Chiefs Offseason Grades

It’s important to remember when grading Kansas City Chiefs General Manager Brett Veach to keep things in perspective. Veach, coming off his seventh season with the highest responsibility of building a football team to represent Kansas City has a pretty good track record. The Chiefs have brought home three Lombardis since Veach’s inception. Veach’s construction of the ‘decade’s dynasty’ allows for a significant amount of trust that should be given to him, but that doesn’t mean he and his staff is perfect. As the dust settles on an extremely busy offseason for the NFL, it is now time to look back on the Chiefs moves, and if they will be enough to achieve the unprecedented three peat. 

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Drue Tranquill

LB – 3 Years – $19M – $12.5M Guaranteed 

Tranquill fell right into an uncertain linebacker room with Kansas City last year after spending the first half-decade of his career with Chargers in Los Angeles. Tranquill, with only six years under his belt, came in and established himself as the veteran leader as he mentored the linebacker room that is home to the likes of Leo Chenel, Willie Gay Jr., and the tackling maniac Nick Bolton. Tranquill had to fight for a spot in a defense that, at the most, would play three of the guys at a time. Tranquill ultimately won the fight and played a monumental role in the Super Bowl making him worth all three million of the dollars he signed for in the previous offseason. He now has signed a multi-year contract and will replace new Saints linebacker Willie Gay Jr. This is a move that allows for the continued mentorship of the young linebacking core and gives the middle of Kansas City’s defense a solid structure that should worry opposing teams.

My grade: A-

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Jones

DL – 5 Years – $159M – $101M Guaranteed 

Jones began the 2023 season on a low note in a dramatic saga with the front office over a contract extension, to the point where he made the decision to sit the season opener against the Detroit Lions. Jones watched from his suite as the Chiefs lost a close one with a deficit of one, the perfect (future?) leverage for him to get what he wanted. The middle was found between the two parties and the Chiefs, led by Jones, put together the best defense that Kansas City had seen since 1969. Arguably, the defense was the primary reason the Chiefs were given the opportunity to repeat, and that’s a pretty airtight argument. My personal opinion is that this is a great signing, considering Jones is free of any signs of stopping his dominance. He has established himself as one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL, especially now that Aaron Donald has retired. My only concern is the length of the contract. That amount of money and the length that is promised to Jones seems like a little generous considering Father Time will catch up to him at some point. If he catches Jones in year four or five this grade should be a lot higher, I just don’t think he will delay that long.

My grade: B-

Michael Owens/Getty Images

Marquise “Hollywood” Brown

WR – 1 Year – $7M – $6.5M Guaranteed 

“Hollywood” comes to Kansas City in 2024 and it might be a show worth your hard earned money. Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, the former 1st round pick out of Oklahoma, provides elite speed in a wide receiver room full of questions. The Chiefs receivers last year dropped 2.6 balls a game (the highest in the NFL), a problem that had to be fixed if a three-peat could even be fathomed. KC fans have to realize Brown won’t solve this problem, but he will help. He is coming off his worst catch rate of his career at 50.5, which would beat out only Marquez Valdes-Scantling in the 2023 KC Wide Receiver room. You might be wondering, why would a receiver statically close to a historically bad 23’ MVS help the Chiefs drops? The answer (hopefully) is hidden in the speed. Brown’s explosive speed will stretch the field allowing for Mahomes to create more accurate balls allowing for (again, hopefully) a higher catch rate. The Chiefs are following a similar approach that they had contractually for JuJu Smith-Schuster. This is a one year deal for Brown, with the hope that he returns to his early self and has the opportunity to sign a lucrative deal with another team. A high upside move in the receiver room is good, maybe it will workout really well this time. 

My grade: B-

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L’Jarius Sneed

CB – Traded to the Tennessee Titans for a 2025 3rd Round Pick and a 2024 7th Round Pick Swap

Sneed, the star of the recent defensive back success the Chiefs have had in the draft, was traded for essentially a third round pick and a slightly more lucrative seventh round pick than the previously owned. Sneed has been vital to Kansas City’s defense and will be a tough individual to replace. Even with the initial franchise tag, Veach realized the price Sneed would be asking for and as fans have seen for years, he is no pushover when it comes to stars asking for generous amounts of money. My only concern with this trade was the amount the Chiefs returned for the cornerback. Even though Sneed was not named to the Pro Bowl this year, he played at that level for the entire year. A third round pick seems a little cheap for a star in the making. 

My grade: C-

The Defensive Lineman

Mike Danna, Tershawn Wharton, & Derrick Nnadi (& Chris Jones)

The Chiefs locking up Jones alongside the trio of the trench men to compliment him is a great move for KC. Danna, Wharton, and Nnadi all provide cost-efficient and veteran options to produce as role players as well as mentor young lineman like George Karlaftis and Felix Anudike-Uzomah. Nnadi and Wharton provide a lot of size to plug any running holes and Danna provides sneaky speed that will be critical if Kansas City wants to be dominant in the trenches. 

My grade: A-

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

James Winchester

LS – 1 Year – $1.3M

Yes. 

My grade: A+

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