The Kansas City Chiefs’ wide receiver depth chart had plenty of new faces last season, and the dynamic of the 2023 offseason presents an opportunity for a few different paths.
If general manager Brett Veach goes one way, he can bring back a good deal of the same group that helped Kansas City win Super Bowl LVII against the Philadelphia Eagles. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Mecole Hardman and Justin Watson are free agents, but reporting all along has been consistent with the team wanting Smith-Schuster to return on a new contract. If that happens, it leaves a quartet of him, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore in the fold as the team’s top four wideouts.
If Veach goes another way, he can overhaul the position once again to a minor degree. By letting Smith-Schuster go and bringing in someone else to help lead the group, Kansas City would still have Valdes-Scantling, Toney and Moore in the picture but also wouldn’t have the same continuity from 2022. Turning over the top of the receiver room for the second offseason in a row could provide new possibilities in 2023 and potentially beyond. There’s also a third path that Veach can take, though: re-sign Smith-Schuster and keep the door open for another move to be made at receiver.
Appearing on Good Morning Football on Monday, James Palmer of NFL Network reiterated that the Chiefs’ goal this offseason is to keep their core group of receivers — the aforementioned four — intact. With that said, he added that receivers from around the league are interested in playing for Kansas City. As far as quarterback Patrick Mahomes is concerned, Palmer says that wideouts have been “calling him this entire offseason” asking if they can come play with him on the Chiefs. While Palmer admits that he isn’t alluding to a signing directly, he continued by saying the possibility of an external addition is “out there on the table.”
“It doesn’t mean they’re done looking. It doesn’t mean also that other wide receivers, I’m told, are not blowing up Patrick Mahomes’s phone. To my understanding, guys have been calling him this entire offseason saying, ‘Can I come to Kansas City? Can I come and play with you guys?’
“That is a real thing that is happening. I’m not saying that they’re adding anybody else. Brett Veach is one of these general managers that will always be weighing every single option that is out there on the table. There are receivers that are interested but right now, the plan appears to be bringing back everybody that they were finishing the season with which isn’t a terrible thing to have but again, when everybody wants to come, maybe a discount could be there in play and could be interesting.”
Patrick Mahomes ☎️ has been blowing up 👀 https://t.co/QLMMlh0kJF
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) March 14, 2023
Any plan to add a noteworthy veteran receiver other than Smith-Schuster into the room for this upcoming season appears to be a secondary one. Veach is a rather opportunistic general manager, however, and is never afraid to take a risk or make a big-time move if he thinks someone from the outside can help put the Chiefs in the best position to win a Super Bowl.
With a little bit of flexibility at Veach’s disposal, Palmer’s report should further emphasize that Kansas City wants to surround Mahomes with a suitable group of weapons. If things break down with Smith-Schuster, and potentially even if they don’t, that could mean adding another piece to the puzzle. Because of the team’s confidence in Toney and its 2022 draft investment in Moore, though, perhaps standing pat is indeed their ultimate route of choice.