The Kansas City Chiefs finished the 2019-2020 season in style this past Sunday by bringing home the Lombardi Trophy for the first time in five decades. This accomplishment should not be overshadowed by anything this off-season, however the truth remains that the Chiefs now have a bigger target on their back than ever.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid: 'We'll be right back here' pic.twitter.com/EIV3F3pxMt
— 41 Action News (@41actionnews) February 5, 2020
Chiefs coach Andy Reid has already proclaimed a return to the Super Bowl next season and the pressure for general manager Brett Veach to make big moves this off-season may be mounting.
The reality is that the Chiefs can’t afford to get involved in large and costly moves this off-season, so the game plan for free agency has to be quite simple: retain and develop.
Sure, most fans and team personnel, alike, would love to keep as many players from a Super Bowl winning team as possible. But, it may be too unrealistic for a Chiefs team that heads into the off-season with a projected $19 million in cap space, per Spotrac.
Given that information and the need to keep stability within the organization, here’s an outline for success as it pertains to the in-house free agents for Kansas City.
Anthony Sherman, FB
This one should be too easy. Sherman has been a constant in this offense and is quite cost effeciant when it comes to his offensive and special teams productivity.
Projection: Signed to 1 year, $1.03 million deal
LeSean McCoy, RB
The end for “Shady” has arrived. After several weeks of turnovers during the mid stretch of the season, McCoy landed in Reid’s doghouse. Since Reid drafted McCoy during his tenure in Philadelphia, this had to be a reality check for the aged running back. His football smarts have clearly surpassed his skill as a football player and is not worth retaining this off-season.
Projection: Let walk, possible retirement
Chad Henne/Matt Moore, QB
Henne was a big deal coming to KC a couple years ago, as he was tasked with continuing the mentoring of Patrick Mahomes following Alex Smith’s departure. And, since then, he has done fairly well. However, an injury early on this past season required the Chiefs to bring in veteran quarterback Matt Moore, who led the Chiefs to a 2-1 record in Mahomes’ injury absence. If Moore is interested in continuing his NFL career, he has to be the preferred option here.
Projection: Henne walks and Moore signs 1 year, $1.03 million deal
Kendall Fuller, CB
Fuller came to the Chiefs as part of the Smith deal with Washington and has served well as a slot primary corner. This season he played quite well given the change of defensive schemes, but that assures him very little this off-season. Veach and Reid selected Rashad Fenton from South Carolina in the 2019 NFL Draft and actually preformed admirably from the slot and occasional outside corner spots. Fuller is simply a luxury that the Chiefs can’t afford.
Projection: Let walk
Demarcus Robinson, WR
Much like Chris Conley last off-season, Robinson has clearly grown in this offense overtime, but his fit is nowhere near the level of Tyeek Hill, Sammy Watkins, and Mecole Hardman. There’s simply not enough draw from Robinson’s contributions to spend any sort of real money on him, but he’s sure to land a good deal elsewhere.
Projection: Let walk
Bashaud Breeland, CB
Much like Fuller, Breeland played very well this season in Kansas City and should command some good money on the open market. But, Breeland may actually be a better bargain than Fuller, because the Chiefs simply don’t have an easy way to replace him unless they have faith in their options come Draft time.
Projection: Signed to 3 year deal, $9 million deal
Mike Pennel, DE
Pennel was quite the late blooming sensation among Chiefs fans this season. His big bodied ability to cause interior pressure on offenses was quite unheralded until the postseason, but proved invaluable to the Chiefs’ Super Bowl run and the revamp of KC’s defense. He must stay.
Projection: Signed to 2 year, $2 million deal
Chris Jones, DT
This off-season should experience some drama surrounding what happens with Chris Jones. When, in all reality, the smart choice is too simple. Jones is useful for any defense with his versatility and big play potential, but his price tag clouds these perks. The best way to handle the Jones situation is for him to land elsewhere, but the Chiefs should ensure that they don’t walk away with nothing in return.
Projection: Tag and trade to Washington for draft capital
Agree or disagree with my ChiefsTake’s? Let us know in the comments below or Tweet me @ChiefsTake!