HomeNFLStagner Issues: 10 issues to know in regards to the Chiefs’ offseason
Stagner Issues: 10 issues to know in regards to the Chiefs’ offseason
April 6, 2021
As Kansas Metropolis Chiefs free company continues — sadly at a snail’s tempo — some themes are rising. And on this writer’s opinion, there are additionally some narratives that have to die. Let’s check out a few of each.
1. The offseason isn’t over
Any gradeapart from “incomplete” is silly at this level.
Do you actually assume Martinas Rankin goes to start out at left sort out? Is there any state of affairs the place the Chiefs don’t usher in one other vast receiver who may help?
There are extra free brokers on the market. There’s an entire draft and undrafted free agent class — plus all of the veterans who might be lower or traded earlier than opening day.
After this level final yr, the next gamers have been added: free brokers Anthony Sherman, Mike Pennel, Bashaud Breeland, Demarcus Robinson, Taco Charlton and Kelechi Osemele. Then UDFA gamers Tershawn Wharton, Tommy Townsend, Rodney Clemons got here alongside — adopted by draft picks Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Willie Homosexual Jr., Lucas Niang and L’Jarius Sneed. By this level In 2019, the Frank Clark commerce hadn’t occurred but!
We don’t know what’s coming — however we can assure the the Chiefs aren’t finished making strikes to construct the roster.
2. Saying the Chiefs roster is worse this yr disregards all the potential enhancements they’ve already made
That is one other narrative that’s irritating — and it’s all primarily based on one place.
Sure… going from Eric Fisher to a brand new left sort out (who isn’t on the roster but) will doubtless be a downgrade. However we don’t but understand how a lot distinction that can make.
Apart from Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz (each of whom the Chiefs wouldn’t have lower with no plan), what “losses” are making this group considerably worse? Three-games-a-season Sammy Watkins? Much less-than-half-of-the-snaps Damien Wilson?
The underside line is that whereas the Chiefs would possibly be worse at left sort out, they’re additionally so much higher at different positions like left guard and defensive sort out. At positions like vast receiver, EDGE, linebacker and cornerback, the Chiefs can — and sure will — addressed them within the coming weeks.
There are additionally returning gamers who have been injured (or opted out) final yr — together with Charlton, Niang, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and DeAndre Baker. They may actually assist — to not point out in-house enhancements from superb 2019 and 2020 draft courses.
There are many causes to consider the 2021 roster could possibly be even higher than final yr’s.
3. No… the ‘luster’ hasn’t worn off
The window isn’t closing. Gamers do wish to play right here.
Let’s simply get this all out of the way in which: these are foolish narratives primarily based on a small pattern dimension. It simply feels like a giant pattern dimension as a result of we’re all hooked on Twitter.
This group nonetheless options one of many league’s most beloved coaches, the very best participant on the earth — who hasn’t even hit his prime but — two of the very best receiving targets within the league, and the very best followers on the earth.
They’ll be favorites to go to their third straight Tremendous Bowl— and the group is a vacation spot group.
4. There are various the reason why a free agent may not get a contract finished with a brand new group
Why is it that when the Chiefs go after a free agent and don’t make a deal, it’s instantly assumed that the group failed? And perhaps they did.
Or… perhaps within the case of Melvin Ingram, they stepped away as a result of they’d issues about his medical points. With Trent Williams, maybe the Chiefs have been merely used as a pawn to drive up the value. Perhaps Tanoh Kpassagnon wasn’t excited in regards to the position he would play for the Chiefs in 2021.
These negotiations are at all times difficult. Moreover… it is a very unusual yr. With the cap discount — and the expectation that it’ll go up once more subsequent yr — issues are simply… completely different.
5. Or perhaps… it’s simply inertia
This may need been vital within the case of JuJu Smith-Schuster. When offered solely with a one-year contract, it appears more likely that gamers in his state of affairs would favor to remain the place they’re, moderately than begin over — solely to start out over once more the next yr.
