Chiefs Are Keeping $30 Million Player Despite Rumors of Potential Release

Getty Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid.

With two years remaining on his $30 million deal with the Kansas City Chiefs, some NFL analysts believed the Chiefs could have potentially parted ways with receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling this offseason in a cap-saving maneuver. But now that a key date during the offseason has come and gone, that’s likely not going to happen.

As brilliantly pointed out first by Charles Goldman of Chiefs Wire, $6.44 million of Valdes-Scantling’s salary for the 2023 season became guaranteed on Friday, March 17 per Over The Cap. Because his total base salary for the 2023 season is $8.5 million, Kansas City would save a minimal amount of cap space now if it were to part ways with MVS.

So, the veteran pass catcher isn’t going anywhere. At least not this year.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling a Playoff Hero for Chiefs

During the 2022 regular season, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, 29, caught 42 passes on 81 targets for 687 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns, according to Pro Football Reference. While his regular season stats weren’t anything to write home about, it was Valdes-Scantling’s playoff efforts that really make him worthy of keeping around.

During the Chiefs’ AFC Championship victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, MVS had 6 catches for 116 receiving yards and 1 touchdown. In a low-scoring game with a Super Bowl appearance on the line, MVS rose to the occasion and had arguably one of the best games of his career.

Producing at a high level in the AFC Championship speaks volumes about Valdes-Scantling’s value to the Chiefs, who signed him to a three-year, $30 million deal in March 2022.

Valdes-Scantling’s chemistry with quarterback Patrick Mahomes grew over the course of the season, which was evident during the AFC Title Game when he tied tight end Travis Kelce for the team lead in targets (8). Another offseason in Kansas City’s system will only benefit MVS, as he will continue to have a Hall of Fame offensive mind in Andy Reid and a superstar quarterback by his side.

State of Receiver Room for Chiefs

As it stands, the Chiefs have three wide receivers on the roster that played meaningful snaps during the 2022 season and are under contract for the 2023 season: Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kadarius Toney, and Skyy Moore. The defending Super Bowl champions also have Cornell Powell, Justyn Ross, Ihmir Smith-Marsette, and Jerrion Ealy, who will all work with the team this offseason and battle to remain in Kansas City come September.

JuJu Smith-Schuster took to free agency this offseason and signed a three-year, $25.5 million deal with the New England Patriots. Mecole Hardman and Justin Watson also took to free agency but have yet to sign a deal with an NFL team.

With lots of youth in the receiver room, Kansas City could look to add another veteran to it via free agency or trade. Some potential options from either of those pools are DeAndre Hopkins, Odell Beckham Jr., Adam Thielen, and DJ Chark.

Twitter users discussed Kansas City’s situation at receiver.

“Wonder if Justyn Ross is showing them enough they feel like that they can take whatever comes along at a reasonable price?” one Twitter user wrote.

“I hope they sign a vet. Rookies receivers don’t contribute much. Offense so complex it takes a lot of time to learn,” another user wrote.


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