In the aftermath of the Kansas City Chiefs worst loss of the season at Denver, the trade deadline which ends today at 3:00 CST has fans wanting General Manager, Brett Veach to trade for a high-profile wide receiver. To their credit, they don’t care which receiver they get, but in reality, the Chiefs don’t have to pull the trigger today, and likely won’t.
After Super Bowl LV, the Kansas City Chiefs General Manager didn’t even hit the tarmac to leave Tampa before he realized the off-season priority was fixing the Chiefs offensive line. So, he jettisoned Eric Fisher, and Geoff Schwartz, and added Orlando Brown, Jr., Trey Smith, and Creed Humphrey.
A year later, after trading Tyreek Hill for a boatload of draft picks, he spent considerable draft capital on adding to the Chiefs woeful secondary. Names such as Joshua Williams, Jaylen Watson, Bryan Cook, and Trent McDuffie. He even added pass rusher George Karlaftis who has been a wrecking ball this season.
In both instances, he attacked a problem and those moves paid instant dividends. The Chiefs are the defending Super Bowl Champions.
When Veach took over for John Dorsey years ago, he inherited a team with massive cap exposure and enough dead money on the books to feed a small country for life. He also inherited some bad contracts, and he was limited for the first two years on the job.
However, over time he’s balanced the seesaw of the salary cap to allow him to keep their high-priced players, Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Chris Jones,
Still, that’s not good enough for the fan base. Despite the fact the Chiefs have the youngest defense in the NFL playing at a league-high level, Veach has put together a solid defense using his instincts and savvy in trading and acquiring picks, not to mention adding free agents at the right price.
Despite that fans are pushing a DeAndre Hopkins narrative that makes little sense. Yes, the veteran wide receiver would be an excellent addition to the Chiefs but what’s the price point? Sure, the cap number is manageable for the Chiefs, but are the Tennessee Titans going to eat some of the money they owe him? Further, will Kansas City have to give up a first, second, or third-round draft pick for Hopkins?
It should be noted that 32 teams passed on Hopkins. The Titans desperate to get some punch in their offense gave him a massive back-end heavy deal. Until this past Sunday, he’d been a no-show in the Titans offense. So suddenly he’s the fix in Kansas City?
Veach has tried to make the wide receiver room better. He drafted Skyy Moore a year ago and added Justin Watson and Justyn Ross. He then traded for Kadarius Toney who has yet to find a place in the office. Of the four players to date, only Watson has been consistent. In fact, he’s been Mahomes best bail-out option in the passing game.
In April, Veach traded up to get SMU Wide Receiver, Rashee Rice. Three years from now he will be regarded as the best wide receiver in the 2023 class. He’s starting to find his place in the offense while adjusting to some growing pains. As his reps increase, he should be able to take some pressure off Travis Kelce, who is getting triple-teamed.
The problem for Veach is that many of the good receivers they would give up draft capital live in the AFC West. DeAndre Hopkins, Hunter Renfrow, Keenan Allen, Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton. Of those teams, perhaps the Raiders would be willing to trade Renfrow before they cut him to the Chiefs for a third-day pick. However, the Chargers and Broncos are not going to help the Chiefs even if Veach offered a first-round pick for one of their receivers.
If the Chiefs want to be bold, they could go after Minnesota Vikings Wide Receiver, Justin Jefferson who is on IR. That might happen in the off-season, for now, though if they are going to pluck a receiver from the Vikings roster, I’d go all in on K.J. Osborn who is in a contract year.
Now if the Washington Commanders, who just traded away Defensive End, Montez Sweet to the Chicago Bears, want to part with Wide Receiver, Terry McLaurin, that’s a risk I’d be willing to make for a second-round pick.
The bottom line is the call to get Hopkins by the Chiefs fan base is simply unrealistic. He’s not the answer long term, and there are zero guarantees he’s the answer in the short term either. Listen he’s a good player but Veach with his age and the draft capital the Titans want, won’t make this trade. Further Tennessee would have to eat a portion of his contract.
So, for now, the Chiefs receivers are what they are and who they are. We may not like it but Kadarius Toney, Mecole Hardman, or Skyy Moore must start making plays. The Chiefs can count on Rashee Rice and Justin Watson and that’s the extent of it for the moment. MVS has skills but he’s not a fit for this offense. If I were Veach, I’d trade him before the deadline today.
In the end, Chiefs fans are going to be disappointed, and many will blame Veach. However, the fact he’s rebuilt the secondary, linebacker, defensive line, and offensive line, it’s fair to assume his top priority will be wide receiver in March and April.