With the free agency signing period officially beginning this week, the Chiefs made some splash moves. On Tuesday, the news broke of two moves that the Chiefs had made, one to the offensive side of the ball and one to the defensive side.
On the offensive side of things, the Chiefs complete their offense by the signing of wide receiver Sammy Watkins. This was a pretty good get for the Chiefs, as Watkins was rumored to have a large market of teams that were wanting his services for 2018 and beyond. The deal is reportedly for three years at $48 million. To the chagrin of some people out there, they feel like Watkins got overpaid. For athletes, part of the business is being able to accumulate as much money as you can before retirement. On the money side of things for the Chiefs, they are taking a chance on Watkins while he is still young and in his prime.
What does the signing of Watkins mean for the Chiefs? With Albert Wilson signing with the Dolphins, the Chiefs sign a speedster with great hands in Watkins. Plus, Watkins joins the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt on the Chiefs offense. This also means the Chiefs do not have a big need come draft time at wide receiver. Could the Chiefs still draft one? Besides Watkins and Hill, the Chiefs employ Chris Conley, Demarcus Robinson, De’Anthony Thomas and Jehu Chesson on the depth chart.
Now let’s take a look at what signing the Chiefs made to help out the defense. Middle linebacker Anthony Hitchens has signed with Kansas City, although the terms of the contract are still not finalized. Hitchens will earn $9 million per year. Also, the deal runs five years. Hitchens spent his first four years in the NFL with the Dallas , who drafted him in 2014. In his career, Hitchens started in 48 games.
When looking at Hitchens tape, it’s obvious that he can stop the run, something the Chiefs have struggled with the last couple of years. Like Watkins, Hitchens is still young, which backs up the Chiefs other offseason moves. Hitchens youth and playing style also pairs him up perfectly with Reggie Ragland, whom he will share the inside linebacker duties with. There have been many mentions on Hitchens on social media, after this deal came to fruition. Most players seem to think the Chiefs made a good signing by getting the likes of Hitchens to try and improve the defense.
The Chiefs do not appear finished. Look for them to possibly land a defensive tackle as well. But by signing a wide receiver and middle linebacker, the Chiefs tightened up some positions of need that may not have enough depth for them in the draft. If the Chiefs can land a defensive tackle, they are heading into the draft in better shape. The draft seems to have plenty of depth at defensive back.