The Los Angeles Rams are Super Bowl champions. They worked hard to win not only on the field but off the field. Head Coach Sean McVay came to the Rams in 2017, and his record is 55-26. He is 36 years old and has the opportunity to get better at his craft. McVay and his staff had a strategy and made moves accordingly to assemble a winning product. They valued talented veterans such as Jalen Ramsey, Von Miller, Sony Michel, and Leonard Floyd over rookies entering the league. They sacrificed draft picks on numerous occasions to bring in players like Matthew Stafford. With this mentality, the Rams won a Super Bowl, so the question is, should the Chiefs have the same approach to constructing their roster?
Could the Chiefs Construct a Roster Like the Rams?
The Rams took the approach of signing veteran players with good track records on the field. They also utilized the trade market, which netted them some tremendous players. They viewed proven talent over the unknown that comes with a draft pick. One of the most impactful trades the Rams made was in 2019 when they would send a 2020 1st-round pick, a 2021 1st-round pick, and a 2021 4th-round pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars. In return, the Rams received cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Another example is the Rams traded QB Jared Goff, a 2021 3rd-round pick, a 2022 1st-round pick, and a 2023 1st-round pick to the Detroit Lions. In return, the Rams would get Matthew Stafford. The final example I will use is the Rams traded a 2022 2nd-round pick + 2022 3rd-round pick to the Denver Broncos. In return, the Rams received Von Miller.
This strategy could be considered reckless by surrendering draft picks and future talent for players that could potentially leave the organization after one season based on their contract. This strategy could also drain the salary cap hindering future potential. This method can be often referred to as the “win now” mentality. It was successful for the Rams, so why not the Chiefs? Kansas City has not attempted this method fully, but here are some examples of their attempt at this strategy. In 2019 the Chiefs would trade a 2019 1st-round, a 2019 3rd-round, and a 2020 2nd-round to the Seattle Seahawks. In return, the Chiefs obtained defensive end Frank Clark and a 2019 3rd-round pick (Khalen Saunders). The next example is when the Kansas City Chiefs sent a 2021 1st-round pick, 2021 3rd-round pick, 2021 4th-round pick, and 2022 5th-round pick to the Baltimore Ravens. The Chiefs received tackle Orlando Brown, 2021 2nd-round pick (Nick Bolton), and 2022 6th round pick.
According to spotrac.com, heading into the 2022-23 NFL season, the Rams are currently No. 27 with a $-10,052,364 salary cap. The Chiefs are currently No. 21 with $3,761,984. Now some factors will adjust these numbers, but this gives you a rough idea of where they sit at the moment. The Rams currently have seven draft picks, and the Chiefs have eight. So the question again rises, could the Chiefs take the “win now” approach?
The Kansas City Chiefs Should Do This
The Kansas City Chiefs should continue executing their plan. Kansas City has gone to four consecutive AFC Championships, and two of those resulted in Super Bowl appearances. Of those two Super Bowls, they would win one. I would say this is a valid success rate. This strategy allows the Chiefs to focus on the free-agent pool, draft good players, and use the trade market when needed. The front office, the coaching staff, and the players created an environment where free agents want to come and play for the Chiefs. Brett Veach has improved on his drafts which is important in this strategy. The Chiefs will not sign every big-name free agent. They can not make every blockbuster trade, but what they can do is scout talented players and capitalize in the draft. This drives down the cost spent on players, so when a high-profile player hits the open market, the Chiefs can evaluate if that player is a fit.
The Rams are one example that perfectly executed the “win now” strategy by winning the ultimate goal of a Lombardi trophy. The ultimate question is how long will this “win now” strategy hold up?