Kansas City has missed out on several big names in free agency, but there’s one move that can put them over the top.
It was just a few weeks ago that Chiefs fans were arguing if they wanted to sign Chris Godwin, Trent Williams, or Allen Robinson- all of which would no doubt take less to chase rings with Mahomes.
Fast forward to present day and Chiefs fans are panicking over Josh Reynolds and Desean Jackson. The Chiefs’ free agency hasn’t been a disaster by any measure – they’ve added two All-Pro/Pro-bowl level guards and brought back several of their own players. However, it still feels like the Chiefs have struggled to make themselves a better team since they got run off the field in Tampa Bay.
There is one move left the Chiefs could make in free agency that could still put the league on notice. For three years now, Kansas City has been able to overcome tremendous adversity by being such a dominant offensive force that nothing could stop them. But things have changed…
There is no more Sammy Watkins, Kareem Hunt, Damien Williams, Mitchell Schwartz. Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce aren’t getting any younger either. The Chiefs offense is on the verge of becoming good, not great. Which for most teams is acceptable, but for a team that is fairly average everywhere else on the field, it creates a problem. The Chiefs became one of the best teams in the league by being great on offense, so let’s keep it great.
Enter Mr. Big Chest/AB/ Antonio Brown.
Let’s start off with the obvious. Antonio Brown the person: it is well documented that AB has been an absolute mess since leaving the Steelers. He was almost traded to the Bills then refused, he then got traded to the Raiders where he got himself cut after signing a long-term deal.
Brown was cut for freezing his feet (??), refusing to wear an NFL-approved helmet, and racially insulting his general manager. And that’s just the Raiders training camp. He was then cut from the Patriots after sexual assault allegations were brought against him.
Following his release from the Pats, Brown found himself in more legal troubles. He was charged and arrested for battery and burglary after a domestic dispute. Needless to say, Antonio Brown has some baggage.
Here’s the thing, though. Antonio Brown probably isn’t the guy you want dating your daughter, but he doesn’t need to join your child’s scout troop he just needs to catch touchdowns. Look, if you’re one of those high and mighty fans who would refuse to cheer for Tyreek Hill (I’m sure you had no reaction during the wasp play) or any player or team that has legal issues- good luck finding an NFL team.
The Chiefs have several players that have some baggage, so dealing with high-risk players is nothing new to this coaching staff or locker room. It’s clear that a winning culture and strong QB play is part of what has kept Brown out of trouble since getting back in the league. All of which Kansas City can provide for him.
“BUT WHAT IF HE GETS IN TROUBLE AGAIN!?” You cut him. It’s that simple. No team in the NFL is giving AB a long-term deal with guaranteed money past this year. It’s been reported that the only team that has shown interest is the Buccaneers bringing him back on another “prove-it” deal.
If Kansas City can convince him to leave Tampa (not an easy task) it could be a low-risk high-reward move. The Chiefs just need to treat him like he’s never a guarantee; meaning they need to continue to invest in WR and look for other players to add to the roster. That way if he gets cut, it doesn’t destroy the offense.
Just remember that the current Chiefs roster is just a Tyreek Hill hamstring injury away from running out a wide receiving core of Mecole Hardman, Byron Pringle, and Marcus Kemp. That trio might be the worst in the NFL, honestly. AB would be incredible injury insurance and put the offense back into the elite tier.
Antonio Brown the player is still elite, he came into an offense with several dynamic pass catchers and still made a big difference. He basically accumulated Mecole Hardman’s season stats in just 8 games (483 yds and 4 TD). Brown was PFF’s 16th overall wide receiver in 2020 and that’s coming into the middle of a season.
Brown still has plenty left in the tank and could play in the slot or on the outside for the Chiefs. Though he is 32 years old he has such excellent route-running skills that he is still able to separate at an elite level. Adding AB to the Chiefs offense instantly puts them back to the 2018 level of dominance (assuming they get a competent LT).
We are living in an era of football we’ve never seen before, Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks are seeking trades despite throwing 40 TD’s last season. The age of player empowerment is here and players are getting more and more outspoken about their wants as a player.
The Chiefs are fully invested in Mahomes and have already some steps to not end up like the Seahawks by adding Joe Thuney and Kyle Long. Investing in AB is also investing in Mahomes’ long-term happiness here in Kansas City, which is ultimately what matters most.