The Kansas City Chiefs are the NFL‘s new gold standard. But are they a dynasty? Certainly, they deserve consideration after winning the AFC West for a record seventh straight time.
And what makes their success all the more impressive: You can count on your fingers how many players who were part of the start of their run to their most recent title. It’s a testament to the job general manager Brett Veach has done in finding players, and Andy Reid in making those new pieces fit.
Kansas City will try to do it all over again this spring, making decisions on a bunch of key free agents, cut candidates, and team needs.
Kansas City Chiefs Offseason Preview: More Change Coming
How good is Patrick Mahomes? He lost his all-world wide receiver Tyreek Hill and still had the second-best statistical season of his career.
Mahomes broke his own franchise record in passing yards (5,250) and holds spots one through four on that list. His 41 touchdowns were the second most in his career, and he set a personal best in completion percentage (67.1). And much of the production came throwing to two new faces: JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
MORE: Denver Broncos Offseason Preview 2023
We can expect more turnover in 2023.
Three key free agents accounted for roughly a third of the Chiefs’ targets in 2022. So the Chiefs will be busy this spring, and their focus should not be limited to offense. They also need to figure out a red-zone defense that allowed touchdowns at the second-highest rate in 2022 (67.3%).
Chiefs’ 2023 Salary Cap Space
According to Spotrac, the Chiefs, as of early January, were under the 2023 salary cap by $18.1 million, giving them the 14th-most space in the NFL. That figure includes less than $1 million in dead cap. It is based on an estimated $225 million NFL salary cap in 2023.
The exact cap figure will not be known until the NFL announces it in early March.
Chiefs Free Agents 2023
The following Chiefs players are set to hit free agency. Restricted free agents are noted with the abbreviation RFA and exclusive rights free agents by ERFA.
- G Nick Allegretti
- TE Blake Bell
- LT Orlando Brown
- QB Shane Buechele
- FB Michael Burton
- S Deon Bush
- OT Geron Christian
- DE Carlos Dunlap
- TE Jody Fortson
- WR Mecole Hardman
- QB Chad Henne
- RB Ronald Jones II
- CB Chris Lammons
- RB Jerick McKinnon
- DT Derrick Nnadi
- DT Khalen Saunders
- WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
- S Juan Thornhill
- P Tommy Townsend
- OT Prince Tega Wanogho
- WR Justin Watson
- DE Tershawn Wharton
- OT Andrew Wylie
Offensive Tackle Orlando Brown
Spotrac’s calculated market value: Five years, $112.1 million ($22.4 million AAV)
Overview: Brown may have allowed a few sacks in 2022, but his body of work is easily good enough to make him a top-10 tackle should the Chiefs choose to extend him — or allow Brown to hit the open market. If they franchise tag him again, Brown will make $20 million in 2023.
Wide Receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster
Spotrac’s calculated market value: Three years, $29.1 million ($9.7 million AAV)
Overview: Go figure — playing with an in-his-prime Patrick Mahomes is better for your career than a late-stage Ben Roethlisberger. JuJu, in his first (only?) year in Kansas City, had his most productive receiving season since he went to the Pro Bowl in 2018.
Potential Cut Candidates
- DE Frank Clark ($22 million in savings)
- WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($7 million)
Chiefs’ Team Needs Heading Into 2023 Offseason
- Defensive Tackle
- Offensive Tackle
- Wide Receiver