Kansas City Chiefs Offseason: If I Were Brett Veachby Prime Time Sports Talk March 10, 2019 0 comments
Every March, NFL fans dream of their favorite team reeling in a big name free agent, pulling off a blockbuster trade, or uncovering the steal of the draft.
The 2019 league year officially begins on March 13th, and there is no better time than now to take a tour of the Kansas City Chiefs’ ideal offseason in a comprehensive, step-by-step plan that will fast-track a Lombardi Trophy back to Kansas City at the hands of Patrick Mahomes.
Step 1: Trade Justin Houston
By moving on from Houston, the Chiefs will free up $14 million in cap space. Houston has been a great player in his time with Kansas City, but his contract no longer makes financial sense. Moving on from Houston would bring the Chiefs to $17.97 million in total cap space.
Verdict: The Chiefs trade Justin Houston to the New York Jets for a 2019 4th-round pick (No. 105).
Step 2: Sign Landon Collins and Trey Flowers on March 13th
The New York Giants declined to tag Collins in a surprising move, while the New England Patriots do the most New England thing possible by letting a great player walk without skipping a beat. Both players are 25 years old and have connections to the Chiefs. Steve Spagnuolo and Dave Merritt coached Collins for the first three years of his career in New York; Brendan Daly oversaw Flowers each of his first four years in New England. Based off of the spotrac.com market values, signing these two players would bring the Chiefs to $7.18 million over the cap, assuming they receive the average in year one, just to keep things simple. It sounds impossible, but keep reading.
Verdict: The Chiefs sign Landon Collins to a five-year, $46.83 million contract with $28.5 million guaranteed, and Trey Flowers to a five-year, $78.9 million contract with $51 million guaranteed.
Step 3: Trade Dee Ford
With Trey Flowers signed, Dee Ford is expendable. Justin Houston was never going to be on the roster in 2019, so in hindsight, Ford for Flowers is not so bad. Flowers is three years younger and a much better fit for Spagnuolo’s 4-3 Under scheme. The Chiefs do not need to spend $15.44 million on Ford for 2019 to experiment with him to see if he can play a hybrid role on defense. By trading Ford, the Chiefs increase their cap number to $8.27 million.
Verdict: The Chiefs trade Dee Ford and a 2020 4th-round pick to the Indianapolis Colts for their 2019 1st- round pick (No. 26).
Step 4: Designate Eric Berry as a Post-June 1st Release
This one hurts quite a bit, as Eric Berry has given his all to the Chiefs. He has battled knee injuries, cancer, and an Achilles tendon tear in his time with Kansas City. Although Berry has the capability to play free safety at a high level, given his age and injury history, he would likely be relegated to strong safety duties, and that position has now been filled with a younger and more capable player in Landon Collins.
Verdict: Although the Chiefs will not receive this money until June 1st, it allows them to be flexible; at this point, they are sitting pretty with $17.81 million in cap space.
Step 5: Cut Ties with Safeties Eric Murray and Daniel Sorensen
With Landon Collins now in Kansas City, Armani Watts fully recovered from an injury he suffered in his rookie year, and with restricted free agent Jordan Lucas likely to return, Daniel Sorensen (post-June 1st designation) and Eric Murray can now pack their bags. This would save just over $5.7 million, bringing the cap space to $23.53 million.
Verdict: It is possible that they are traded, but for argument’s sake, let’s just assume they are released.
Step 6: Sign the In-House Free Agents
There are only a few players that the Chiefs will likely have interest in bringing back; Jordan Lucas (RFA), Harrison Butker (ERFA), Jordan Devey, Mitch Morse, Jeff Allen, Anthony Sherman, and Steven Nelson. Of those seven players, the Chiefs should bring back Lucas, Butker, and Allen. Sherman is a great guy and fullback, but his role no longer justifies significant money. Mitch Morse has been absolutely fantastic in Kansas City when healthy, but he should receive more money elsewhere. Finally, Nelson is probably looking for a fresh start elsewhere; he enjoyed the best year of his career, but his frustration in Kansas City was clear. The following contracts would bring the cap number to $18.45 million.
Verdict: The Chiefs re-sign Jordan Lucas to a two-year, $4.35 million contract with $3,500,000 guaranteed, Harrison Butker to a two-year, $3.85 million contract with $2.5 million guaranteed, and Jeff Allen to a one-year contract worth $980,000 contract with $750,000 guaranteed.
Step 7: Sign Bradley Roby
Roby is not a great corner, but he is a good corner who plays with physicality and would fit Spagnuolo’s scheme nicely. Over five seasons in Denver, he has combined to break up or intercept 67 passes to go along with seven forced fumbles in 79 games. In addition, he would likely be a cheaper option than Steven Nelson. Signing Roby to the following contract would bring the cap number to $9.7 million.
Verdict: The Chiefs sign Bradley Roby to a three-year, $26.25 million with $17.5 million guaranteed.
Step 8: Sign Javorious Allen
This is not a major addition, simply filling out the backfield with a good player that can compete with Damien Williams and Darrel Williams. Although the draft is loaded with talented running backs this year, it is just not necessary to spend a draft pick on one given that Damien Williams took over and dominated with 10 total touchdowns over the final six games of the season after Kareem Hunt was released. This would reduce available cap space to a little over $7 million.
Verdict: The Chiefs sign Javorious Allen to a two-year, $5.35 million contract with $2.85 million guaranteed.
Step 9: Pull Off the Perfect 2019 NFL Draft
Round 1, Pick 26) C Garrett Bradbury – NC State
Round 1, Pick 29) FS Nasir Adderley – Delaware
Round 2, Pick 29) DE Oshane Ximines – Old Dominion
Round 2, Pick 31) CB Amani Oruwariye – Penn State
Round 3, Pick 28) WR Andy Isabella – Umass
Round 4, Pick 3) TE Jace Sternberger – Texas A&M
Round 5, Pick 29) LB Josiah Tauaefa – UTSA
Round 6, Pick 28) DT Trysten Hill – UCF
Round 6, Pick 41) LB Gary Johnson – Texas
Round 7, Pick 2) CB Blace Brown – Troy
Step 10: Extend Tyreek Hill and Chris Jones
Last, and possibly most importantly, after working on these contracts all offseason long, the Chiefs and two of their most talented players reach agreements on contract extensions that will begin in 2020. This should not come as a surprise, as rumors have been swirling that the Chiefs are working to extend Hill and jones, and rightfully so. Back up the Brinks truck folks, because these folks are about to get paid the big bucks. The cap implications, if any, for 2019 would be unknown until the contracts are finalized.
Verdict: The Chiefs sign Chris Jones to a six-year, $114.6 million extension with $71 million guaranteed, and sign Tyreek Hill to a five-year, $93.8 million extension with $68 million guaranteed.