A lot at stake, Part 1: What Chiefs players have the most to lose in 2022?
There are a lot of players with a lot at stake in 2022. Let's start with who has the most to lose in the upcoming season.
We’re getting close, people. Close to one of the most wonderful times of the year for football fans.
The Chiefs report to training camp starting on July 22 (rookies and QB’s), and the first “open” practice to the general public is a mere seven days away on July 28. And that is just… well, it’s fantastic news.
After an offseason of breaking down everything we can (from Trey Smith and L’Jarius Sneed’s 2021 seasons to figuring out if Brett Veach fixed the biggest problems on the roster to looking at every snap of Patrick Mahomes’ season and then contextualizing his greatness by charting Josh Allen’s divisional round snaps, and a much more), it’s time to start turning the page to 2022. And I cannot stress enough how much I love this point of the season for not just the Chiefs, but the NFL itself.
This time of year, every team is a contender. Every free agent signing is going to work out. Every young player will develop. Every older player will maintain (or revert back to) his highest level of play. New schemes and trickery from the coaching staff (or, for some teams, a new coaching staff) will confound opponents and maximize efficiency. This is the time of year for dreaming, and I’m totally here for it.
With that in mind, I’ve been thinking about the Chiefs who enter 2022 with a great deal on the line. And whether they have a lot to GAIN in 2022 or a lot to LOSE.
There’s a difference, I swear. Players who have a lot to gain are guys who likely have a certain “floor” to what their future looks like in terms of potential contract offers and team interest, whether that’s due to draft status, name, past performance, etc. Those guys have a lot to gain without having quite as much to lose, as they’ll still have options regardless of what occurs (within reason) in ‘22. On the other hand, there are players who, if 2022 doesn’t go well for them, stand to lose a great deal in terms of future options at the NFL level (from big money to starting jobs to even hanging on in the league).
With that in mind, I want to talk about 4 players on the roster who I believe have the most to lose/gain in this upcoming season depending on how it plays out for them (so 8 total). We’ll start with the group with the most to lose if they can’t show out strong in the upcoming season, starting with one that’s been talked about a lot.