third season in a row.
Our Ron Kopp investigated five Chiefs’ position of need.
Second wide receiver
The Chiefs need a more reliable option for their second wide receiver — and they need it immediately. As of right now, the only two returning wide receiver contributors from 2020 are Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman; re-signing restricted free agent Byron Pringle isn’t enough for 2021.
They need a bigger-bodied, short-to-intermediate area playmaker at receiver — similar to a healthy Sammy Watkins — and drafting one wouldn’t be a safe bet for short-term impact. Although the 2020 rookie wide receiver class was top-to-bottom impressive, it won’t be like that every draft — especially where the Chiefs are selecting. The immediately-capable players get picked closer to the top of the first round.
It would be smart for the Chiefs to invest in a receiver sometime in the draft, but they can’t expect to find a go-to, third receiving option for 2021. I believe that needs to come from a veteran, free agent signing — hopefully on a team-friendly contract.
Verdict: sign a free agent
Free agency begins a couple of weeks from this writing — on March 17. With that being the case, free agents-to-be are starting to be connected to teams, including one of the better cornerbacks in the game who has been connected to the Chiefs in the past.
NFL Network’s Peter Schrager listed three reasons that free agent-cornerback-to-be Patrick Peterson is a “perfect fit” for the Kansas City Chiefs on the Tuesday morning edition of “Good Morning Football. The 30-year-old Peterson has spent all 10 years of his career with the Arizona Cardinals.
Schrager said that 1) the Chiefs are always looking to add top talent, 2) he has familiarity with safety Tyrann Mathieu (both at LSU and with the Cardinals) and 3) Bashaud Breeland is an unrestricted free agent.
Once the first days of free agency are wrapped up, attention will shift to who the Chiefs may take in the NFL Draft. Right now, Kansas City is projected to have eight picks in the draft.
In the poll in this post, 43% of you said the Chiefs will use six of their eight projected picks after signature Brett Veach trade-ups.
The numbers from rounds four to six are not currently known, as the NFL has yet to announce its compensatory picks. The compensatory rounds begin at the conclusion of round three.
According to Over The Cap, the Chiefs are projected to have two additional picks — a fourth-rounder stemming from defensive back Kendall Fuller signing with Washington and a fifth-rounder stemming from Emmanuel Ogbah signing with the Miami Dolphins.
Despite winning the AFC title, the Chiefs have some pretty obvious holes that reared their ugly head in the Super Bowl loss to the Buccaneers. When reviewing the roster, it is clear to see that one of those needs is at No. 2 tight end, so it makes sense that the Chiefs have been in “consistent contact” with Miami’s Brevin Jordan.
Our Kent Swanson weighed in:
The interest in Brevin Jordan is interesting from a Chiefs perspective. He isn’t a direct replacement for someone like a Nick Keizer or Deon Yelder. Jordan is not the same level of in-line blocker that the Chiefs have recently employed at TE2; in fact, it’s far from a strength. He’s a dynamic pass-catcher and route-runner — a chess piece that provides versatility and immense upside as a viable offensive weapon. The talent is undeniable with Jordan — but I’m curious what that means for the outlook of the offense moving forward if they have heavy interest in a move tight end — especially considering Travis Kelce is already the most dynamic player at his position.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper came out with his second mock of the offseason this week, and in it, he had the Chiefs selecting a left tackle at No. 31. It is certainly a position of need.
Despite the welcomed good news from right tackle Mitch Schwartz on Wednesday, the Chiefs ought to continue on with their offseason plans as they were, almost assuming that Schwartz won’t be ready. In an ideal situation, Schwartz is back, fully recovered and shores up a tackle position, but the game’s history has shown that back injuries, in particular, come with unpredictable and unreliable recovery results.
Add Eric Fisher’s late-season Achilles tear into that mix, and the Chiefs bolstering the tackle position could be considered priority No. 1 this offseason. In Kiper’s mock, the Chiefs select 21-year-old Walker Little.
The offseason is the perfect time of the year to take athlete’s official Twitter accounts way too seriously. That is why we made note of Patrick Mahomes and JJ Watt joining forces to call out the “form police” on Friday.
Watt’s a free agent for the first time in 10 years, and you just never know.
Meanwhile, Watt said he nor his representation has revealed anything to anyone, according to “The Pat MacAfee Show.”
Could the Chiefs be a surprise dark horse?
Somewhat remarkably, LeSean McCoy is the only person on the planet to earn two Super Bowl rings in a row over the past two years. In addition to the championships, it gave McCoy a bird’s-eye view of two of the game’s best quarterbacks — Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady.
McCoy on what makes Brady and Mahomes different
“They both lead, but they lead differently. I think Pat leads more with his abiliities. There’s times when we may me down, and it’s looking bad. We may be down 20-someting points, and he turns it on. He spins out of tackles, reversing field, throwing it 70 yards, making the guys always believe.
“And Tom is more like — he talks, but he doesn’t yell much. But when he yells and he talks, everybody listens. He demands the respect, and you believe him. I told somebody before that Tom Brady’s the only player I ever played with — if he’s says one thing, ‘Like hey, go walk on the water, you won’t drown.’ I believe him. He has that effect... it’s true though. Some of the guys look around in his eyes, ‘Like wow, I really believe this guy.’ I could see why the Patriots were so succesful for so long. You could see it.”
No better way to end the week for Chiefs fans than with this story.
On a recent episode of “Peyton’s Places” on ESPN+, Manning recounted his trip to Arrowhead Stadium for this year’s Divisional round between the Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns.
“I actually took my kids to the Chiefs-Browns game a couple weeks ago, sat up there with Eric Stonestreet, that’s Cam from ‘Modern Family,’ who basically looks like Andy Reid, I have to admit. My kids are decked out in Chiefs jerseys,” admitted Manning, per Mayer. “They got (Patrick) Mahomes on, they got Tyreek Hill. (When) your kids are wearing Chiefs jerseys, you’ve just got to suck it up.”