While the rest of the AFC is stocking up, Kansas City has taken some backwards steps. Looking at why I'm worried and why it'll probably be OK.
I am even worried about one Chris Jones, who did precious little in the Bengals debacle. Seems he has issues turning it on when we really need him to, and that OL he was up against had just given up a boatload of sacks in previous games. So, it could be even worse than you describe on the DL.
Veach is going to show his true talent (or lack there of) now, with his back against the wall and his options limited. I don't doubt he can work his way out of the jamb, but he's certainly allowed things to deteriorate relative to the rest of the AFC West. Do you think there is little shot that they bring Ingraham back? That would surely help, and I'm guessing he liked playing for such a family oriented organization.
Thank you Seth. Chiefs Kingdom needed this article.
The public is panicking - Veach has a tough job and we yet to see player restructuring and where they go from there. So, okay. I just had a panic attack. I admit it.
I'd much prefer the Chiefs avoid signing any free agent WRs when they can easily snag one in rounds 1 or 2 of the draft who can be our 3rd option of the future. Same deal with CBs and Safeties -- there's plenty of good DBs in this draft class. But agree, it's time to panic about the DL, since it's traditionally difficult to find an instant impact DE or OLB outside of a top 15 pick. Danielle Hunter would be a game-changer, but, and this may not be a popular opinion, I'd rather hang onto the draft capital we'd need to give up for him and draft a WR like Pickens, London, Jameson, Watson, or Burks. Getting a stud WR on a rookie deal, given how much even mediocre WRs get paid nowadays, feels crucial. My recommendation would be to resign Ingram, sign Hicks, sign Patrick Peterson, and draft a DE or DT in round 1 or 2 (whichever you don't take a WR). Then draft another Safety with one of our 3rd rounders.
I appreciate you talking me down from the ledge. Why haven't they converted Mahomes' money to a signing bonus yet, or extended Tyreek? Is that what's slowing down FA for them, they simply have not made the moves to free up cap space? Or is it all a part of the master plan and I just need to relax? You've talked me off the ledge, for now, but I can still see it from where I am, and retain the right to walk back to it if need be!
Is nobody concerned about Frank Clark's pending court cases?
I'm also wondering how much of the Chief's lack of moves being the rest of the NFL overpaying so far in Free Agency.
Lets go through some of the players the Chiefs could and/or should have been attempting to sign:
Chris Godwin - franchise tagged so they never got an opportunity to offer, plus not sure they would have been willing to give him $20/mil a year anyway if he did become a free agent
Davante Adams - also tagged, and I again don't think they'd be willing to pay him $25+ mil/year
Von Miller - No way they were gonna pay him $20 mil for 6 years like the Bills. They might have been willing to do $20/3, but even that I'm skeptical of. Plus I'm not sure how Veach feels about paying for a 33 y/o edge rusher.
Randy Gregory - Don't think we would be willing to invest $70 million into a player who can't stay on the field either due to injury or drugs. Plus this last year was the first year he was even a starter.
Chandler Jones - I feel like we could have matched/gone slightly higher than $17/3, but he's also 32 and it's again possible Veach didn't want to commit to a player that old.
Za'Darius Smith - This is the one player I think we missed out on. Could have easily given him $40/4 years (or even a bit more) for a player that is easily superior to Clark and potentially much more. Maybe him being 30 at the start of the season matters that much? Could also be scared away from his back injury, those can be tricky.
Khalil Mack - I feel like I'm just repeating myself, but another past 30 y/o edge rusher whom we're unlikely to commit many dollars too long term. His contract seemed pretty friendly overall but I'm also not sure if Veach wanted to trade picks for him either.
J.C. Jackson - I've never got the impression that Veach is interested in paying top dollar for a CB. Maybe that changes this year or in the future but I never expected us to land him. Kind of a bummer he's in the division but whatever.
Christian Kirk - lmao
Mike Williams - I never thought we'd go after him but I did want to comment another LMAO for this one
At any rate, this is just a long winded way of me saying that it looks like Veach isn't willing to overspend for players, especially if they're over 30, and so if you take players over 30 off the board there aren't many obvious answers left. It's still possible we're still in the mix for Allen Robinson but I think it's wise to be patient until after the draft and see where we're at then. We could also (and I hope we do) still re-sign Ingram which would help I think, though he's ALSO over 30 so who knows!
I'm more concerned about the Chiefs winning in January and February rather than March. That said, feeling a touch unsettled.
In Veach I trust. He’s done EXACTLY what he said he’d do in each of the last 3 off seasons. Prior to ‘19 he rebuilt the defense. Prior to ‘20 he retained all the key players to “Run it Back”. And last year he overhauled the O-Line.
He may not be doing it on the timeline everyone wants, but I’d MUCH RATHER him be meticulous and get it right, than do it quick and overspend / get it wrong. As far as I know, we are still several months away from any meaningful games.
Do your thing Veach! Keep being a “wonder kid”. (Shout out to Ted Lasso…)
My concern is a little different, Seth.
Last off-season, Veach had went after the best LT in the business during the legal tampering period and went toe-to-toe with the 49ers to get him. The end result of the OL was the progression through B-Z after the failure of plan A.
But I think my biggest concern is that Patrick’s contract hasn't been restructured yet. It was a no-brainer move that both sides knew was coming and needed to be done. They likely understood the moves they’d be doing each off-season from the moment they agreed to terms, and yet it wasn’t done in a timely matter.
It's much easier to build a good IOL than to build a good pass rush. You mention where the chiefs were at this point last year, but are you not remembering how abysmal the defense was to start last year? Veach hasn't shown an ability to acquire DL talent. Ppl point to Trey Smith as a great pick but the Chiefs had Josh Kaindoh graded higher than Smith. I've been a broken record on this, but Veach has generally not invested heavily in key positions, and it's now showing. He's spent 1st/2nd round picks on LBx2, OC, FS, RB, and WR. We have major deficiencies at key positions (edge, CB particularly). We're feeling the repercussions for the 2018 draft and all the wasted picks (+ Clark trade). You can get a day 1 impact starter in the 2nd round at OC...not at edge.
As much as I dislike (read as: think the other AFC West teams got better) the moves of our rivals during FA, I'm not as high on the Raiders signing of Jones. I have not followed him closely over the years, but the big stat they like to throw out is his 10.5 sacks last year. I believe 5 of those came in one game towards the end of the season. Thanks to Seth I know there's more to success than just sacks but that move doesn't scare me as much as some of the other moves by the Chargers and Broncos.