With the Chiefs aiming to #RunItBack, one thing that General Manager Brett Veach has orchestrated this offseason is the Chiefs cap situation, going from $171 in March to $13,921,310 right now. But eventually, the cap will catch up with Veach and the Chiefs, leading to the Chiefs to look towards cheaper contracts, with players at key positions likely to depart down the line. Here are three under-the-radar NFL non-stars that could be future Chiefs in the next couple of years.
Cornerback is the weakest position group for the Chiefs at the moment, and while there are some promising faces there right now like Charvarius Ward and Rashad Fenton, the Chiefs will most likely look to add another starting cornerback in the next few years.
In comes Chidobe Awuzie, a young and talented corner going into his fourth year with the Cowboys and who is a very underrated coverage threat. According to PFF, Awuzie had the 4th best-forced incompletion % among CBs in 2019. The former second-round pick’s playstyle has a lot of traits the Chiefs typically like at corner and could snag him for a cheaper deal depending on how 2020 goes.
This could become a reality too. Awuzie is entering his “contract year” and is part of a Cowboys team that is stacked at CB with very little cap space left. If Awuzie has a decent 2020, he could easily cash out with a team like the Chiefs for a low-risk, high-reward contract.
Similarly to CB, the LB positions on the Chiefs long-term aren’t very clear. With Damien Wilson set to be a free agent after the season and Anthony Hitchens being a potential cap casualty in 2021, the Chiefs could use another versatile LB to stop the run opposite of Willie Gay’s pass defense.
Raekwon McMillan is the man for that job. After missing his rookie season due to injury, his last two seasons have been very up and down for the Dolphins. What he lacks for in coverage skills he regains in his run-stopping and tackling abilities. McMillan learned all three linebacker positions, and could easily slot into the SAM and MIKE roles for the Chiefs
His future with the Dolphins is also uncertain. Also going into a “contract year,” McMillan’s performance in 2020 will dictate how much the Dolphins want to invest in him. He’s been underused so far in new HC Brian Flores’ system, and the former second-rounder could be signed for cheap to get a bit of a change in scenery.
This last guy is a tough one to sell, but if we’re talking under-the-radar WRs, Greg Ward makes that list. Born in the same town as Patrick Mahomes, Ward was a quarterback turned wide receiver in college who’s role with the Eagles is in clear jeopardy.
The Eagles drafted three wide receivers in 2020, and paired with DeSean Jackson with former second-round pick JJ Arcega-Whitesid3, along with the eventual return of Alshon Jeffrey, there isn’t much room for Ward in the long run.
The Chiefs are set to lose Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robison to free agency this offseason and could look at the underrated Ward as a solid, route running receiver that can catch well and would sign for cheap. Maybe the Texas connection with Mahomes will also earn him some brownie points.
Overall, it’s very hard to predict the future, and Brett Veach is one of the smartest general managers when it comes to team building. Being a former scout, Veach has carefully crafted this Super Bowl-winning roster to his liking and has his own vision for the team. With the minds of Andy Reid, Steve Spagnuolo, Eric Bieniemy, Dave Toub, and Brett Veach, we shouldn’t be too concerned!