The Kansas City Chiefs were forced to shift the way they do things offensively during the 2021 season due to opposing defenses changing the way they defend quarterback Patrick Mahomes and company.
With defenses choosing to consistently put two safeties deep instead of just one, the deep ball was rarely available for Mahomes to connect with his receivers on, which forced him to complete much shorter passes regularly. That led to a career-low 7.6 yards per pass attempt for Mahomes during the 2021 season, according to Pro Football Reference.
The latest Chiefs news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Chiefs newsletter here!
While Kansas City’s offenses will continue to try to gash defenses with big plays through the air, the Chiefs are steadily becoming less resistant to gaining yards in small chunks. That’s why bringing in a talented slot receiver and/or a big-bodied possession receiver to catch passes from Mahomes this offseason would be helpful for Mahomes’ continued development.
It just so happens that a big-bodied pass-catcher with a Hall of Fame resume will be a free agent this offseason, and Pro Football Network has named the Chiefs as a potential landing spot for him.
Gronkowski Linked to Chiefs
Pro Football Network’s Adam H. Beasley wrote about Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski, who is set to be a free agent this offseason. With Tom Brady retiring, it seems that the two likely outcomes for Gronkowski this offseason are that he either retires or plays somewhere else other than Tampa Bay, although re-signing with the Buccaneers is still in the realm of possibility.
If Gronkowski does continue to play football, joining a team in contention for a championship makes the most sense for the 32-year-old tight end, which is why Beasley believes Kansas City could be a potential landing spot for him.
“If he decides to play elsewhere in 2022, the fit will have to be perfect. He’s not going to join a bad team. And he’s not going to play for a coach like Belichick,” Beasley wrote on February 23. “The Cardinals make a lot of sense for the former Arizona Wildcat. The Chargers, Titans, and Chiefs do too.”
Beasley also established the potential parameters regarding a contract for Gronkowski in 2022.
“Gronkowski, even if he returns, will be a year-to-year player. So expect any contract he signs to be similar to the one-year, $8 million deal he agreed to prior to the 2021 season. Spotrac agrees, estimating his market value to be $8.3 million, which would rank eighth among NFL tight ends.”
Why Gronkowski Isn’t a Fit for Chiefs
While the idea of having two Hall of Fame tight ends on Kansas City’s roster is something Chiefs Kingdom could certainly daydream about, the fit doesn’t make sense.
Aside from spending potentially $8 million on a position that doesn’t need to be addressed, bringing in an aged veteran who won’t be in the long-term plans for the franchise doesn’t seem like a good investment strategy for general manager Brett Veach. Instead, spending that money on a wide receiver, whether it’s a slot-type pass-catcher or a big-bodied possession receiver, seems like a better use of money for the Chiefs.
Gronkowski has yet to establish whether he’ll continue playing football. But if he decides that he wants to extend his NFL career, he might have to do so somewhere other than in Kansas City.