Plugging The Gaps : WR

It’s an established fact the Chiefs Front Office have a busy offseason ahead, there are roster needs at several key positions, probably too many to address solely through the draft.

Per OTC the Chiefs can restructure current contracts and create between $58m & $95m in cap space, that’s before any potential cuts or trades. (https://overthecap.com/restructure/) What does that mean? Despite the ‘cap hell’ Mahomes’ contract puts the Chiefs in GM Brett Veach actually has a sizeable purse to go Free Agency shopping with.

We’ll start looking at some of the option in one of the strongest FA classes : Wide Receiver.

For reference the WR franchise tag for this year is a shade over $19m, with that in mind we’ll break some of the available players down into different ‘tiers’. The A* difference makers, mid tier players who bolster any roster and some well known commodities closer to home.

Note : This isn’t by any means an extensive list, just a cross section of some of the options available. It’s also written before new contracts have been signed and any franchise tags applied.

Lets Raise The Roof

These are the blue chip players, the guys that really move the needle and lift the ceiling of what this offence is capable of.

Davante Adams (GB, 28yo) This is the dream, right? The best receiver in the league, in the prime of his career joining forces with Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce to create a potentially historically good offensive unit. The nickname writers are hard at it already!

Estimated cost : $20-22m p/y. Chances of it happening? The Packers aren’t blessed with lots of cap space so him staying with Rodgers isn’t a done deal, dare to dream Chiefs Kingdom.

Chris Godwin (TB, 25yo) Godwin is already an established second option in Tampa Bay, he was pivotal in their Super Bowl winning season. He’s coming off a bad injury in 2021 but is expected to make a full recovery. With Tampa likely to be entering a post Brady re-build they could look to clear some cap space for a veteran QB trade? On the flip side Godwin is young and likely to have plenty suitors, would he prefer a move to a team where would be the established no1 option?

Estimated cost : $15-18m p/y. Chances of it happening? Low, Godwin has an elite skillset, it might not be exactly what the Chiefs are looking for this year though.

Allen Robinson (CHI, 28yo) Robinson was the darling of Chiefs twitter last offseason before the Bears slapped the franchise tag on him. It’s fair to say 2021 wasn’t the year most expected of Robinson however how much of that was to do with the QB play and play calling in Chicago? Robinson has been known to make cooing social media posts to Patrick Mahomes, imagine him teaming up with our QB1 – you believe he has himself!

Estimated cost : $16-20m p/y. Chances of it happening? Probably higher than the others in this category.

Mike Williams (LAC, 27yo) The Chiefs offence lacks a big body red zone threat who can also stretch defences deep. Mike Williams fills both those briefs and then some. Coming off the best year of his career so far, like Chris Godwin above he might want to try and prove himself as a number 1, in Herbert he also has an elite QB to get the ball to him, staying in LA isn’t exactly unappealing.

Estimated cost : $14-18m p/y. Chances of it happening? Low, the Chargers would stupid to allow Williams to hit FA, the Chargers are well known for, well, Chargering big decisions up though…..

Lets Lift The Floor

These are above average starters, established 2nd or 3rd options, guys that won’t set too many pulses racing but significantly raise the floor of where the offence can fall to.

JuJu Smith-Schuster (PIT, 25yo) JuJu was close to coming to KC last offseason before he took a lower deal to stay in Pittsburgh and play with Big Ben for his final year. Injury and Roethlisberger’s arm limitations mean we can’t read too much into JuJu’s numbers last year but he’s still a big physical receiver who can catch the ball and isn’t afraid to do the dirty work on the inside. He’s young as well so this wouldn’t simply be a 1 year rental and would allow Veach some long term planning. JuJu ticks alot of sensible boxes.

Estimated cost : $8-10m p/y. Chances of it happening? High. If the Chiefs are looking for a true WR2 in free agency it would very surprising if they don’t knock on JuJu Smith-Schuster’s door again.

Ty Hilton (IND, 32yo) Hilton is in the back half of his career now and injuries are starting to mount up however when he’s on the field he’s a known quantity and proven commodity as a second or third option.

Estimated cost : $5-7m p/y. Chances of it happening? Low/medium.

Jameson Crowder (NYJ, 28yo) Another receiver who’s production has likely been hampered by sub-standard Quarter Back play. On paper Crowder might not have the size or speed KC would appear to need but with a defined role in the slot he would open up the field for the rest of the Chiefs speed merchants.

Estimated cost : $3-6m p/y. Chances of it happening? Low.

Will Fuller (MIA, 27yo) High upside? check Injuries? check Off field issues? check. Fuller looks a lot like a typical Brett Veach reclamation project. Will they want another deep threat receiver spending more time on the treatment table than the field though?

Estimated cost : $6-10m p/y. Chances of it happening? Low. A gamble that could pay dividends but the fall out if it bombed wouldn’t be pretty.

