For the second time in the last four seasons, the Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl champions. Coming back from 10 points down at halftime 24-14, outscoring the Philadelphia Eagles 24 to 11 to claim the 38-35 win over the Eagles.
It’ll be interesting to see what Chiefs general manager Brett Veach does this offseason. The Chiefs currently have nine picks in the 2023 NFL Draft, with a few more likely thanks to compensatory picks. Six of those selections are their original picks, with another three obtained via trades and currently have about $11 million over the salary cap (Spotrac), likely limiting what Veach can do.
Keeping that in mind, here are five moves that the Chiefs need to make this NFL offseason.
Chiefs Offseason Ideas
1. Give Frank Clark a One-Year Extension:
Going into 2023, Frank Clark will only have one year left on his current contract. The three-time Pro Bowler had what some considered a down year in 2022 with just five sacks and 13 quarterback hits. However, the man known as “Mr. February” once again turned it on in the playoffs, with 2 1/2 combined sacks in the divisional round and AFC Championship Game. He added a tackle in Super Bowl LVII., which would make it surprising to see him turn down a one- or two-year extension to stay with the Chiefs (depending on if he wants to continue with his career). Giving up cap space in 2024 to reduce Clark’s 2023 cap space hit from $30.1 million to a more reasonable amount would be perfect for both sides so the Chiefs can start their title defense. The front office could make a chunk of that into a bonus that can be prorated, which is one way to improve the situation without losing the player and the deal could be a cap-friendly one. This, in turn, means the Chiefs would then have enough money to re-sign wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, keep fellow defensive end Carlos Dunlap and possibly ink left tackle Orlando Brown Jr., to a long-term extension.
2. Sign L’Jarius Sneed to an Extension:
There’s only one player who sticks out in terms of giving a short-term extension to, and that is defensive back L’Jarius Sneed. The 2020 fourth-round pick is set to play the 2023 season on the final year of his rookie deal, yet has already proven he has what it takes to play at a high level for years to come. Sneed has posted 163 solo tackles, 62 assists, 8 interceptions and 4 forced fumbles across 41 games. Signing Sneed to a one- or two-year extension (Depending upon his durability) would be a win-win for both sides. He’d be able to shore up his future, while the front office could clear up millions of dollars in cap space by spreading some of his 2023 cap hit to upcoming years.
3. Rework Chris Jones’ Contract (Like the Rams did for Aaron Donald):
The most obvious move to make here is restructuring the contract of star defensive tackle Chris Jones. He is set to have a cap hit of $28.2 million in 2023, but only $7 million of that money is dead cap. That means that there is room for the front office to decrease Jones’ base salary by making the money involved into certain bonuses or simply spreading the cash to future years instead. Of course, this is a much better alternative to trading or cutting Jones considering the seventh-year pro was one of the only Chiefs’ standout players on defense in 2022. He tallied 30 solo tackles, 14 assists, 15.5 sacks and 1 fumble recovery in 17 games in 2022.
4. Trade or Post-6/1 Cut Clyde Edwards-Helaire:
Clyde Edwards-Helaire came into the NFL with lofty expectations. One of only seven running backs drafted in the first round over the past five years, Edwards-Helaire was looked at as adding another dimension to the Chiefs, who had become reliant on Patrick Mahomes’ arm and had lacked a consistent running game. But Edwards-Helaire did little to help his cause early in the season. Despite starting each of the first six games of the year, Edwards-Helaire’s production was inconsistent, at best. He had 59 carries for 256 yards (4.3 yards per attempt; 42.7 yards per game) with two touchdowns on the ground. He also caught 16 passes for 137 yards and three touchdowns, it’s not worth the $3.4 million cap hit he commands next season. Trade CEH would open $2.08 million in cap space but $2.57 million in cap space they were to cut him post-June 1st, which is something the Chiefs can’t ignore considering how they can find a cheaper backfield replacement either through the draft or free agency.
5. Trade Down from 31st pick in 2023 NFL Draft (Find a way to get Jordan Battle from Alabama):
Yes, Kansas City! I know the Draft is in town coming this April. Why? If you look at the history of the NFL Draft, there is going to be a team trade back into the first round to get one of the QBs in this Draft class for guys like Tanner McKee, Anthony Richardson and Bo Nix. The Chiefs have some holes to address on their roster and that can be aided by acquiring more picks in the NFL Draft. Currently owning the No. 31 overall selection, Veach could trade down and add to its current nine picks in the draft. This situation makes a lot of sense if the Chiefs decide to draft a best available player pick like defensive lineman like Isaiah Foskey or Felix Anudike-Uzomah, a right tackle like Dawand Jones or Darnell Wright (Trey Smith’s college teammate) or my underrated team need, safety to replace Juan Thornhill (if he’s gone in 2023). Top safety prospect Antonio Johnson is expected to be a late first-round pick, but Jordan Battle could easily fall to the second round. The Chiefs could grab him there and come out with a steal. This may be a risky move, but it is one the Chiefs should considering if safety is one of its first-round targets. Other names in later rounds at safety are Christopher Smith and Brandon Joseph.