Who Should The Chiefs Target?
By: Austin Ebersole (@EbersoleAustin)
One thing that’s for certain with the NFL is that no team is perfect. There’s no doubt that every team has at least one weak spot on their roster, and most casual fans are able to watch a game and identify where a certain team can improve. For the Chiefs though, they have the luxury of being able to go out and add certain types of players thanks to their generational quarterback.
Now for everyone who watched the Superbowl back on February 7th, we all can agree that the Chiefs need to do a much better job at keeping Mahomes upright and protected in the pocket. Which is why it is surprising to see that they went on to cut former number one overall pick, left tackle Eric Fisher and the All-Pro right tackle Mitchell Schwartz.
With these surprising cuts to their offensive line, it not only proves how unique this off-season is thanks in part to the salary cap being much lower than expected, but where the Chiefs have to focus their efforts. For this exercise though, let’s take a look at a few dream targets for Kansas City’s offense and how they can make their team even more dangerous and explosive than it already is.
Running Back – Aaron Jones
First off, just stop what you’re doing for a second and imagine how unstoppable this offense would be with the Pro Bowl tailback. His 5.2 yards per carry average, 131 career receptions, and 43 total touchdowns is exactly what I call a dream fit for the Chiefs. It’s not a knock on Clyde Edwards-Helaire and the rest of that running back room by any means, but we are dreaming here and I would love to see what Jones could do with Mahomes in that backfield.
However, the most obvious reason for why this won’t happen is the lack of salary that the Chiefs have to spend. Even after cutting both of their starting tackles, Kansas City only has around $12.2 million available and they won’t be using that to sign a veteran running back after drafting “CEH” last year at the end of the first round. The elusive running back might not be in their plans, but Chiefs Kingdom would no doubt welcome him with open arms if he decided that it wasn’t all about the money.
Wide Receiver – Emmanuel Sanders
In regards to dreaming of a perfect fit and not taking a major hit in the wallet, the ten year veteran would be an ideal acquisition for the Chiefs. At this point in Sanders career, money shouldn’t be the driving force to keeping him on the field and running routes. Throughout his career, the two-time Pro Bowl receiver has earned nearly $51 million.
With the Saints being in salary cap purgatory, it’s not surprising that they released the electric receiver this week which helps them to save about $6 million against the cap. It’s not that he’s not worth that price tag, but even after all of their recent releases, New Orleans still finds themselves about $11 million over the spending limit.
If you didn’t notice, Sanders actually led the Saints last season in receiving with 61 receptions for 726 yards. Superstar Michael Thomas had an injury plagued season, but Sanders was able to help move the chains for this offense. Even though he will be 34 years old for the 2021 season, the all around receiver would fit in nicely in the Kansas City passing attack.
Wide Receiver – Antonio Brown
There’s starting to be a trend here, and it’s not that all three of these players have exceptional hands and catching abilities. Like Sanders, the former Pittsburgh Steelers great, Antonio Brown would be a major upgrade over Sammy Watkins for the Chiefs receiving core. He comes with an exceptional amount of baggage, but his play making ability at the position is top 10 all time.
What makes this a realistic possibility is that AB is no longer looking for a big pay day, but just an opportunity to stay in the league as shown by his 1 year, $1 million contract with the Buccaneers last season. This plays right into the Chiefs hands and should allow for them to reach out to the talented receiver’s camp and test his interest in joining them.
Brown may not be the receiver he once was, but the should be future hall of famer can still make an impact on any offense and against any defense. In 2020 while on a roster with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, AB was able to haul in 45 grabs for 483 yards and 4 scores. That’s a productive season given everything surrounding Browns image at this point, but a one year deal with Kansas City may be a dream fit for both parties.
The Kansas City Chiefs number one priority for this off-season will be to address the offensive line especially at both tackle positions, but they should still search for ways to add more weapons to their offense. It’s impossible to shut down both Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill in a given week, but adding one of these three players would be a match made in heaven. Chiefs Kingdom should be excited about the possibilities that this off-season brings.