The Kansas City Chiefs are coming off winning their first Super Bowl in five decades. That has significantly raised the bar around the franchise ahead of the 2020 season to not only defend their title but remain among the top teams in the league. There have been hurdle thrown their way like the rest of the NFL due to the growing concerns regarding the coronavirus. The Chiefs have suffered yet another significant loss as it relates to the concerns regarding the virus.
Chiefs’ busy offseason
The Chiefs’ success in the 2019 season capped by a Super Bowl win increased the importance of taking care of business.
The front office has remained busy that has been highlighted by securing star quarterback Patrick Mahomes to a record-breaking 10-year extension that can be worth up to $503 million. The deal was anticipated to come at some point this offseason, but the numbers far exceeded expectations that have reset the entire contract market.
Shortly after that, the Chiefs worked out a four-year extension worth $85 million with $60 million in total guarantees. The team avoided a possible lingering issue by securing him a long-term deal ahead of the July 15 deadline for an extension for players on the franchise tag. These have secured the future of the franchise, with two key players locked in for the long haul.
However, Kansas City just took another significant to their team for the 2020 season.
Damian Williams opts out of 2020 season
The start of the 2020 season is quickly approaching, which has levied the players’ concerns about the risks taking with the coronavirus still a prominent health issue.
That has already impacted the Chiefs with starting guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif opting out of the upcoming campaign. The franchise has lost another to those concerns as starting running back Damien Williams has elected to sit out the 2020 season. (H/T ESPN)
“As an organization, we certainly understand and respect Damien’s choice, knowing it was made in the best interest of his family,” general manager Brett Veach said Wednesday. “He means a lot to our football team as a player and a person, and we’re going to miss having him around this season.”
That is a notable hit for the Chiefs as Williams plays a significant factor in their offense. He has spent the last two seasons with the team, where he has carved out a steady role in the backfield and earned the starting job. His absence places a more substantial responsibility on the running backs on the roster.
Kansas City selected former LSU standout Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the first round of this year’s draft. The team also has three other running backs on the roster with Darrel Williams, Darwin Thompson, and DeAndre Washington. There is plenty of depth at the position that could see one of their options burst out to become an effective primary factor.
Expectations for 2020 season
The Chiefs have lost to starters in the last week, but that shouldn’t push the expectations away from contending for a Super Bowl.
As long as Patrick Mahomes is under center, Kansas City will be the conversation to add more titles. He’s the franchise’s driving force, which was exemplified by the massive contract he earned. The Chiefs possess young talent at the running back spot that could see Edwards-Helaire cement himself as their starter for the long haul.
There is much that can change during the season, but expect the Chiefs to be well in the mix to contend for a Super Bowl as one of the favorites. Only time will tell how much Williams’ absence will impact the team in the 2020 campaign.