KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs have had a lot of moving pieces in the 2022 offseason.
Key players like Tyreek Hill, Tyrann Mathieu, Melvin Ingram, Daniel Sorensen and Armani Watts have all signed with other teams or are currently in free agency. With the Chiefs having so many moving pieces and with 12 total draft picks (at the time of this writing) general manager Brett Veach wanted to implore that this is not the time to rebuild because of Patrick Mahomes.
“When you have Pat Mahomes, I think we’re wired to go after it every year,” Veach said at a press conference Friday. “I think you just have to be smart with what you do, and I think what’s needed to do that is Draft resources and cap space.”
The NFL Draft will allow the Chiefs to bring in more young players and younger depth while veterans still lead key positions. With guaranteed contracts giving players higher and higher salaries, Veach said the Chiefs’ front office is in a constant state of altering moves as they fill out the roster each year.
“Certainly this was a time where you need to alter course of action and rely on draft picks, but I think it will come full circle again,” Veach said. “We’re always going to operate with the mindset of having flexibility. I think those types of questions are more of a case-by-case situation depending on where the team is and what we feel is available to us in a particular year. Some years you may feel like you can get something similar with a lesser trade or in the Draft and then some years you feel like what’s out there in free agency can’t be replicated, so you have to be a little bit more bold and aggressive.
Veach is in his first GM role after being a scout for the Philadelphia Eagles and a player personnel executive for the Chiefs from 2013 to 2016. He has gained much experience since he took over as GM in 2017 but he laughingly alluded to how winning a Super Bowl makes managing a roster much rougher than he initially thought.
“I always thought if you become a GM in this league and win a Super Bowl it is icing on the cake, a stress-free life, but it’s the complete opposite. Every year you feel like it’s not good enough.”
“I think in general, working in this profession, being in this league, everyone literally forgets what you did the year before. Every year it has to be something brand new and different. It motivates us and we are fortunate that we have guys that are wired to come in and compete every day. Talking to Patrick every day and seeing those guys working with him is certainly another motivating factor. The pressure and the expectations are there whether you won a Super Bowl the year before or if you stink, there is still pressure to win. We feel it all the time.”
As the pressure mounts for the Chiefs to get back to the Super Bowl, they’ll look to the draft and their 194 names on the big board to try to hold the Lombardi Trophy one more time.
“My staff coming in earlier, flying out here weeks ahead of time to make sure we have the bases covered with this amount of picks. We feel really good about it, but again, I don’t think we’d be there if not for the great work by the staff I have and the coaches.”