What If Series: What If The Chiefs Trade Chris Jones AND Cut Sammy Watkins

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Nate continues to look at “What If?” scenarios, this time examining the impact of both trading Chris Jones and cutting Sammy Watkins

We’re continuing our mini-series of some offseason scenarios the Chiefs are having. I’ll admit, this scenario is VERY unlikely to actually happen. Watkins and Jones are both too talented to let go, but just for fun and to kill time, let’s look at a way the Chiefs could work an offseason like that.

Step 1: Cut Sammy Watkins

Watkins immediately saves us 14 million in cap space. With only 13 million left over, this gives us a chance to replace talent, and roll over some cap space. I like Sammy, but he’s too inconsistent and injury prone to be making that much money.

Step 2: Franchise and Trade Chris Jones

This one hurts. If we’re getting rid of Watkins, we need to keep Jones. But, again, this is just a “fun” hypothetical, so we’re also trading Jones. This gives us ample cap space to play with, while securing extra picks.

We’re using the same trade package as before.

  • Pick 26, 70, and 224 from Miami, 128 to Miami

Step 3: Cut Cam Erving, Dustin Colquitt, LDT, Austin Reiter, Damien Wilson

With these 5 players being cut, we save an extra 17 million in cap space. While the depth of this team immediately hurts, none of these players really hurt our short-term outlook. LDT, Reiter, and Erving are all very replaceable players. The Chiefs actually already have a player on the roster at each of their positions next year. Damien Wilson may play SAM, but he save us 3 million. Colquitt saves 2 million, and for a team with limited cap space, cutting Colquitt may provide more short-term benefits.

We now have 45 million dollars to play with.

Step 4: Re-sign Mike Pennel, Emmanuel Ogbah, Stefen Wisniewski

I’ve talked about these guys a lot, so I’m not going to waste too much time here. Combined, I gave them 10-11 million, which is fair for four players. We now don’t need to address safety, left guard or defensive end in the draft. We have plenty of depth there.

One change is that we don’t re-sign Kendall Fuller. I think we need more salary cap space short-term, plus in the next step, I essentially trade player for player.

Step 5: Sign Byron Jones, Joe Schobert

We’re just having fun here. This offseason scenario already makes zero sense, but screw it, we’re just having fun. We lock down our CB1 for the future and solve our need at WILL linebacker, leaving us with little cap space for other moves, but my god, this team is STACKED.

Byron Jones would be excellent in Spagnuolo’s scheme. He’s a very long, versatile corner who carries well. He doesn’t have very good ball skills, but he’s willing to hit, and play in a ton of Cover 3. He fits what we need, and would give us a CB1 for a very long time.

Joe Schobert is really intriguing to me. The idea of Schobert is a little better than the player himself, but his athletic traits are really intriguing. He’s a little smaller than how Spagnuolo prefers his linebackers, but the idea of adding a very rangy linebacker who excels in coverage may be exactly what this Chiefs team needs.

Step 6: Extend Mahomes and Kelce

Again, this is in every hypothetical I’ve done because it makes a ton of sense. Not going to dive into the actual numbers, but yes, this has to be done this offseason.

Step 7: NFL Draft (First Five Rounds)

  • Pick 26: Grant Delpit (S, LSU)
  • Pick 32: Damon Arnette (CB, Ohio State)
  • Pick 63: K.J Hill (WR, Ohio State)
  • Pick 70: Larrell Murchison (IDL, NC State)
  • Pick 96: Logan Stenberg (G, Kentucky)
  • Pick 159: Patrick Taylor Jr. (RB, Memphis)

This draft is fantastic, in my opinion. At 26 we replace Kendall Fuller with a better player in Grant Delpit. Delpit is the ultimate chess piece. He can play single high very well, in the slot, or as a blitzer. He’s not a very good tackler, but that can be worked on. The athletic traits give the Chiefs the best secondary in football, and it’s not even close.

To add to that, we’re just going to draft Damon Arnette, who can also play in the slot. Arnette is a very physical cornerback, but in Ohio State’s multiple scheme Arnette played well. It may have been a bit of a reach, but my goodness, THIS SECONDARY. Imagine a secondary of Byron Jones, Tyrann Mathieu, Juan Thornhill, Daniel Sorensen, Delpit, and Arnette. You wouldn’t be able to throw on these guys at all.

K.J. Hill is a fantastic route runner. He’s able to run people off the line of scrimmage, while having a full route tree. As a replacement for Sammy Watkins, Hill would be a really good value at 63. I’m very happy with this pick.

The next three guys are just depth. I don’t know much about any of them, but they all will help give us depth in 2020. The board didn’t really fall the way I wanted, but overall, these guys hopefully bring us something past 2020.


Guys, I’m not going to lie. I actually talked myself into this offseason scenario. I had no idea where this was going to go, but this offseason would be kind of awesome. We easily have the best secondary in football, and it wouldn’t be close. What’s nice is that, in this scenario, everyone here is signed for at least two years, besides Sorensen, who would be replaceable here.