DJ Chark (JAX, 25yo) Another player with age, size and speed on his side. It’s hard to judge anyone based on what’s gone on in Jacksonville over the last couple of years but on paper DJ Chark has a lot of the attributes the Chiefs will be looking for to bolster their receiving corps.

Estimated cost : $6-10m p/y. Chances of it happening? Low. Another injury flier that Brett Veach may be wise to avoid.

Michael Gallup (DAL, 25yo) Gallup’s best year (11k yards & 6TDs) was back in 2019, injuries to Dak Prescott then himself haven’t helped him kick on from there. It’s unclear exactly where Michael Gallup’s ceiling as a receiver is but in the right scheme he could help unlock plenty yards for others as well as himself.

Estimated cost : $8-12m p/y. Chances of it happening? Low. An ACL injury late in the season will likely scare teams off making a significant investment in this player. One to keep an eye on should he come back healthy though.

Better The Devil You Know?

Players on the current roster who don’t have a deal for 2022

Byron Pringle (KC, 28yo) Pringle had his best year yet in KC in 2021 establishing himself as a threat as both a receiver and returner. 2 TDs in the wild card classic with Buffalo even threatened the emergence of ‘Playoff Pringle’. While Pringle’s upside may not be quite as high as many hoped he’s got an established rapport with Mahomes and clearly has Andy Reid trust in the big moments.

Estimated cost : $4-6m p/y. Chances of it happening? For all the reasons above it feels like a no-brainer to bring Pringle back for 2022.

Demarcus Robinson (KC, 27yo) Robinson remains and infuriating enigma and lightning rod for Chiefs fans social media ire. At his best he’s really good good, at his word he catches the ball and immediately gives up yards. Maddening.

Estimated cost : $2-4m p/y. Chances of it happening? 50/50. On a really cheap deal DRobb is a low risk option however he may be a victim of the end of the ‘Run It Back’ project. Chiefs Kingdom wishes him all the best but it may be time to move forward (unlike Demarcus’s first step).

Josh Gordon (KC, 30yo) We said Veach likes a reclamation project, well this is one that didn’t pan out. While Gordon didn’t cost KC much in terms of money and didn’t cost them any games he didn’t contribute anything meaningful either. It seems the hurdle of being out of the game for so long was just too much to overcome.

Estimated cost : $1-2m p/y. Chances of it happening? Nil.

The wild cards

Sammy Watkins (BAL, 28yo) Watkins is way younger than you expect him to be, unfortunately his young body still has plenty miles on the clock. When he’s healthy and available he’s a genuine number 2 option who demands attention from defenders and frees up large parts of the field. When he’s not he’s not, it’s that simple. Saying that if the Chiefs decide to draft a receiver with a premium draft pick Sammy is the sort of option that would take some pressure off a rookie having to contribute immediately.

Estimated cost : $2-4m p/y. Chances of it happening? Honestly? At the right price, don’t wouldn’t rule it out, stranger things have happened.

Albert Wilson (MIA, 29yo) Remember when Patrick Mahomes got Albert Wilson PAID in his very first professional start? Well I bet Andy Reid hasn’t. Much has changed in KC since Wilson left but he will still be familiar with the basics of the scheme.

Estimated cost : $4-7m p/y. Chances of it happening? Low. Once swallow doesn’t make a summer and Wilson didn’t show a great deal to justify the bag Miami gave. Better options are out there.

Chris Conley (HOU, 29yo) Another ex Chief who I’m sure would love to team up with Patrick Mahomes again. Since leaving KC after 2018 he’s played with Jacksonville and the 2021 Texans, tough to judge anyone forced to operate under such duress.

Estimated cost : $2-4m p/y. Chances of it happening? Low. Conley is still a capable receiver who’s had little to work with in recent times. He does little to move the needle though, we’d probably be as well bringing back DRobb.

Antonio Brown (TB, 33yo) Brown comes with more baggage than a WAG on a shopping spree in Harrods. He also comes with more raw talent than most names on this list.

Estimated cost : $5-10m p/y. Chances of it happening? Very low, I don’t think the Chiefs locker room (or Chiefs Kingdom for that matter) need a character like Brown.

Odell Beckham Jr (LAR, 29yo) OBJ was a polarising figure in the week he was available on the market last season, Chiefs fans were divided on whether they wanted him to land in KC. In the end he may just have been the final piece in the Rams jigsaw, who knows that difference he may have made to us int he AFCCG. It was gutting to see OBJ pull up hurt in the Super Bowl, pair a star receiver with a competent QB and hey presto, you’ve got a winning combo! Who’d have thought it?!

Estimated cost : $8-14m p/y. Chances of it happening? Very low, that injury is a concern and he’s already said he would take a discount to stay with the McVay and the Rams.

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