A unit already announced as the early favorite to hoist the Lombardi trophy next February, the Kansas City Chiefs—like every year—will look to reupholster instead of rebuild when it comes to the long but eventful winding road that is the offseason. A group that’s gone four consecutive seasons winning 12 or more games on the shoulder of Patrick Mahomes, 2022 has welcomed another Super Bowl-or-bust campaign as Kansas City looks to remain atop the league’s pecking order. With limited cash to work with during the opening signing period—$3.7M to be exact—general manager Brett Veach will be operating with one hand tied behind his back if he’s unable to restructure contracts and maneuver assets around. However, a peek into the available pool of free agents presents an intriguing list of talent that could shotput the Chiefs over the hump and into their fourth Super Bowl appearance in as many seasons.
Jakobi Meyers, WR, New England PatriotsAlthough I wouldn’t be surprised if Veach used his first-round selection (No. 30 overall) to address their lack of talent on the perimeter, if they eye a WR2 to pair with Tyreek Hill and do-it-all threat Travis Kelce, Meyers could provide much-needed juice. While he may ask for an increased price for his services after representing Mac Jones’ top target this fall, Meyers is more than capable of holstering a WR2 workload, and, who knows what his performance ceiling could look like in an offense with Mahomes. I love this fit.
Chukwuma Okorafor, OT, Pittsburgh SteelersStill just 25 years old, if the team allows Mike Remmers to walk, Okorafor could serve as a gap starter on a prove-it deal with two consecutive seasons of work under his belt. In a weak tackle class after the top options, if Veach is looking to scour the ranks for Mahomes’ arm-side protectant, Okorafor could be the easy piece to the puzzle for a discounted rate.
D’Ernest Johnson, RB, Cleveland BrownsThe RB3 in Cleveland that earned himself some money when Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt went down, Johnson pairing with Clyde Edwards-Helaire could provide a nice 1-2 combo for an ever-evolving offense under Andy Reid and Eric Bieniemy for cheap. Although the team would like either Darrel Williams or Jerick McKinnon back next fall, if they opt for opportunities elsewhere, Johnson could find himself slotted into a substantial role with more than enough tape to garner trust for a heavy amount of touches.
Uchenna Nwosu, EDGE, Los Angeles ChargersA violently tempered athlete off the edge, Nwosu for cheap could represent the biggest bang for your buck of the entire free-agent class. A former second-round selection in 2018, bringing in Nwosu on a prove-it deal could see Reid reap the rewards of a youth-infused talent with championship aspirations.
Duron Harmon, S, Atlanta FalconsA veteran safety with more than 6,000 professional snaps under his belt, with Tyrann Mathieu expected to entertain interest elsewhere to reach his desired market value, a presence like the 31-year-old Harmon will offer consistent ball production and wise eyes on the back end to shore up what was a leaky Chiefs secondary at times in 2021. A longtime New England Patriot, Harmon has Super Bowl pedigree that would gel nicely within a veteran-laden secondary.
Casey Hayward, CB, Las Vegas RaidersA pure cover corner, if the Chiefs lose both the aforementioned Mathieu and starting outside corner Charvarius Ward, they’ll need immediate help at the ceiling of their defense. Heyward could plug the leaks. A 17-game starter last fall, Heyward allowed just a tick over 400 yards as the primary man in coverage and possesses everything Steve Spagnuolo looks for in his defense as a sticky defender in man and a downhill, quick-twitch athlete with the ability to get his hands on the football in zone.
- Aug 19, 2022
- Aug 19, 2022