There’s no doubt that K.C. Chiefs general manager Brett Veach has been aggressive since he’s taken over the job. He’s traded up several times in the draft, pulled off trades for big name players, and spent big money in free agency on several occasions. While not every single one of those moves have worked out, you have to admire the determination. Especially when you look at other organizations who have failed to satisfy their franchise players.
It all started on that fateful night in 2017 when the Kansas City Chiefs traded up 17 spots in the NFL Draft all the way from pick 27 to pick 10. Of course, The Chiefs would end up selecting Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes. We all know by now that Brett Veach played a huge part in making this move happen. Yes, Brett Veach wasn’t the general manager at the time, but he put the front team on Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid in particular was sold form there on.
As soon as Brett Veach and the Chiefs knew they had something special in Mahomes, they wasted no time investing in the pieces around him, starting off with the signing of free agent wide receiver Sammy Watkins to a lucrative three-year deal in 2018 free agency prior the season in which Mahomes was slated to start. The offense already featured stars like Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill so Mahomes had all the help he needed thanks to the front office. Mahomes would go on to lead the Kansas City Chiefs to a 12-4 record in 2018 while winning league MVP as the Chiefs made it all the way to the AFC Championship game and would be hosting the New England Patriots.
We all know how that season ended, though. An infamous offsides call on Chiefs defensive end Dee Ford as well as a collectively poor effort on defense not just in the AFC Championship game, but all year, kept the Chiefs from reaching the Super Bowl in 2018. The defense clearly needed an overhaul. So, what did Brett Veach and the Chiefs do? They went out and acquired defensive end Frank Clark and All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu in addition to drafting Juan Thronhill and making other low-risk signings including cornerback Bashaud Breeland. While the Clark move among others may not look the best right now there is no doubt Veach made moves like that with great determination to maximize the Super Bowl Window.
As a result of these moves to address the weaknesses on the team, the Chiefs were able to pull off their magical Super Bowl run in the 2019-2020 season. That very next offseason the Chiefs were also able to bring back almost everyone that played a major role in the Super Bowl LIV campaign and they even turned $177 dollars in cap space into an $85 million extension for defensive tackle Chris Jones when no one thought it was financially possible, keeping the core intact.
Despite the Chiefs making their best effort to win a second consecutive Super Bowl, they were mauled by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-9 in Super Bowl LV and one of the main reasons why was their porous offensive line which allowed Patrick Mahomes to be pressured 29 times which was the most of any quarterback in the Super Bowl since Jim Kelly who was pressured 25 times in Super Bowl XXVI. While the offensive line did suffer from injuries throughout 2020, they were already aging on the bookends with Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher and the interior was nothing to write home about.
Furthermore, Patrick Mahomes was getting beaten around like a rag doll in that game as well as a few others. He was also being pressured on 26% of his drop backs in 2020. Brett Veach and the front office saw this and said, “this is never going to happen again”. A quarterback the caliber of Patrick Mahomes does not deserve that bad of an offensive line.
Once again Brett Veach identified this problem and attacked it in free agency. He didn’t just make additions to the offensive line. He completely overhauled it. The Chiefs added six new offensive lineman including Kyle Long, Orlando Brown, Creed Humphrey, Austin Blythe, Trey Smith, and joe Thuney as well as welcoming back 2020 opt-outs Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Lucas Niang. That’s going above and beyond. It took a lot of work behind the scenes to pull off moves like signing Joe Thuney and trading for Orlando Brown and Veach was also aggressive in making sure the Chiefs got the best, most sure thing at left tackle with Orlando Brown after also going hard for free agent Trent Williams who ultimately went back to San Francisco.
KC Chiefs fans shouldn’t take the front office’s aggression for granted
Now, most Chiefs fans may just brush off the significance of having an aggressive front office like Brett Veach and company and there are other aggressive general managers, but when you look at other franchises who have completely taken what they have at quarterback for granted such as Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, Andrew Luck in Indianapolis. and Russell Wilson in Seattle as far as giving them what they ask for. Of course, the most recent case is Aaron Rodgers who is rumored to be wanting out of Green Bay after years of the front office of ignoring his requests of adding talent to the offense meanwhile Brett Veach has always said that he’ll continue to add weapons around Mahomes.
It really makes you feel lucky as a fan when you realize just how well the Chiefs have taken care of their players since Brett Veach has taken over and that’s why they continue to be players in free agency every year and why they are always able to maintain good relationships with their players. Time and time again the front office has proven that you can add talent if you want to even if the so called cap experts say it isn’t possible. “If you aren’t all-in then you aren’t really trying” appears to be Brett Veach’s motto.
While the aggression from the front office doesn’t always result in good moves as we’ve seen in various instances such as trading up for Breeland Speaks or giving up an arm and a leg for Frank Clark, it definitely has landed the Chiefs in a situation more desirable than just about any other organization whether you’re admittedly a fan of Brett Veach or not. The determination of the Chiefs front office shouldn’t be taken for granted.