Opinion

Three Chiefs players that must be released this offseason

With the offseason officially beginning, it is time to decide on who should move on from this franchise and set out on future endeavors. Here are three Chiefs players that should be moving on from the Chiefs:

As the atrocious thoughts of Super Bowl LV come to a close, it’s time for the Chiefs to look forward to next season. The offseason has officially begun; it’s time for teams from all over the league to revamp their rosters appropriately. One of the first things on that agenda is to release/cut players that are no longer needed for their organization as it will grant said teams, like the Chiefs, more money to throw upon hot free agent targets or resign players that the Chiefs want to keep.

For the Chiefs, there are a few players that must walk the tightrope this season. Let’s break down the top-three players the Chiefs must drop as soon as they possibly can for them to improve, and shoot for yet another Super Bowl run:

3. Ben Niemann, LB

If there’s one player that fans can unanimously agree on dropping, it would be good ole Niemann. Niemann came into the league as a UDFA in 2018 and worked his way up to have a serviceable role in the Chiefs’ defense. He has played his fair share of snaps this season, and it seems as though the coaching staff trusts him; however, he has not lived up to any expectations.

Let’s start with his coverage stats. In 22 targets thrown into his zone, 18 of them were caught, yielding an 81.8% completion percentage; additionally, he has allowed 231 receiving yards with 115 of them being after the catch, two touchdowns, and 12.8 yards per completion. This capitulated a 140.7 passer rating when the ball is thrown his way; for reference, the perfect passer rating is 158.3. As you can see, he’s not the best in coverage.

Well, what about in the pass rush? Niemann has brought upon the blitz 79 times this season, which is great sample size; sadly, he only had one sack, five pressures, three QB knockdowns, and one hurry. Compared to other linebackers on the team like Hitchens and Gay (who had a very small sample size with 19 blitzes), they have done a better job with less time blitzing than Niemann has done with his count.

It’s time to cut ties with Niemann and bump up Gay. His contract expires this year, so this would be a painless release that the Chiefs can do. Another team will pick him up somewhere along the line, maybe as a backup as he’s not fit to start.

2. Andrew Wylie, OT

Wylie has been on the team since 2017 and he made his way from the practice squad to the starting lineup. This season, he has played 88% of offensive snaps for the Chiefs this year, so it’s a somber heartfelt tale of a play coming from the ground up. However, the Chiefs have to revamp their offensive line if they want to compete for another Super Bowl; it starts by releasing Andrew Wylie.

His poor blocking was shown specifically in Super Bowl LV when faced up against Shaquil Barrett and the rest of the Bucs defensive line. If you watched the game, you saw how atrocious that blocking was; Wylie allowed Barrett to have one sack along with four QB hits. He also allowed nine pressures. He was also talking smack all game as per Barrett:

Wylie, you should be the last one talking when you’re putting up stats like that.

During his tenure as a Chief, he has been beat times and times on end no matter if he’s playing tackle or guard. If you’ve watched your fair share of Chiefs’ games, there were many times he was beaten either in the run and/or pass blocking, which resulted in yards lost, a QB hit, etc. He says in his Twitter bio that “my Madden rank does not define me”; his rating is a 69. I think that rating suits him well.

Wylie will be an unrestricted free agent (RFA) this season; if you don’t know what an RFA is, it’s is a player with three accrued seasons (playing in at least six games a year) who has an expiring contract. The team can tender them a new deal or not tender, or sign, them to a new deal. The Chiefs should do the latter.

1. Sammy Watkins, WR

Where do we begin with you, Sammy? You’ve been here since 2018, and you haven’t shown much coming into this season. This year, he was on a sweet one-year, eight million dollar deal, and as the WR2 for the Chiefs, here’s what he had to show for it in 2020-21:

  • 11 games played (includes postseason; missed eight games)
  • 37 catches for 421 yards
  • Two touchdowns
  • 11.4 yards per catch
  • Averaged 42.1 yards per game in the regular season
  • Missed key games (AFC Divisional and Championship)
  • Had one catch for 13 yards in Super Bowl LV

He has not put up the stats becoming of a #2 WR being paid eight million this year as listed above. To say he’s underperformed for the price tag is an understatement. I wrote a column about whether or not the Chiefs should resign him, and the odds in not resigning are in favor. He’s been injury-prone most of his time here, missing 14 regular-season games in his time in KC and he always finds his way on the injury report.

There will also be talent in the offseason in the free-agent market at the WR position. Some of the key names include Chris Godwin, Allen Robinson II, and Kenny Golladay. If the Chiefs were to release him with everyone listed above, along with rearranging some contracts (like Clark), they’d have ample resources to sign one of these receivers who would be better suited than Watkins.

Even if the Chiefs don’t sign one, the Chiefs have depth with the speedster in Hardman and the diamond in the rough with Pringle. The draft is also a place to find another receiver to take his place; there will be a decent amount of interesting prospects out there.

He’ll be a free agent that season; the Chiefs shouldn’t resign him unless they can sign him for the veteran minimum, but that would still be too high-risk. Good luck in your future endeavors Watkins.

Un-honorable mentions:

Normally, it would be honorable, but it’s not honorable to be placed on this list. Here are a few players that need to set sail as well:

  • Demarcus Robinson, WR
  • Mike Remmers, OT
  • Nick Keizer, TE

Who do you think should be released this offseason? Leave a comment down below to join the discussion. Thanks for reading, and have a fantastic day. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @HunterStanton8.

4 comments

  1. Couldn’t agree more with these three. I would also let Thompson and Bell walk. We don’t need 75 running backs. The Williams boys can handle carries behind Prince Helaire.

  2. Carolina ran Remmers out of town after that embarrassing SB L. (No pun intended…) I think after what we saw in SB LV, it’s time to part ways with him. That was awful…

  3. I agree with most of this and about the running back drops in the comments. I am not a Hardman fan, but we have him cheap for another year so whatever. My problem with him is he will not fight for the ball. I would rather see his targets go to Pringle!

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