There Is Only One Irreplaceable Player On The Chiefs

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The NFL combine has traditionally been a time when general managers work out trades with each other. With the 2023 combine coming to a close and the legal tampering period a mere week away (and the franchise tag deadline coming up tomorrow), the offseason speculation is at it’s peak.

Fans can’t help themselves but talk about the shiny toys available, whether it be excitedly hoping to get a shiny new toy from another team (I’m looking at you DeAndre Hopkins) or panic and angst over potentially losing a shiny toy from your own team (like speculation other a Chris Jones trade).

But those emotional responses should be tempered, as barring a restructure there will be a $49 million cap hit from Mahomes in 2023, severely limiting the number of expensive contracts we can hand out. While it’d certainly be nice to see Hopkins in the better red jersey, it simply may not be in the cards because of the NFL’s strict salary cap.

This isn’t a problem though, because the Chiefs have the one player who can impact games like no other. While teams like the Broncos and Chargers are desperate to surround their lesser quarterbacks with overwhelming talent to become a true Super Bowl contender, Mahomes can carry a decent but unspectacular roster to Super Bowl glory.

The Chiefs should have no fear when it comes to roster construction. It is fear that causes fans to worry about these star players afterall. Chris Jones is so good, what would our defense be like without him? Or think about how awesome it’d be to have Hopkins on the field catching passes over defenders!

Change is an inherent part of the NFL. If Mahomes ends up being even close to Brady’s ring count his last championship team is going to be completely different than his first. His 6th Super Bowl victory will require him to win without Travis Kelce or Chris Jones. In fact, Mahomes only saw 7 teammates join him for the 3 Super Bowls he’s already played in, with most of those being special teamers (Butker and Winchestor) and depth or rotational players (Nnadi and Allegretti). Frank Clark, Chris Jones, and Travis Kelce are the only other constants between those 3 games.

With this in mind we should embrace rather than fear change. If our goal is to consistently win championships for another decade or more, requiring us to eventually hoist the Lombardi Trophy without Kelce or Jones on the stage, why not make sure the inevitable divorces happen on our terms?

Trading Kelce would make little sense (he has what is probably the best value veteran contract in the NFL), but Chris Jones has just one more year left on his current deal. His next contract will take him into his 30’s, and will likely be the last contract he signs as a star player. This offseason will be the last chance the Chiefs have of getting massive return in a trade, while also potentially avoiding his contract becoming an albatross if he he declines as defensive linemen typically do in their 30’s.

There is very real case to make for trading Jones. If the team evaluates the situation and comes to the conclusion that it makes more sense in the long run to trade him, they shouldn’t hesitate. As long as we have Mahomes, no other player is irreplaceable.

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03/06/2023 1:34 pm

This is a pretty cool video: the evolution of Skyy Moore.

03/06/2023 12:06 pm

Related to the image at the top:

03/06/2023 11:48 am

TL/DR … I’m assuming it was Boomer Grigsby or Tyler Thigpen ? … ; )

Reply to  KCChef
03/06/2023 12:00 pm

He’s talking about current players. It was that guy who was the “other” #14 in the team photo.
Can’t replace that guy, who ever he is.

03/06/2023 10:54 am

agreed … Clark, then Jones then someday all-too-soon Kelce … it’s simply the way it is in the NFL: cap hits from top players don’t allow teams to get “too many” of those top players or keep too many of them … unless players themselves are amenable to “playing for less money” (for the good of the team) then it’s a fact of life for every team in the NFL, including the Chiefs

KC fans are truly fortunate to have a QB like Mahomes in a QB-driven league (not to mention Andy Reid and Bret Veach) and yeah, he IS the one guy who can’t be replaced (at least not until Veach and his Scouting Team find another Mahomesian type QB out there in the college ranks)

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