I know, I know. Many of us are still celebrating the Super Bowl LVII victory and looking ahead to the offseason can feel like an end to the celebration, but the Chiefs are already hard at work in pursuit of that 4th Lombardi.
— Bobby Stroupe (@bobbystroupe) February 22, 2023
Here are five things we can watch as the offseason progresses and the “back-to-back” talk heats up.
1. How Does the Team Proceed With Orlando Brown Jr?
When the Chiefs traded a package including a first-round pick to the Baltimore Ravens for Orlando Brown Jr. in 2021, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that a long-term deal would follow. Here we sit almost two years later and two seasons played in the red and gold for Brown and he is still not locked up for the long haul. While Brown may not be the best left tackle in football, he’s good enough to demand a market-resetting deal whenever he does hit free agency. The former Ravens’ third-round pick played last season on the franchise tag and it looks like he’ll at least spend some time under the same designation this year. The franchise tag window opened on 2/21 and teams have until 3/7 to make their tag determinations. Even if Brown does eventually get a new deal done this offseason, he could be tagged to buy more time to work out the details.
2. Does Chris Jones Get the Bag?
If you’re a Chiefs fan and you don’t think Chris Jones deserves a big payday, you haven’t been paying attention. Kansas City has one of the best defensive players in all of the football leading their defensive line from the interior. After an All-Pro regular season and an absolutely dominant postseason, it’s clear Chris Jones is ready to be the leader of this defense. The last doubters were holding on to the “no playoff sacks” knock, but he silenced that two times over in the 2023 postseason. He’s been the anchor of this defense for years and the production is starting to reflect that, highlighted by his rise to fifth on the Chiefs’ all-time sack list this season. Chris Jones is a future Chiefs Hall-of-Famer at the very least and deserves to defend Arrowhead for the rest of his career.
3. Is Frank Clark Back in Kansas City Next Season?
What a difference a year makes. Last offseason, many Chiefs fans were assuming Frank Clark had played his last down in Kansas City. The production and availability didn’t match the compensation. What long-suffered and jaded Chiefs fans couldn’t see was that Clark’s value wasn’t held in regular-season accolades. Deep playoff runs have become a normal occurrence for the Chiefs, and history tells us that Frank Clark is one of the best to ever do it in the postseason. Brett Veach knew how important it was to win Super Bowls and I don’t think anyone can question how much it means to him. In just one short year, the sentiment around Clark has gone from “Why is Frank Clark back?” to “Frank Clark better be back” and KC will celebrate when 5-5 signs his new deal.
4. Can Brett Veach Really Pull off a THIRD Elite Draft In as Many Years?
The 2021 and 2022 draft classes for the Chiefs are the stuff of legend. There were 16 players taken between the two draft classes and of the 16, only three of them have failed to play significant snaps on offense, defense, or special teams. That’s unprecedented for a team that won a Super Bowl and lost in the conference championship round in those two seasons. What this team has been able to accomplish while relying heavily on young players is a testament to Veach and the scouting department. All eyes are on the Chiefs this draft season for multiple reasons:
- They are defending Super Bowl Champions!
- Kansas City is hosting the 2023 NFL Draft
- The Chiefs have 12 picks for the second consecutive season
Some of us already believe Veach to be the best GM in football, but if he can pull off another big-time draft after a Super Bowl victory in his home city, I think more people around the league would get on board.
5. How Does the Wide Receiver Room Look Moving Forward?
This was a common question last offseason as well, but I think there’s a lot less panic involved in the conversations this time around. If the Chiefs hadn’t just won a Super Bowl in the first season after trading away Tyreek Hill, I might be more worried about the fact that Marquez Valdez-Scantling, Kadarius Toney, and Skyy Moore are the only receivers under contract for next season with NFL experience. While there are intriguing names in the building like Justyn and John Ross and we know that no matter who is on the roster, Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid will make sure the offense is one of the best in the NFL, it is also highly likely that this wide receiver room looks very different by the start of training camp.