Chiefs Completely Botch Free Agency in Latest ESPN Projections

ESPN forecasts Austin Ekeler potentially joining the Chiefs this offseason
ESPN forecasts Austin Ekeler potentially joining the Chiefs this offseason / Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Bad offseason takes are just getting started and ESPN's latest free agency projections are merely the latest in what will be a long few months of nonsense.

In discussing the 50 top NFL free agents, ESPN listed the Chiefs as the "best team fit" for three players: DT Chris Jones, LT Tyron Smith, and RB Austin Ekeler.

Jones is an obvious one and I have no quarrels with him, but Smith and Ekeler would both be disastrous signings for a franchise with limited salary cap space. I put the odds at virtually zero, and it's goofy to even consider unless you're planning to let L'Jarius Sneed walk and restructure several contracts.

ESPN's Latest Projections Give Chiefs a Horrible Offseason

Let's start with Tyron Smith. He's been among the best left tackles in the NFL for years, but he's missed 33 games over the last four seasons and while he isn't likely to command a huge price tag, it doesn't make sense to pay $10+ million annually to a 33-year-old player when you just invested a third-round pick in a tackle.

Unless Smith is willing to take a massive discount relative to the $97 million contract he last received, the Chiefs would be better served spending their limited resources elsewhere.

The Ekeler one is downright puzzling barring some kind of veteran minimum deal. He obviously lost a step last year, averaging just 3.5 yards per carry. Ekeler is a capable pass-catcher, but it's much more likely that Brett Veach will invest a late-round draft pick to develop behind Isiah Pacheco, who emerged as one of the top backs in the league last year.

Considering the long list of free agents the Chiefs have to make decisions on, it makes no sense to bring in a pair of aging, injury-prone players instead of keeping our young, proven guys.

Fingers crossed the Chiefs don't listen to these projections, or we'll be in for a long offseason.

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