This team would be a bit weak on the defensive line, but we still carry almost everyone from last year. I’ve highlighted this many times, but defensive tackles aren’t necessarily Spags’ favorite things. He finds them way more replaceable that he does defensive ends. With some depth and defensive ends who can move inside, he would be content with this rotation.

Overall, this offseason likely doesn’t happen, but if it did, we’re easily winning in 2020 and beyond. I’m maybe being hyperbolic, but as long as this core stayed healthy I would challenge NFL teams to stop our offense while throwing at our secondary. It would be marvelous.

Grade: A+

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Remind me again why we have to cut Sammy or let Jones walk when the salary cap is going up $15M?


So you cut 3 OL, re-sign one, and draft one in the bottom of the 6th? How does that work?

Otherwise, some of the stuff is cool. I like the tag-n-trade getting multiple picks back. Gotta rethink that draft and FA if you’re gonna lose two OL without replacing them. IOL has been a need all year. It has to happen…and I don’t consider a RD 6 IOL a guy who can make a quick difference.


so correct. i think if we are cutting 3 IOL, we need to draft a IOL in top 3


Imagine a secondary of Byron Jones, Tyrann Mathieu, Juan Thornhill, Daniel Sorensen, Delpit, and Arnette. You wouldn’t be able to throw on these guys at all.

Unless of course your DL and LB can’t get any pressure and the opposing QB has 7 seconds to throw every play. That’s my concern with this: is Frank Clark less effective without CJ in the middle to provide another pass-rushing threat? If so, are we able to pressure opposing QBs enough to help the secondary out?


I could go with this plan. Very similar to what I was thinking. Personally I would keep LDT one more year, and give Sorenson (5 mil) the axe. I don’t like the idea of the 5 mil in dead money from cutting LDT. I would guess neither does Clark.

A versatile LB in free agency/trade/draft makes Sorenson a 5 million dollar bench player.

Nice write up!


Have no problem with cutting Sammy, but don’t like the idea of cutting LDT. I like the Frenchie, he’s a solid starter with a bad attitude. Not sure what makes him so easy to replace?


The Good Doctor needs to go. He was not worth his salary this past season.


I would take out one new addition to that secondary, and put it toward the front-7 instead. Improve LB or DL, either one. Because with this plan, our LB corps still sucks overall even if Schobert is everything we hope he is, and our Dline lost its best playmaker and did nothing to replace him. Teams wouldn’t have to throw on us, they would ball-control us, which would be their preferred strategy anyway.

MidKan Chiefs Lifer
MidKan Chiefs Lifer

I love it and hate it. The ideas are great, while I’m not totally in on your draft I’m sure Veach has a better idea of who to get in the draft. I hate CJ95 leaving just because he is such an awesome guy and player. He is the best player on our defense and one of the two best DTs the league. That said if he costs too much and we can get more as a whole by trading him then so be it.

Rankin should be healthy next year and looks like he will be good in Reids system. Getting wis back at guard will fill the other spot not sure where we are at with the backups there. Hopefully Allegretti is good to go at center (probably need a backup) and our tackles are still great especially MS.

Oh yes and please let us get a LB that can cover someone.


Only problem is this years LB class is let me say, not very good.

MidKan Chiefs Lifer
MidKan Chiefs Lifer

Well I’m praying for Veach to find a rabbit in the hat I guess.


My only concern is decimating the oline. While the guys lost aren’t great, they know the system. Maybe I’m just too protective over the qb I’ve waited my entire life for.


I don’t despise the idea of trading CJ95. I love the guy, and the player, but it’s the nature of the business. I think Daly and Spags believe they can get the production they need out of the position from a well thought out rotation. I don’t know if they are right, and I think Chris might have changed their mind a bit with his late season play, but I wouldn’t be shocked if they trade him. It has been positioned well enough that they should be able to return good value too. Unlike MP22 or Offside55. I’m not sure if your value is high enough. IDL with his skills are rare, and he has shown no hint of anything negative personality/off field wise.

Sammy is gone. There is just no way. If you are losing both of those guys, I don’t want to see 3 OL gone too. It’s creating holes where they weren’t, without returning value. LDT maybe, he gets paid a lot, but we won’t save a lot this year. Cam definitely. Paid too much and no dead cap. There is no reason to cut Reiter, even if he projects as a backup. He is cheap and now, experienced.

Plus Name and Plus Name
Plus Name and Plus Name

We would definitely need another center if you cut reiter though, and a new punter.


That Fox guy will probably be the new punter.

Plus Name and Plus Name
Plus Name and Plus Name

This series of moves I can really get behind. Don’t see it happening, but this level of crazy just might work.


I have similar scenarios, but as it stands right now we could go in so many different directions. But, I want you to think about this. Last year we dumped Houston and Ford. Everyone was screaming bloody murder. Then we basically got a new DC…a new 4-3….and almost an entirely replaced defense………………….and we won the Super Bowl. So, I think Veach should keep doing bat shit crazy moves to make us competitive the way he did last year. The scenario above is a good example. And remember this too. Bad teams rebuild; Good teams reload.