Kansas City Chiefs: Now is the time to build a dynasty
A 2019 season that twisted and turned ended in glory for the Kansas City Chiefs. After Patrick Mahomes was helped from the field by the trainers against the Denver Broncos, the season looked to be over. However, the damage was not significant and Mahomes missed just two games. Their fortunes changed down the stretch. They beat the Patriots with some fortunate calls, then saw the Patriots stumble against the Dolphins in Week 17, handing them the #2 seed.
Even then things were not smooth sailing. They faced double-digit deficits in all three of their playoff games, but yet when the clock hit zero it was the Chiefs left celebrating each and every time. With an offensive core that is built to devastate and still two more years of cost control on Mahomes contract, the Chiefs have the chance put the foundations in place to turn one Super Bowl into the next potential dynasty.
General Manager: Brett veach
Head Coach: Andy Reid
The Chiefs have known nothing but success in the regular season under both their current GM and head coach. Since Reid took over the head coaching role, the Chiefs worst season saw them win nine games. They have won the division for the last four straight seasons and appeared in the last two AFC Championship Games. In the first five years under Reid, winning in the playoffs was a problem. Four appearances yielded just two wins, but that trend has been bucked with four playoff wins in the last two seasons alone. Overall, Reid has a 77-35 record in charge of the Chiefs, and now has a team that could be a Super Bowl challenger for multiple years.
Since being promoted to GM in 2017, Veach has returned nothing but success for the Chiefs. A large part of that was becoming the GM of a team that has Patrick Mahomes under centre. However, Veach has also made plenty of moves the last two years to push this team over the top. Reid will rightly get the majority of the plaudits for the Chiefs Super Bowl win, but Veach’s role in helping them finally win another Super Bowl should not be forgotten.
Cap Space: $13.7 millions
Cap space is not plentiful for the Chiefs right now, but you could argue it does not need to be. They have the large majority of their team under contract for 2020 already and they do not have many holes that need filling this offseason.
If they did want to open up more space then the obvious candidate is Sammy Watkins. As solid as Watkins is, he is not worth a $21m cap hit. Cutting Watkins could save $14m of that, which could be used to sign another mid-level receiver and add more talent to the defense as well. Beyond, Watkins there are not a lot players that could be considered cut candidates. The other players that could open up significant cap space are Travis Kelce, Eric Fisher, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Damien Wilson. Perhaps the most expendable pieces outside of Watkins are defensive end Alex Okafor ($3.2m) and safety Daniel Sorenson ($3.75m), but both are reasonably solid contributors on reasonable contracts, whose production may be hard to replace for the same price.
Impending Free Agents
The Chiefs actually have a few free agent headaches to deal with. Their star defensive lineman Chris Jones is set to leave this year and will command huge money. They will want to keep him, and they have the cap space. Veteran pass rusher Terrell Suggs is also set to leave after they claimed him on waivers during the season. At this stage in his career, the Chiefs are unlikely to offer Suggs a big deal to keep him.
At corner they have a few players heading to free agency in Bashaud Breeland, Morris Claiborne, and Kendall Fuller. None of those are worth retaining and the Chiefs will need to attack the position in free agency.
They have three players with club options in running back Damien Williams, tackle Cameron Erving and linebacker Damien Wilson. Williams contract is so minor given the impact he had in the postseason that I expect the Chiefs to keep him. Erving is a tough one, because his role was marginalised in 2019, starting just eight games. His cap hit is not huge, but ultimately he is a back up level offensive lineman, who they could free up $3.25m by releasing.
As for Wilson, he was solid without being spectacular. A cap hit of just over $5.3m is not significant, but they could open $4.5m up if they felt they could replace him adequately using that money.
Major Need: Defensive Line
This all depends on how they handle the situation with Jones. Expectations are that they will franchise him and look to work out a long-term deal. If they did decide to let him walk then they will need to fill a big hole in replacing him. They would also like to add a pass rusher opposite Frank Clark in an ideal situation.
Major Need: Cornerback
Three corners all heading for free agency makes it a major need to deal with this position. They may look to bring one of their free agents back for experience and then add some younger guys in the draft. However, they do have the cap space to target a different option in free agency.
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