The Chiefs have certainly been busy this offseason. From trades to free agency, and finally, the draft, the Chiefs’ 2022 roster will look significantly different than in 2021. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is yet to be known.
One thing stands out about this roster in particular, and that is the overall age of the roster. While there are still experienced veterans on both sides of the ball, certain position groups lack a veteran presence. While it’s great to have young and hungry players, it’s also great to have players who can guide them and help them develop.
It’s unrealistic to think the Chiefs have perfectly filled all the holes they had entering the offseason. While they have done a good job so far, there are still improvements to be made. So, let’s take a look at three potential suitors who can contribute to the Chiefs roster in 2022.
The first choice is the most obvious, as Bradberry has already been linked to the Chiefs in the past. Bradberry is a savvy veteran who would immediately be the number one corner on the roster, at least for this year. This would take some pressure off of first-round pick Trent McDuffie and help him to develop.
The only real issue with adding Bradberry would mean that one or several of the other rookies drafted by the Chiefs may lose their roster spot. Neither Joshua Williams nor Jaylen Watson is guaranteed spots in this scenario. Williams would likely still make the team as he was a fourth-round pick, but the Chiefs cut fifth-round rookie Cornell Powell last year. Of course, they would most likely be added to the practice squad if not claimed.
The Chiefs’ defensive backs desperately need a veteran in their locker room as Juan Thornhill, and Rashad Fenton are now the two most experienced players in the secondary. However, I only see Bradberry coming to Kansas City if it’s on a one-year prove-it deal. He will likely get a bigger offer elsewhere. The Chiefs don’t need Bradberry, but it would be a fantastic addition.
The Chiefs have made it clear that this offseason is about defense, so how about another veteran defensive player? The Chiefs drafted edge rusher George Karlaftis in the first round, restructured Frank Clark’s contract, and it seems likely that Melvin Ingram will be back thanks to the UFA tag. So, the pressure from the edge should be better, but the Chiefs have done little to address the interior of the defensive line.
Akiem Hicks would be the perfect veteran player to pair with Chris Jones. Hicks, at 32 years old, won’t be a three-down player. However, he can play the same role Jarran Reed had last year, but significantly better. Even if he is only a rotational player, Hicks would fit perfectly in Steve Spagnuolo’s system.
Hicks likely isn’t commanding much on the market, so what’s the risk here? If it works, you get a veteran player who immediately impacts the defense. If it doesn’t, you just move on and try again next year. Defensive tackle is a position the Chiefs will seriously need to consider drafting with a top pick in the next couple of drafts. Hicks is a potential short-term solution, at the least.
Odell Beckham Jr.
This may be the least likely of the three options, but as the Rams taught us last year, you can never have too many wide receivers. The Chiefs have almost entirely replaced their wide receiver room in one offseason, with Mecole Hardman being the only remaining player from a year ago (unless you count Josh Gordon). So, why not add one more veteran receiver?
The only real issue with signing Odell is the injury history. He won’t be ready for the start of the season, and you have to wonder, after tearing his ACL for the second time in two years, if he can still compete at a high level. If he can, though, he’s a steal for whichever team does sign him.
The Chiefs’ wide receiver core is deep on paper, especially if players like Justyn Ross and Skyy Moore can develop and thrive in the system. However, nothing is guaranteed in the NFL, and Ross has to overcome his injury history. Injuries are bound to happen, so it’s better to have too many good receivers than not enough.
Once again, there is no real risk in signing Odell to a one-year prove-it deal. Odell could be a veteran that the younger receivers can rely on and learn from. Odell deserves more than a one-year contract, but he is unlikely to get one after all of his recent injuries. If you have to take a prove-it deal, why not do it with Patrick Mahomes throwing you the ball?
Which veteran free agents do you think the Chiefs should bring on board this offseason? Leave a comment down below to join the discussion.
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