Kansas City Chiefs: Reviewing Free Agency Moves

Kansas City Chiefs: Reviewing Free Agency Moves

by March 23, 2019 3 comments

The first wave of the free agency has come to an end.

It has been a busy week in the NFL, with the usual, constant changes of the offseason. Kansas City was no exception to this pattern.

With so many new faces, it is hard to keep track of every player, and as general manager Brett Veach said just last week, the work is far from over.

First of all, it is not uncommon for reserve/future signings to make a major impact on the roster. The best example is last season reserve-signing offensive tackle Andrew Wylie who played in all 16 games and won the Chiefs’ Mack Lee Hill Award as the team’s rookie of the year.

In addition, the Chiefs also signed six players to contracts before the beginning of the new league year on March 13. Among them are quarterback E.J. Manuel, wide receiver Sammie Coates or the running back Carlos Hyde. The addition of Hyde gives the Chiefs a little more depth in the backfield.

Which players will perform better?

Manuel and Hyde are the most accomplished players in terms of NFL production, but all the signed players will create some healthy competition for when the team starts organizing some activities in a few weeks.

Once the new league year rolled around on March 13, players with expiring contracts were able to sign elsewhere. Kansas City made four additions, signing the following four players: safety Tyrann Mathieu, linebacker Damien Wilson, defensive end Alex Okafor, and cornerback Bashaud Breeland.

Mathieu, called the “catalyst” by general manager Brett Veach, was the first major move to rebuild a poor defense. He’ll most likely start at free safety. But given his versatility, Mathieu could also be asked to play strong safety or center field.

By releasing Justin Houston and trading Dee Ford, the Chiefs got rid of two excellent pass rushers who combined 22 sacks last season. Nonetheless, they put more trust in Chris Jones to generate the inside pressure. Okafor won’t replace either Houston or Ford, but he’s shown an ability to be strong in stopping the run, which was one of the Chiefs’ weaknesses last season.

After signing Mathieu, the Chiefs’ biggest secondary need was at cornerback. With the departure of Steven Nelson in free agency, the Chiefs needed another starting-caliber cornerback with veteran experience. Breeland perfectly fits the description and was already close to a deal last year.

Brett Veach has a plan…

The Kansas City Chiefs front office let go, in one way or another, several pieces of last year’s 12-4 team. One thing is sure, the Chiefs staff is serious this offseason by making very difficult choices letting go veterans and fan favorites such as Ford, Houston, and Berry. The puzzle of the KC defense has been torn up and slowly but surely put back together with new players.

Brett Veach looks like a chess player this offseason, keeping in mind that the goal at the end of the road is the Super Bowl. However, even if the defense seemed to be the most important part to rebuild, the Chiefs have also made some good moves on the offensive side of the ball.

However, the Chiefs have lost some power rankings after those moves, as some of them were surprising for many. Not only did he let Steven Nelson go, but he also let tight end Demetrius Harris, center Mitch Morse, and wide receiver Chris Conley, among others, walk in free agency.

As he made those decisions, he also brought on board players who figure to play key roles in 2019.

So far, recruiting new players has not been terribly hard. Steve Spagnuolo, Andy Reid’s handpicked replacement to Bob Sutton, is smart enough to know they need to rebuild the team during the “cheap years” of Mahomes and the window is tight. And with what Veach has done so far in free agency, Spagnuolo has a pretty good defense to play with.

Let’s see what Veach, Reid, and the rest of the Kansas City front office can manage with the duration of free agency. What will be their next moves? Another strong tight end? Another cornerback? It will be interesting to see what news comes out of this week.

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