Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach’s tenure has been defined by two things: Drafting Patrick Mahomes and finding a way to win after paying Mahomes. And what Veach is working on currently continues to show how he’s shrewdly finding ways to keep a championship roster around his all-world QB.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Darlington, Kansas City is optimistic about getting a new contract worked out for defensive tackle Chris Jones, one of the core players in this current incredible run. That move should give K.C. what every NFL team covets — more salary cap space. Once that deal is done, Veach will then have more cash to offer say.. a DeAndre Hopkins.
Will the Kansas City Chiefs Pursue DeAndre Hopkins?
This is Veach’s true superpower — finding creative ways to keep the roster strong. It’s why they went and got players like DB Tyrann Mathieu, DE Frank Clark, and WRs Marquez Valdes-Scantling, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Kadarius Toney.
Most of these players received team-friendly deals that came with the very real potential of playing in Super Bowls as long as Mahomes is running the show. It’s the same model the Patriots employed for years when Tom Brady was appearing in the Super Bowl on what felt like a yearly basis. The lure is what Mahomes can do and what players who come to Kansas City can accomplish.
And ask yourself this question: If Hopkins wanted to be somewhere else, wouldn’t he be there already?
He’s made visits and had offers. Hopkins would be a fool to not at least find out what K.C. can do before making his decision. The Jones’ deal will give Veach the bait he needs to at least put a lure in the water for Hopkins… to see if he’s willing to bite.
The Chiefs currently have the least salary cap space ($562,000) in the NFL, but a Jones extension would give them more financial breathing room. Jones is scheduled to have a $28.3 million cap charge in 2023, the eighth-highest figure in the NFL. Handing him a significant signing bonus — which would be prorated over the life of the contract — and dropping his base salary would likely give Kansas City the space it would need to sign Hopkins.
Hopkins, who has reportedly received offers from the Patriots and Titans, is likely looking for a contract in the Odell Beckham Jr. range — one year, $15 million. However, it’s unclear if Hopkins will be able to find that salary on the open market. He’s been a free agent for more than a month, which could indicate that teams are not meeting his asking price.
Hopkins is now 31 years old. He’s played 10 seasons in the NFL but has made the playoffs on just four occasions and has never been on a team that advanced past the Divisional Round. In three seasons, he was on a squad that won four or fewer games, including last year’s Cardinals.
If Hopkins wants to hoist a Lombardi Trophy, there probably isn’t a better destination than Kansas City. The Chiefs can likely make the money work, but Hopkins will have to accept some give and take.