Kansas City Chiefs offseason needs
Following the embarrassing loss in Superbowl LV to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Kansas City Chiefs have one of their most important offseasons in their franchise’s history. Going into the Superbowl, many wondered if the Chiefs even had a single weakness. However, following the game it was apparent that there are vast holes in the teams roster.
Beginning with the offensive line, which was the most evident weakness in the Superbowl, there are numerous needs to be addressed. To be fair, the Super Bowl starting O-Line had only starter playing in the position they played week one against the Houston Texans, center Austin Reiter. With starters Eric Fisher, Mitchell Schwartz, and Kelechi Osemele all suffering season ending injuries before the Superbowl, Patrick Mahomes relied on backup linemen playing outside of their usual positions. So you may be wondering, where do the Chiefs go from here?
Well, there’s no simple answer to that.
Starting right tackle, Mitchell Schwartz will return next season, but that is the only thing Chiefs fans know at the moment. Eric Fisher, the starting left tackle, suffered a torn achilles tendon and it is unlikely that he will play next season. Kelechi Osemele, the starting right guard, suffered two torn tendons in his knees and is set to become a free agent. Austin Reiter is also set to become a free agent. So the only hope for the Chiefs O-Line is that General Manager Brett Veach can resign Osemele and Reiter, and draft a stud offensive lineman in the 1st round of the 2021 NFL draft.
The next area of concern for the Chiefs is wide receiver. With stars like Tyreek Hill and Tight End Travis Kelce, it is very easy to overlook the problems with their receiving corps. In most games, defenses could not manage to shut down both targets, however the Buccaneers did. That’s the problem, the Chiefs have no true number two receiver behind Hill, which makes Mahomes’s job a lot harder on him. Mecole Hardman and Sammy Watkins compete back and forth for the number two spot, and both of them are far too inconsistent to rely on. With Veach predicted to focus on O-line in the draft, he will either need to sign a free-agent receiver or hope to get a steal of a player in the 3rd-4th rounds.
Focusing on the defense side of the ball, the Chiefs have many concerns on that end as well. Defensive line, linebacker, and cornerback are all needs for 2021. Starting with defensive end, Frank Clark needs to be addressed. He is the 2nd highest salaried player on the team, and only had 6 sacks and 29 tackles. His impact each game is minimal and Veach needs to figure out a plan for him, whether that be a trade or by cutting him.
With 2020 rookie Willie Gay showing promise, the Chiefs just need to draft depth at the linebacker position. However, Veach needs to make it a priority to get linebacker Ben Niemann off the field because he is another weak spot in the linebacker corps.
Cornerbacks Bashaud Breeland and Charvarius Ward aren’t horrible by any means, Veach just needs to add depth. Rookie standout cornerback L’Jarius Sneed will also see an increased impact next season.
With COVID-19 opt-outs RB Damien Williams, OL Lucas Niang, OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardif coming back next year, the Chiefs will have added depth from day one of next season. With the NFL draft beginning on April 29, Chiefs fans around the world are waiting to see Veach’s plan for another Superbowl trip.