Bear in mind: gamers have households they’ve have to maneuver, coaches and gamers they like within the locker room and ties to communities. A multi-year provide would possibly pry them away — however particularly in 2021, a one-year deal simply may not be ok to get it finished.
6. And perhaps #RunItBack isn’t the way in which to go anyway
Certainly one of my favourite quotes from certainly one of my favourite motion pictures of all time — Tommy Boy: “You’re both rising, otherwise you’re dying. There ain’t no third course.”
Attempting to re-assemble the very same roster that received a Tremendous Bowl may be a idiot’s errand, as a result of the NFL is at all times altering — and groups are at all times bettering. So in case your purpose is to remain the identical, you’ll fall behind. We shouldn’t be making an attempt to protect the 2019/2020 variations of the Chiefs. As an alternative, we needs to be wanting ahead to what they will turn into in 2021 and past.
We’ll see if Tampa Bay has any higher luck than the Chiefs did — however I believe they received’t.
7. With the Chiefs’ offseason additions, there appears to be a bent in direction of sturdiness and availability
After final season — when accidents have been an enormous consider Kansas Metropolis’s incapability to repeat — it simply is smart.
New Chiefs Joe Thuney, Jarran Reed and Austin Blythe are all projected starters. All have been very sturdy, dependable gamers of their careers. Whereas Kyle Lengthy is an exception, the expectation is that he’ll compete with Duvernay-Tardif and supply depth at proper guard.
In truth, the Chiefs have an opportunity to have higher depth all throughout the offensive line — so if accidents do hit, they’ll nonetheless have high quality gamers out there to step up.
8. There additionally appears to be a purpose of constructing a greater working recreation
Kansas Metropolis is bettering the inside of the offensive line, the place the group has actually struggled to open up working lanes.
Within the working recreation, Blythe represents an improve over the earlier Austin — and Thuney is an everything-upgrade over the incumbents at left guard. The Chiefs have additionally added Michael Burton, a fullback who helped clear the way in which for the final season’s sixth greatest working group. And the return of Blake Bell would point out they will use that second tight finish as a blocker once more.
9. This bodes very nicely for Edwards-Helaire
Going into the season, the second-year working again may be probably the most underrated a part of the Chiefs’ offense; he’ll be wholesome and have higher blocking.
However given the discharge of Damien Williams and the obvious lack of curiosity in returning Le’Veon Bell, he additionally could have much less competitors for touches, too.
Edwards-Helaire was nice as a rookie — however this season, he’ll have an opportunity to be an actual star.
10. CEH could possibly be the third or fourth receiving goal
Bear in mind Kareem Hunt’s first couple of years in Kansas Metropolis? He was an enormous menace within the passing recreation — fourth on the group in receiving yards — and the Chiefs offense was practically unstoppable.
Hunt’s greatest receiving whole was 455 yards. The vast receiver forward of him was round 550 yards. In his injury-shortened rookie season, Edwards-Helaire had practically 300 receiving yards; to date, he’s simply scratching the floor of what he may do within the passing recreation.
There’s an actual probability that as a receiver, he may eclipse that 500-yard mark in 2021, carrying extra of the offensive load and making the offense each extra balanced and more durable to defend. In different phrases… similar to they have been with Hunt in 2018.
And from the the other way up…
The Chiefs are doubtless so as to add a large receiver within the draft and/or free company. However there’s an outdoor probability they have already got some deep sleepers on the roster who may make the 53 and take some (or all) of Watkins’ position; he averaged simply over 500 yards and about three touchdowns throughout every of his three seasons with the Chiefs.
Antonio Callaway is a 24-year-old veteran — a former fourth-round decide who had 586 yards and 5 touchdowns in 2018. He’s had his profession derailed after being suspended a few occasions — but when the Chiefs can get it out of him, the expertise is there.
Kansas Metropolis additionally has Tajae Sharpe. Now 26, he’s a former fifth-rounder who averaged virtually 400 yards a season (and greater than two touchdowns) throughout three years with the Tennessee Titans.
Not saying these guys will make it occur — but it surely’s good to have gamers with NFL expertise competing for jobs in coaching camp.