Latest on Chiefs’ wide receiver pursuits via free agency, trade
The hunt for another receiver is on for the Kansas City Chiefs after losing both JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman in free agency.
In a recent mailbag, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer sought to answer questions regarding the team’s pursuits of a wide receiver. He confirmed what has been both rumored and reported — the Chiefs are interested in both WR Odell Beckham Jr. in free agency and Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins via trade. He expects the team to add a receiver (or two) at some point down the road. Whether one of those two specific players ends up in Kansas City ultimately comes down to cost.
Here’s a look at some of what Breer had to say:
Right now, Kansas City has around $10 million in cap space. That’s on paper, and doesn’t include what its draft class will cost to sign, or account for any breathing room it will want to carry into the season. So realistically, the idea of taking on Hopkins’s contract as is, or meeting the initial demands that Beckham had for his suitors, would be nonstarters. The good news is both have shown a willingness to work with teams on the money.
How far they’d be willing to go is an open question, and that’d likely be the determining factor on whether they land in Kansas City. The reason Hopkins or Beckham would consider taking less to be Chiefs, of course, is obvious. Andy Reid has effectively turned the Chiefs into what the Patriots used to be—a place vets can go to chase rings and reestablish their market values, while working alongside a top coach and quarterback. If Beckham or Hopkins want that, the door’s open.
It worked for JuJu Smith-Schuster last year. It could for them. So this will come down to what their priorities are, relative to how their respective markets shake out.
Breer’s estimate of the team’s cap space here is a little generous. After recent moves to re-sign players like Nick Allegretti and Derrick Nnadi, the team’s effective cap space is probably closer to five million than it is to ten million. That said, his assessment of the situation is spot on. Whichever player is willing to bend the most on financial considerations will be the one to land with the Chiefs. It just might end up paying off for that player long-term as well.
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