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The defending champion Kansas City Chiefs entered the 2022 offseason with changes that not only affected the franchise and city but the whole league when the team traded their star wide receiver Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins. Because of that move, majority of the NFL world thought that the Chiefs wouldn’t go further beyond the Divisional round in the playoffs. Some even believe we wouldn’t even make the postseason.
The Chiefs were unwilling to meet Tyreek Hill’s massive contract demands; they opted to trade him in exchange for draft capital and financial flexibility, it also helped the Chiefs to sign both JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, which was certainly enough to help the Chiefs win the Super Bowl. They also selected Skyy Moore out of Western Michigan in the 2nd round of the 2022 NFL Draft, signed undrafted free agent Justyn Ross (which many still say it’s a steal) even though he redshirted due to injury and later before the trade deadline traded for former Florida product Kadarius Toney away from the New York Giants.
However, despite the success of Mahomes winning the Super Bowl and MVP (both the league and Super Bowl) without Tyreek Hill, there has reportedly been has another popular receiver name that said he could’ve been a Chief before the 2022 season. The star receiver who is reportedly saying that the Chiefs were in on him, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown.
In a recent appearance on the Raw Room podcast, the star wideout said that when teams were lining up to acquire his services via trade last offseason, the Chiefs were one of those teams:
“My agent called me and was like, ‘Hey, Philly’s gonna try to, like, really push for you. They’re trying to push for you,’ or whatever. I’d been getting a couple of teams. The Chiefs tried to get me, a couple of other teams like the Jets and all of that stuff; but Philly’s making a strong push like, ‘We’re going to see what happens.’ I’m like, ‘alright,’ but you know what I want to do. I’m telling him, ‘You know what I want to do.'”
I’m sorry but don’t get me wrong. A.J. Brown is definitely one of the top 10 best receivers in the NFL today. He’s worth his deal he signed with Eagles as soon as the trade from the Tennessee Titans occurred. Adding Brown to the Chiefs offense would’ve potentially created a scary skill position group, headlined by Isiah Pacheco, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Travis Kelce and then Brown.
There’s no denying Brown is a dynamic playmaker, but the Chiefs didn’t need his talent even though it can’t be ignored either, and adding him would’ve also came at a big price like not only the money spent on him but the draft capital for Brown. If the Chiefs spent that capital on Brown, we wouldn’t have gotten Trent McDuffie, George Karlaftis, and even Skyy Moore. I’m saying this to say, if the Chiefs really wanted the two-time Pro Bowler that badly, they would’ve had him by now. He’s not with the Chiefs and we don’t need him nor we don’t need DeAndre Hopkins or even Keenan “The Chiefs gonna get exposed” Allen.
Remember, San Francisco 49ers’ wide receiver Deebo Samuel reportedly requested a trade last off-season before he signed his new extension. The Chiefs would always be the destination for any disgruntled wide receiver, but reports had indicated that the Chiefs were not in the Deebo Sweepstakes.
It may not be what the Kingdom wants to here, but that stance by Veach made a lot sense and today, it make sense now. Remember, the Chiefs opted to trade Tyreek Hill for draft picks and financial room in their cap. Why would the Chiefs surrender those newly-acquired picks just to put itself in the same financial logjam with a different star receiver?
The same reason we weren’t going to make a move for a player like Brown or D-Hop. It’s like having a MVP quarterback on a rookie contract, like when Mahomes was MVP in 2018 or even Joe Burrow and Jalen Hurts, are extremely valuable to their franchise as they play on cost-controlled fixed deals for their first four to five seasons in the NFL. This allows franchises a nice window of opportunity to surround the young QB with a talented arsenal of weapons on offense and a strong defense on the opposite side of the ball before the QB commands a potential record shattering extension.
In other words, teams rather invest their money in draft prospects on their rookie deals to see which of those players they see is the face of their franchise and whose not or sign quality veterans for bargain deals (veteran’s version of a rookie deal). That’s why the Chiefs signed JuJu Smith-Schuster to a 1-year/$8 million deal because he proved his worth to the team in 2022. Even though he didn’t get over 1,000 yards, he still did enough to earn another contract going into 2023. But he’s one of the few true X wide receivers in free agency last season, as his size and physicality made him a real handful against man coverage to help the team win a Super Bowl. He was willing to take a small amount of money to help the Chiefs solidify their status as a dynasty. And man, Kardarius Toney is fun to watch in this offense. He’s probably the most dynamic WR on the Chiefs with the ball in his hands. Andy Reid got this guy the ball in a myriad of ways – handoffs, screens, and in the return game. Those two along with MVS, Skyy Moore and Justin Watson replaced the production from Tyreek Hill, Byron Pringle and Demarcus Robinson in 2021 but for a lesser cost.
Of course, the Chiefs have two Lombardi trophy under their belt since 2019, but Brett Veach has constructed a roster that’s made to win multiple Super Bowl championships. Veach built an Chiefs roster that was deep enough to withstand their MVP QB dealing with an ankle injury, his backup, Chad Henne, looking adequate in his first couple of drives, but played exceptionally well during the Divisional Round before Mahomes returned to finish the rest of the way. A lot of that had to do with Andy Reid’s QB friendly system, but it also helped to have great talent in the pass and run game to take pressure off Mahomes. This just further emphasizes the depth on their roster and the collectiveness among the Chiefs coaching staff and front office to devise a game plan to maximize what personnel is available especially with the receivers they utilized in 2022.
Part of me thinks that this is even news is because we are all still feeling the affects of Super Bowl 57. Of course there have been controversies as of late especially around A.J. Brown. First, was the tweet by JuJu Smith-Schuster trolling James Bradberry after he admitting he did hold him. Yes, JuJu could’ve gone about a different way but again he’s young and it’s first Super Bowl championship and he should enjoy it. A.J. Brown didn’t take kindly to his tweet. Second, one of the biggest stories around the league this offseason contract extension talks between Jalen Hurts and the Eagles. Following an incredible 2022 campaign, Hurts is in position to cash in, though it remains to be seen if Philly meets the potential asking price.
While everyone waits to see what the Eagles do, Brown had upped the pressure on his own team with an ultimatum. Brown said on his podcast that he loves Philadelphia, but if “you do not pay this man, just ship me off wherever he’s gonna go.” Brown then addressed Eagles GM Howie Roseman directly, adding “So you talk about pressure, Howie get it done.”
Now, it’s clear Brown is having some fun on the podcast like Tyreek Hill and even the Kelce brothers, and his comments might be just selling wolf tickets. However, there’s likely some truth behind his words especially when he’s wearing a Kansas City Royals fitted cap at the time of his comments.
The friendship of Brown and Hurts was highlighted as a key reason the wideout wanted to go to Philly after falling out with the Tennessee Titans. That connection led to career years for both players, so obviously Brown wants to see his close friend and teammate get paid. Good for him. However, keep the Chiefs out of your mouth especially when you’re just selling wolf tickets all because your not over losing the Super Bowl. For that fact especially wearing the ball cap, if I was Roseman, I’d grant Brown his wish even if he was joking just to send the message that there’s No “I” in Team.
A.J… You’re great but get over it. You guys were up 24-14 (Rasheed Wallace speaking that truth) against the Chiefs. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. You guys didn’t finish the game. I would prefer you focus on how to beat us, training for 2023 instead of saying little chatty patty (Damon Dash term) gossip after the fact that if you wanted to be a Chief, you could’ve made that happen. You choose Philly and y’all had your shot and you lost. Deal with it.