3 Takeaways About The Chiefs, Post Trade Deadline
After a full week of transactions, including a record 10 trades conducted on the day of the deadline, the Chiefs were able to make a few moves. These moves were highlighted by last week’s trade with the New York Giants, acquiring former first-round pick Kadarius Toney. In exchange for Toney, the Chiefs gave a 2023 3rd- and 6th-round pick.
On Tuesday at 4 pm ET, the Chiefs also dealt cornerback Rashad Fenton to the Atlanta Falcons. Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported via Twitter that Atlanta sent a conditional seventh-round pick in return. Many members of Chiefs Kingdom have shown frustrations about the team not acquiring a pass rusher. However, our fans should relax and understand going through the process of long term success.
I was pleased with the Fenton trade and the fact that we didn’t trade Mecole Hardman or release Ronald Jones. Even despite RoJo tweeting asking for his release. I believe those two will become key players down the stretch. Veach has proved in the past that he is willing to do whatever it takes to make improvements. Andy Reid and his crew now must make improvements by making adjustments coming off the bye week getting ready for the Titans.
With that in mind, here’s a look at three important things about the Chiefs and their trades and they mean for the franchise going forward.
1. The Chiefs D-Line is still in good hands, despite any additions.
The Chiefs were looking for a pass rusher on the market. They struck out in their pursuit of Pro Bowlers Brian Burns and Josh Allen. Unfortunately, neither team could agree on a deal to send their star players to Kansas City.
Failure to make a move doesn’t mean that the Chiefs pass rush unit is trouble. In fact, they are much better in the first 7 games than 2021’s first 7. Last season, Sack Nation (Defensive line unit) only sacked the QB 9 times in the first 7 games with a 3-4 record. However, this year, Sack Nation has sacked the QB 14 times with a 5-2 record. All thanks to the addition of Cullen who, is also a key reason the Chiefs run defense is the 3rd best in the NFL.
The relentless pass-rushing duo of Chris Jones and Frank Clark (8 sacks combined; Jones, 5, Clark, 3) have also been assisted by a splurge of new guys. Including, additions of veteran Carlos Dunlap and the emerging rookie George Karlaftis. Karlaftis is even tied fir first in the NFL with the most pass deflections (3) among defensive lineman, according to Pro Football Focus.
2. Trading Rashad Fenton makes our cornerback room better.
First off, Thank you Rashad for everything you did for the Kingdom. I believe that he will get a fresh start in the A. Despite this season’s numbers, the Falcons are getting a very reliable corner who plays with toughness and grit.
Fenton as of late hasn’t looked like the Fenton of the past two seasons as he was recovering from an offseason back surgery. The Chiefs had traded a player who became a big time contributor to the championship team from a few years back. The Chiefs will save $1.4M as a result of the move.
This move was a result of the fact that the club invested heavily at the cornerback position during this year’s draft, including first-rounder Trent McDuffie. The effectiveness of Kansas City’s youth movement made Fenton more expendable as stated by ESPN’s Field Yates.
The Chiefs now have a young and talented group of corners that are reliable and will get better with time and patience. Rookie Jaylen Watson and Joshua Williams have shown to be future quality starting corners and Trent McDuffie is now returning from IR. L’Jarius Sneed has currently been the face of the core, after recently playing at an All-Pro level.
With Fenton gone, I hope to see the Chiefs put McDuffie at the RCB spot and leave Watson on the left side. I think this will bring great success because in Spagnuolo’s scheme, the right corner gets majority of the zone coverage assignments, while the left side gets majority of the press-man coverage assignments. Pro Football Focus considered McDuffie the best zone corner in the 2022 class and things are looking bright for the first year man out of Washington.
3. Keeping Ronald Jones and Mecole Hardman means they’ll have bigger roles down the stretch.
Even with the addition of Toney, Mecole will continue to see an increased load. The two players should actually mesh well together. According to PFF, since 2021, Mecole Hardman and Kadarius Toney combined for a total of 14 missed tackles on screen pass plays.
Opposing teams will have a tough time covering all of the weapons in Kansas City. Kadarius Toney, when healthy could become a lethal weapon in the Chiefs’ offense. Even if Toney doesn’t play in Week 9, it sounds like it won’t be too long before he’s back on the field.
Despite a slow start to the season, we have recently seen an increase in production from Hardman. If Toney is drawing the eyes of the defense, Hardman’s role could turn very versatile very quickly.
Jones has grown understandably frustrated by his role with the Chiefs. He hasn’t played a single snap this season, despite being fully healthy.
This is a disappointing development for the 25-year-old, who topped 1,000 total yards in 2019 and 2020. The running back took to Twitter a while back, expressing his desire to be released. However, Veach and Co have decided to keep RoJo on the team.
Despite an already stacked running back room, the team clearly has a plan for Jones. He could very likely see some playing time as the season progresses, which may come with a surprising amount of production.
Overall, the Chiefs will be just fine and despite what fans may think, Veach and Reid know exactly what they’re doing. Trust the process, the Chiefs are still the team to beat.