In February, the Kansas City Chiefs won their first Super Bowl in 50 years. While it would have been excusable for the front office to get a bit sloppy and rest on their laurels, the exact opposite happened. The Chiefs’ brass got to work and, by all accounts, have had an impeccable offseason.
Their hard work, it seems, hasn’t gone unnoticed. In fact, the Kansas City Chiefs have received plenty of praise for their business; ESPN even believes it’s the best front office performance by any defending champion in the salary cap era.
The Kansas City Chiefs have taken care of business this offseason
While it’s easy to focus on the wins and losses, an NFL team is only as good as its personnel decisions. Whether you’re talking about their active roster or their front office, the Kansas City Chiefs have plenty of talent.
After winning the Super Bowl, Kansas City found themselves in a tough spot. The club was up against the salary cap with some major extensions on the horizon. General manager Brett Veach, however, managed to work some magic.
The Chiefs cut veteran punter Dustin Colquitt to secure some cap space; they also convinced Sammy Watkins to restructure his contract, providing a bit more breathing room. After that, though, the big moves started falling into place. Patrick Mahomes signed a massive, 10-year extension, ensuring that he spends his prime in Kansas City. Veach then managed to sign Chris Jones, who had been set to play on a franchise tag, to a four-year extension.
ESPN has high praise for that offseason’s worth of work
At first glance, it’s easy to see that the Chiefs had an impressive offseason. When you dig further into the details, though, things get even more impressive.
As Dan Graziano explained for ESPN, the Chiefs did more than just re-sign their Patrick Mahomes; come the fall, they’ll be fundamentally the same team that lifted the Lombardi Trophy.
Barring any unforeseen training camp changes, the Chiefs will return 18 of their 22 starters from last season. “According to ESPN Stats & Information research, the only champs to return more starters in the salary-cap era were the 2011 Packers, who went 15-1 before being upset by the Giants in the divisional round,” Graziano explained. “Of the 18 who played 10 or more games last season, all 18 are back. Research by the Elias Sports Bureau says that’s the most for a defending Super Bowl champ since the 1981 Raiders.”
That continuity extends beyond the active roster. “The Chiefs also are bringing back their entire coaching staff—head coach, coordinators, everybody,” Graziano noted. “The last champions to do that, the 2014 Seahawks, made it back to the Super Bowl and came within a couple of yards of repeating.
That reality led ESPN to call the Chiefs’ 2020 offseason the best offseason by a defending Super Bowl champion in the salary cap era. Not a bad title to earn before you’ve even taken the field.
The Kansas City Chiefs will be hoping that continuity leads to an NFL dynasty
Having a successful offseason is the first step toward NFL success. The Kansas City Chiefs, however, will be chasing more than ESPN honors this year.
After going 50 years between Super Bowl titles, the Chiefs seem poised to become a modern dynasty. Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid have proven to be a dynamic duo, capable of putting up points against any opponent; a stacked offense featuring the likes of Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce certainly doesn’t hurt, either. Kansas City still might not be world-beaters on defense, but they improved down the stretch and have a few difference-makers among their ranks.
In modern sports, it’s not uncommon to see a team go all-in to win a championship at the cost of mortgaging their future. The Kansas City Chiefs, however, seem to have built things the right way. They’ll be hoping that means plenty more Super Bowl parades in the coming years.