Before the Kansas City Chiefs signed wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling on Thursday, the former Green Bay Packers wideout was reportedly fielding offers from three teams: the Chiefs, the Packers and the New Orleans Saints. But while speaking with reporters during his first Kansas City press availability on Friday, he said the Chiefs had only recently come into the mix.
"Kansas City really wasn't on my radar," he revealed to reporters. "My agent called me and said, 'Tyreek may be traded out of there. Would you be interested in hearing what they have to say?' And I said, 'Yeah. 100%!'
"I'd been talking to a bunch of teams for a week, just kind of weeding everything out [and] trying to make the best decision; [I was] doing a lot of praying about it. The opportunity came, and I said, 'Of course, I'd be interested. Love to play with Pat!'"
But for the former South Florida wideout, the decision wasn't just about being on the receiving end of passes from quarterback Patrick Mahomes. He has, after all, spent the first four years of his NFL career catching them from Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
"Obviously, me and Aaron have a great relationship," he acknowledged. "It was really tough to even walk away, because I still had that opportunity on the table: to go in and play with him for the rest of his career — whether that would be one year, two, three [years] or however long he decides to go in and play.
"I walked away from that opportunity and walked into one with a very similar quarterback. Obviously, talent-wise, they've both been MVPs [and] both won Super Bowls — so obviously both are [excellent] football players. I just think that having this opportunity to build something long-term with Pat is going to be life-changing."
And Valdes-Scantling (who was happy to explain to reporters that his first name is pronounced mar-KWEZ, not mar-KEZ or mar-KES) said it wasn't just about the money, either — even though the Chiefs had offered him more than either Green Bay or New Orleans.
"[The Chiefs are] doing a lot of great things — and they're competing for championships year-in and year-out," he noted. "I'd turned down a bunch of other deals for more money, because I didn't want to go and lose. I'm super-competitive, so it wasn't always about the money. That was a factor in why my decision hadn't been made for a week."
And for Valdes-Scantling, the team's success — and what he sees as its ideal fit for him — starts with the men at the top: head coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.
"Obviously, coach Reid has been successful for a very, very long time," he said. "[He's] one of the best offensive-minded coaches. Same with EB. I think that they've done a great job over the last four years that I've been in the league, having one of the top offenses year-in and year-out. So having a coach like that who can get the guys the ball is always important. He's figured out ways — no matter what coverage they're in — to get guys the ball. And that's huge."
Valdes-Scantling said that he's already been in contact with Mahomes.
"He called me as soon as I landed in Kansas City," he said of his new quarterback. "[He] told me how badly he wanted me out there. It was good to even just hear that. As soon as I signed, he was one of the first people to call me — to reach out and say how excited he was. And then we talked about possibly coming down to Texas and getting some throws in with him and some of the other guys. So that would be good to do."
Considering the size of the shoes he'll need to be filling in Kansas City, that won't just be good. That will be great.