As the NFL went wild, the Kansas City Chiefs revived it


It seems like forever since now, but the NFL’s “legal falsification” period – the de facto start of free agency – started on March 16, just three weeks ago. While the world of sports as a whole had abruptly stopped on its axis the previous week – with the cancellation of March Madness and the suspension of the NBA season due to COVID-19 – the NFL continued. The NFLPA announced the adoption of a new collective agreement on March 15, promising ten years of peace in the workplace. The next day, at 11 am rush hour, the “legal falsification” started as planned.

Chiefs general manager Brett Veach had his first day on the job: exercising team options on Damiens Williams and Wilson, franchising star assassin Chris Jones and renewing the backup quarterback Chad Henne for a two-year contract.

The rest of the NFL has gone completely crazy.

Texans head coach / general manager / god of his own universe, Bill O’Brien, inexplicably traded DeAndre Hopkins for an aging half-runner. The Colts sent the 14th draft pick to San Francisco for DeForest Buckner. The Miami Dolphins distributed more money to the free agents than any other team. Tom Brady left New England for TAMPA BAY.

The real world, unfortunately, has gotten even crazier. On March 18, the same day, Veach found $ 5 million to restructure Frank Clark’s contract to sub-cap salary in time for the official start of the new league year, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced that Kansas students will not be returning to class for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. The next day, California became the first state to order “stay home,” and others quickly followed suit.

By the time Kansas City, Missouri, released a city-wide shutdown on March 21, after five days of free agency, it was clear that this off-season would be unlike anything the NFL had seen before. The league had already canceled its live draft events scheduled for late April in Las Vegas, and was just days away from issuing a formal order asking the teams to close their facilities. There have been rumors that the mini-recruit camps, OTAs, and possibly even the training camp, have been shortened, postponed or canceled. At this point, the Chiefs had only recruited two new players: cornerback Antonio Hamilton and offensive lineman Mike Remmers.

The chefs’ response to everything that changes? Keep everything the same.

On March 24, the same day the NFL ordered the teams to shut down, the Chiefs signed side back Anthony Sherman and defensive forward Mike Pennel for new one-year contracts. On March 28, they re-signed the wide receiver Demarcus Robinson. Then, on April 3, they announced a new agreement for the wide receiver Sammy Watkins.

“Run it back” may have been the chef’s plan from the start. It may have been a response on the fly to anything that changes. Maybe it was a bit of both. But no matter how Brett Veach and Andy Reid got here, it makes a lot of sense now. Chiefs’ offense returns 10 of 11 Super Bowl starters, eight of his nine main receivers of 2019, five of his first six leaders in a hurry, most of his offensive line and all of his offensive confidence: Andy Reid, coordinator offense Eric Bieniemy, passing game coordinator / QB coach Mike Kafka, and each assistant coach.

While the defense still has holes to fill at the cornerback, could use an upgrade in linebacker and needs a little more depth at all levels, it also returns defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, each assistant coach and Nine of the 12 players who played more than 50% of defensive snaps in the Super Bowl LIV: Daniel Sorensen, Tyrann Mathieu, Charvarius Ward, Tanoh Kpassagnon, Frank Clark, Chris Jones, Anthony Hitchens, Damien Wilson and Derrick Nnadi.

The “Run It Back 2020” campaign is officially launched.


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