NFL players know that the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl window is still open.
With superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes in his prime, NFL players will be interested in joining the Chiefs when the new NFL year begins this Wednesday.
Kansas City has 23 unrestricted free agents set to hit the open market. The Chiefs will certainly lose some, keep most and bring in a few newcomers.
Fans love to see their teams make the splash signing on the first day, but the smart general managers usually wait and find quality players at a good price.
Since online sports betting in Missouri might happen before the start of 2022 season, this is a pivotal point for Kansas City to get back to make it back to the Super Bowl.
Where do the Chiefs stand?
As of Saturday morning, the Chiefs were still $11-million under the NFL’s salary cap, according to Spotrac.
Don’t fret. Teams have ways of manipulating that number by changing player salaries into signing bonuses (almost like paying upfront, instead of down the road), since signing bonuses don’t count against the salary cap.
The Chiefs also have the luxury of a full slate of NFL draft picks coming up in April. They have 10 total picks, so while the roster may have a hole or two at the moment, the Chiefs can use the draft to stock their roster.
Who is probably leaving the Kansas City Chiefs?
Just about every NFL expert believes that the Chiefs free safety Tyrann Mathieu has played his last down for the Chiefs. His $14-million deal is a bit too high a price tag for the Chiefs to handle, and let’s be honest, sometimes Mathieu is a bit more sizzle than steak.
He led the team with three interceptions but hasn’t been a real game-changer in the secondary. The Chiefs defense could probably use someone with the ability to stop the run from the safety spot more than Mathieu.
Starting right tackle Andrew Wylie is also an unrestricted free agent, so are backup wide receivers, DeMarcus Robinson and Byron Pringle.
The Chiefs need to find some depth in the defensive secondary, a new backup quarterback and can always use players to rush the quarterback.
Despite that, Kansas City is still a huge favorite at this point.
Kansas City Chiefs free agent Wish List
Now is the fun part, let’s play general manager and examine who the Chiefs should reach out to in free agency.
Arden Key, defensive end
The 49ers might be about to break the bank to keep the young star out of LSU. He’s was a bit of a disappointment his first few years with the Las Vegas Raiders but was revived with the 49ers last year with six sacks in his last nine games.
The Chiefs need to get younger and more athletic on the defensive line.
Kemoko Turay, defensive end
Here’s another option for the Chiefs to plug in on the defensive line. The fourth-year man out of Rutgers had four sacks last year for the Indianapolis Colts.
His best days may be ahead of him.
Anthony Firkser, tight end
In Travis Kelce, the Chiefs have the top tight end in the NFL, but they’re probably going to lose No. 2 tight end Blake Bell in free agency, leaving a void.
Firkser fits exactly what the Chiefs look for, he has good size, hands (34 catches last year with the Titans) and you know Mahomes would give him plenty of chances.
DeSean Jackson, wide receiver
So this is a fun one. Yes, Jackson is going to be 36, but you know he is still one of the fastest players in the NFL.
The Chiefs wide receiver corps is all about speed, and Jackson would probably like to get to a Super Bowl and think the Chiefs can get him there.
Jabrill Peppers, safety/linebacker
Swap out Mathieu for Peppers? He would be much cheaper. The Michigan product tore his ACL in October but should be 100 percent for training camp.
He can return punts and remember he played offense in college and high school. It would be fun to see what Chiefs coach Andy Reid could do with him.
Chase Daniel, quarterback
Daniel spent three years in Kansas City (2013-2015), starting two games. He’s the definition of a career backup now.
At age 36, he can provide valuable experience with the expected departure of Chad Henne.