The Kansas City Chiefs general manager, Brett Veach, is looking to continue his recent string of offseason success with another solid free agency and draft.
Here we go again! Free agency has begun and Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach is at it again, starting the retooling process that will hopefully bring another championship to the franchise. With the offseason action in full swing, it’s time to remember the mantra that has carried Chiefs fans through free agency in the past few offseasons: in Veach we trust.
Last year, there weren’t any immediate, needle-moving transactions that took place within the first few days of free agency. Sirens were blaring among media and Chiefs fans alike wondering why the Chiefs weren’t jumping in on the action. As is the case with every offseason, we don’t have Veach’s playbook.
As the offseason unfolded a year ago, we could see the team’s plan being put into action. They traded Tyreek Hill, added wide receivers in free agency, and had an absolute monster draft. This year, things seem to be progressing a little bit more quickly.
Just two years after Veach and the front office rebuilt the entire offensive line, it appears he is doing a similar re-tooling job this offseason. Former starting right tackle Andrew Wylie signed with the Washington Commanders. Negotiations broke down with Orlando Brown Jr. and he didn’t become a top priority heading into free agency, ultimately signing a four-year, $67 million deal with the Cincinnati Bengals. The Chiefs added Jawaan Taylor as a replacement for either Wylie or Brown. The majority of reporting and speculation indicates that Taylor will likely be playing left tackle, but KC’s flexibility remains. With Lucas Niang and 2022 fifth-round pick Darian Kinnard set to battle it out at right tackle, there’s plenty of time to add competition along the offensive line through free agency or the draft.
The defensive line has been a work in progress for the last several seasons. Frank Clark was cut and Carlos Dunlap is a free agent. 2022 first-round pick George Karlaftis and fourth-year veteran Mike Danna will be the returning defensive end talent. For the d-line’s biggest splash of the offseason so far, the Chiefs signed former Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Charles Omenihu. Omenihu has the versatility to play defensive end or tackle, something defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has always appreciated in his defensive linemen.
There’s no doubt the Chiefs will continue to pursue more defensive line options. They can add a pass rusher through the NFL Draft, and there’s a chance they bring back a veteran like Dunlap. This is the way the Chiefs can continue to get better, mixing young talent with veteran leaders along the line. Plus, there’s a good chance All-Pro defensive lineman Chris Jones will be getting an extension with the team in the near future. That’s a move that everyone can get behind, as Jones has been one of the best interior pass-rushers in the league over the course of his career.
There will be rumors of what will happen with running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire leading up to the draft. The Chiefs will need to add a piece to their quarterback room to back up Patrick Mahomes, although the team has tendered preseason fan-favorite Shane Buechele.
Juan Thornhill looks to be the lone secondary piece who will be on the move in free agency, leaving for the Cleveland Browns. Veach did a great job planning for that last offseason adding a ton of talent to the secondary, including safety Bryan Cook who will likely take over the snaps left behind in Thornhill’s absence. Meanwhile, KC locked up former Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Mike Edwards to provide a veteran presence, keeping them flexible in the draft.
Wide Receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is on his way out, getting a multi-year deal from the New England Patriots. It feels like the Chiefs will make an addition to the receiver room with a veteran either via free agency or trade. Another fan-favorite, tight end Jody Fortson, is coming back after being tendered.
Veach is always looking to improve the team and understands the best way to do it. While many thought it would be tough to keep the team in contention with Mahomes and his big contract leading the way for at least the next decade, Veach has played his hand perfectly and has shown the ability to never have to rebuild, just retool.
As rumors and speculation swirl while free agency continues and the NFL Draft approaches, know that Veach has a plan. If recent history means anything at all, that should be enough for Chiefs fans to rest easy during a tumultuous time of year.