As it stands now, the Chiefs will be without both Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Damien Williams in 2020, as both have opted out due to concerns over COVID-19.
At first glance, losing anybody is a negative, and every player coming back from the 2019 team is an advantage, especially given the circumstances of this offseason.
That being said, however, Brett Veach has done a phenomenal job of building a team full of depth. That showed in 2019 and is set up to show again in 2020.
Starting with the RB situation, a first glance looks bleak. Williams was the team’s leading rusher in 2019, and the back in second, LeSean McCoy just joined Tom Brady in Tampa Bay. Below McCoy, the only Chief who rushed for more than 200 yards is Patrick Mahomes.
The Chiefs obviously don’t need to rush for 150 yards a game, but a ground game would add another dimension to Andy Reid’s offense, and give defenses another thing to worry about when going up against Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins and Tyreek Hill.
While Veach wasn’t planning for opt-outs, he was planning for the future at running back when he picked Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the first round of this year’s draft. The opt-out of Williams will allow Edwards-Helaire to step into a large role in the offense. He has the potential to be a better back than Williams, and now will not have to battle for snaps with him.
In terms of RB2 and beyond, the Chiefs return Darrell Williams and Darwin Thompson, as well as adding DeAndre Washington in free agency. This group is plenty capable of stepping in and producing when needed.
Moving onto the offensive line, Duvernay-Tardif’s opt-out left a gap at guard. Seeing a spot open, Veach seemingly immediately hit the phone line and brought in Kelechi Osemele. Again, Osemele has the potential to be an upgrade if he can return to form of his All-Pro season in 2016.
Brett Veach had already earned an A+ for his 2020 offseason and is now only building on that success with Edwards-Helaire seemingly becoming RB1, and with his response to Duvernay Tardif’s decision to stay out this year.
If more players opt-out and seem to put the Chiefs at a disadvantage, I fully trust Veach to fill those voids if needed. He is after all one of the best executives in the league.