Of all the positions the Kansas City Chiefs need to address this offseason, wide receiver doesn’t rank too highly — even with Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson slated to hit the open market. However, the AFC champions may still need to retune their complementary pieces alongside Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman and tight end Travis Kelce.
With a “uniquely stacked” free agent receiver class looming next month, Kansas City could wait out the market and attract a savvy veteran on a team-friendly deal in exchange for a serious shot at a Super Bowl run.
However, during a recent airing of the PFF Forecast podcast, Pro Football Focus vice president of research and development Eric Eager explored what it would look like if the Chiefs elected to go after one of the elite options in the class. The result? A dream pairing with Detroit Lions star Kenny Golladay.
“Obviously, it’s against the grain because I think this team needs offensive line help, they need some help on defense, etc,” Eager explained to co-host George Chahrouri on Sunday. “But we really saw in the Super Bowl without a third option, they had a difficult time going up against elite caliber defenses. In the previous Super Bowl, they emerged victorious against a great defense with a third option. There’s tons of them available here. I think coming off of an injury, I think being a contested-catch guy, being a red zone guy — somewhere the Chiefs have really struggled — Kenny Golladay [in] Kansas City.”
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Why Golladay to the Chiefs Is a Super Long Shot
First things first. This scenario isn’t quite as unfathomable as this purposely absurd Patrick Mahomes trade proposal from Bleacher Report last week, but it’s still very, very unlikely.
For starters, it’s not every day a game-changing playmaker in his prime becomes available, so when they do, what follows is typically a long list of suitors with cash to throw. That already puts the Chiefs behind the eight-ball as Brett Veach and the front office will need to shed between $18-23 million of salary cap space and determine the future of 24 of its own free agents before March 17.
At only 27 years old with consecutive 1,000-yard seasons before a hip injury sidelined him for much of 2020, Golladay could expect to land a multi-year contract with an average annual value ranking toward the top of the position. Spotrac predicts something in the range of five years, $85 million — or approximately $17 million per year. However, it’s unlikely the Lions even let him make it that far. As PFF also recently predicted, the team will likely use its franchise tag on the Pro Bowler, keeping him in Detroit for at least one more year while they buy time on a new long-term contract.
He also recently expressed at least some level of loyalty to the franchise that took a chance on him in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Could Chiefs Add a Big-Bodied WR Option in 2021?
Unfortunately for Golladay, the Lions receiving corps could be gutted in the coming weeks. Worse? The team’s 2021 prospects are already looking bleak as they look to rebuild under new head coach Dan Campbell, general manager Brad Holmes and quarterback Jared Goff, who isn’t exactly the deep ball threat Matthew Stafford had been for Golladay during his first four professional campaigns.
All things considered, the 6-foot-4, 214-pound Golladay won’t be the next prize for Mahomes, but the idea of adding a big-bodied wideout into the mix in Andy Reid’s offense is still intriguing. Although his West Coast-based system typically relies more on quicker receivers who can get open through crisp route-running, contrary to some of today’s schoolyard “jump ball” playmakers in the mold of Golladay.
Outside of Kelce and the tight end group, the next closest thing in recent years has been 6-foot-4 journeyman and special teams ace Marcus Kemp. However, his future with the team is also now up in the air after his practice squad contract officially expired on Tuesday, according to the NFL’s official transaction report for February 16. Judging by the handful of receivers the Chiefs have already inked to reserve/future deals this offseason, that trend isn’t likely to change next season either.
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Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs from enemy territory in Denver, Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join the Heavy on Chiefs Facebook community for the latest out of Chiefs Kingdom!