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Positions where the Chiefs do NOT have a significant need this offseason

For 2023, Kansas City has needs some help at some positions — but not all of them.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

You’ve already read that for 2023, the Kansas City Chiefs have needs on the defensive interior — and at running back, offensive tackle, safety, wide receiver and EDGE.

But the beauty of being a Kansas City fan right now is that there are a few positions we can all but ignore this offseason. Sure... at any position, the Chiefs might make a late-round pick for depth or draft a guy for the future. They might even grab an inexpensive veteran for either of those roles. But for the world champions, there are some positions that won’t be the focus of the offseason.

While we should never say “never,” let’s take a look at what they could be.

Las Vegas Raiders v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

Interior offensive line: Kansas City might have the NFL’s best combination on the inside. Left guard Joe Thuney, center Creed Humphrey and right guard Trey Smith are all playing at Pro-Bowl (or All-Pro) levels — and are under contract for at least the next couple of seasons. Meanwhile, the team has been developing potential guard (or tackle) Darian Kinnard, whom we liked pretty well when he was drafted last season. The team could lose undrafted free agent Nick Allegretti, a valuable backup who could find a starting job elsewhere. That would open a spot for another developmental guy — but we shouldn’t expect a big investment.

Linebacker: The cornerstones are set — starting with Nick Bolton, who is among the league’s most proficient tacklers and is a recent Super Bowl hero. His teammate Willie Gay Jr. brings a different level of athleticism and playmaking ability when he’s on the field. Then there is up-and-comer Leo Chenal, who began working his way into the lineup late in the year — and made some really promising plays in the postseason. Restricted free agent Darius Harris could return as a reserve player — joining second-year undrafted free agent Jack Cochrane, who was a valuable special-teamer in 2022. For the coming year, it’s difficult to see the team making a significant investment in the defense’s second level.

Cornerback: One of the biggest storylines of last season was the rapid development of three rookie corners: first-rounder Trent McDuffie, fourth-round pick Joshua Williams and seventh-rounder Jaylen Watson. McDuffie already looks like a top-tier player — someone who can play outside or inside without worrying about matchups. Williams and Watson were used in rotation on the outside. Both had important interceptions in the playoffs to go along with coverage play that improved as the season (and postseason) went along. But will the Chiefs extend veteran L’Jarius Sneed’s contract? Even if few are talking about him, he has become a star. Sneed literally does everything — from matching up on an opponent’s best receiver to blitzing or covering the slot. Starting all 20 games last season, he had 108 tackles (75 solo, five for loss), three forced fumbles (and a recovery), three interceptions, 11 passes defended, 3.5 sacks and five quarterback hits. Entering his final year under contract, he’s a prime candidate for a contract extension. If that happens, this group is set for the foreseeable future. Some, however, have suggested Sneed could be traded — which would open the door for drafting another corner. But with what is known now, there isn’t a real need for the team to find upgrades over these four returning players.

NFL: AFC Divisional Round-Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Tight end: When you have the NFL’s best (and a future Hall of Famer) at a position, there’s just one question: How long will they be this good? We should stop asking this about Travis Kelce, who might have just finished his best season at the age 33. Someday he’ll retire — but when he does, there will be no replacing his contributions. But in Jody Fortson and Noah Gray, the Chiefs have some good complementary players. Both are young — and improving as blockers and receivers. Blake Bell could also return at a reasonable cost. This year’s draft is rich at tight end, so if the opportunity presents itself, it’s not out of the question that the Chiefs could select one — but early on, they’ll probably be looking elsewhere.

Specialists: In most years, this might be obvious. The Chiefs have an All-Pro punter, a reliable long snapper and a veteran kicker in whom they believe — and all are under contract (or at least team control) going into 2023. But it’s also true that in the past season, they went through some struggles with missed extra points and field goals. While the precise cause (or perhaps causes) remain unknown, the specialists seem to have pretty much worked them out before the Super Bowl. Harrison Butker is under contract through 2025, James Winchester has one more year and Tommy Townsend is a restricted free agent. Townsend could be tendered — although our own Jared Sapp thinks it’s more likely that he’ll get a long-term deal. Just don’t expect Kansas City to spend a draft pick on any of these positions in April.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback: Also an obvious choice — with another superstar (and future Hall of Famer) at the helm. So we shouldn't expect the Chiefs to make a big move at quarterback. In recent years, longtime veteran Chad Henne has been Patrick Mahomes’ backup. Now that he’s a free agent (who has also announced his retirement), Kansas City will likely add a low-cost veteran — unless they think third-year reserve Shane Buechele is ready to step up. But barring a catastrophe, it’s safe to say that the Chiefs are set at quarterback for the next decade.

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