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Necessary Roughness

Necessary Roughness: This off-season could make or break Brett Veach

With all of the big splash moves and huge contracts dealt by the Chiefs’ General Manager, the 2020 season might define his legacy.

Chiefs General Manager Brett Veach is riding high these days. He’s entering his fourth season as the team’s general manager, he has never seen a losing season as GM, and he is fresh off of the Chiefs’ Super Bowl run. To top things off, he just locked in his franchise quarterback for the next 12 years. That’s not a bad three-year stretch. However, this fourth year could be the year that truly begins to cement Brett Veach’s legacy, good or bad.

Brett Veach took over as the Chiefs general manager after Clark Hunt and previous general manager, John Dorsey, parted ways in the summer of 2017. This was after the 2017 draft and free-agency period, so Veach was not the GM when the Chiefs selected Patrick Mahomes with the 10th overall pick that year. Veach’s first draft came in 2018 when he selected Breeland Speaks, Derrick Nnadi, Armani Watts, Tremon Smith, and Kahlil McKenzie. The only real contributor from this class has been Nnadi, and Smith and Mckenzie are no longer with the team. In his first free-agency period with the team, Brett Veach was able to bring in Damien Williams and Sammy Watkins, who were both big factors in last season’s Super Bowl victory. However, he also gave Anthony Hitchens a five-year, $45 million deal which has been one of the worst contracts in Veach’s tenure as GM.

His second draft was a lot better than the 2018 draft class. He selected Mecole Hardman and Juan Thornhill, who were both playmakers at their respected positions. He also picked Khalen Saunders, Rashad Fenton, Darwin Thompson, and Nick Allegretti, all of whom played some role in the 2019 season. As far as free agents go, he made some big moves by trading for Frank Clark and signing Tyrann Mathieu and Bashaud Breeland, but Carlos Hyde (who ended up getting cut in the preseason and signing with the Texans) and LeSean McCoy were both misses.

This past offseason may be where Brett Veach earns his money. Some scoffed at the idea of the Chiefs selecting running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the first round, but with Damien Williams opting out of the 2020 season, that pick is looking more and more like a genius move. Willie Gay Jr. looks like a guy that can be a day one contributor, while Lucas Niang, L’Jarius Snead, Michael Danna, and Thakarius “Bopete” Keyes could provide some depth for this season. Depth guys were also added in free agency this year. Mike Remmers has started all over the offensive line during his 8-year career. Taco Charlton is a former first-round pick that will add depth to an already stout defensive line. Tedric Thompson will help fill in at the safety spot while Juan Thornhill is on the PUP list. However, the biggest moves of free agency this year were actually in house.

Brett Veach shocked the entire sports world when it was announced that Patrick Mahomes had signed a 10-year extension that could be worth over $500 million. It is the largest contract in sports history.

With Mahomes’ monster contract a done deal, it seemed very unlikely that star defensive end Chris Jones would get a deal done as well.

Then, Brett Veach did something even more shocking and reached an agreement with Jones on a four-year contract worth $85 million. That will pay Jones $21.25 million per year for the next four years, while they already have Frank Clark at around $20 million per year for the same amount of years remaining. That’s a lot of money wrapped in up in two defensive linemen. Add that to the $45 million per year that Mahomes will be getting, and those three players will take up almost 45 percent of the current league salary cap. While most of us are on board with these contracts, it still will be quite a gamble for Brett Veach. John Dorsey was handcuffed to the contracts of Justin Houston and Eric Berry. That is what he is mostly known for in Kansas City, not the fact that he drafted Patrick Mahomes. If these contracts don’t pan out for Brett Veach, then he will be handcuffed to those as well.

The difference is that Brett Veach brought a Super Bowl to Kansas City, the first one the city has seen in 50 years. I’m sure contract negotiations, whether they are good or bad, tend to get overlooked when trophies are being won. If Brett Veach keeps winning trophies, he can pay whoever he wants.

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