With a third consecutive triumph in sight, these positions on the Chiefs’ roster must take precedence this spring.

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The Kansas City Chiefs are gearing up for an historic offseason, setting their sights on an achievement that has eluded teams in the NFL’s modern era—securing three consecutive Super Bowl titles. The last team to embark on such a journey was the New England Patriots 19 years ago, making the upcoming offseason for the Chiefs exceptionally crucial.

The pursuit of this unprecedented status amplifies the significance of every move the Chiefs will make in the coming months. In an era dominated by high scores and prolific passing, the opportunity for a three-peat is a rare and coveted feat. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes navigated through roster gaps en route to Super Bowl LVIII, underscoring the importance of shoring up the team’s weaknesses.

As the Chiefs prepare for this pivotal offseason, General Manager Brett Veach remains steadfast in his commitment to building a roster that transcends the allure of championships and focuses on strategic and sustainable success. In navigating the challenges ahead, the following paragraphs outline the top five positions the Chiefs should prioritize, shedding light on the level of urgency for each.

1. Defensive tackle

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The 2024 Chiefs roster currently features only one contracted defensive tackle: Neil Farrel Jr., entering his third season with a limited contribution of 62 snaps in 2023, with just 16 during Super Bowl LVIII.

This glaring gap positions defensive tackle as the Chiefs’ top priority to address this offseason. The cornerstone for fortifying this position lies with star pass rusher Chris Jones. However, his timeline will be accelerated this year, given the possibility of the franchise tag, which, though an option, would entail a substantial $32 million immediate cap hit. The decision to use or forego the tag will significantly impact the team’s ability to navigate the open market and secure a long-term deal swiftly.

Regardless of the strategy employed, the Chiefs face the imperative need to acquire a capable starter at nose tackle, as Farrel is not anticipated to project as a starter in 2024. While the past two offseasons focused on re-signing Derrick Nnadi for one-year deals, the formula faced a setback when the soon-to-be 28-year-old suffered a triceps injury, landing him on Injured Reserve during this postseason.

The pressing requirement for both starters and depth in this position might necessitate exploring free-agent options, especially if Jones doesn’t re-sign. However, the team arguably needs to augment this position with multiple draft picks, preferably higher than the sixth round—learning from the Keondre Coburn situation last year, where the sixth-round pick was cut by Week 1.

2. Wide receiver

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If the 2024 Chiefs’ offense were to hit the field at this moment, only Mecole Hardman and Richie James would be absent from the Super Bowl roster among the wide receivers. One could argue that the team merely needs to fill the specific roles these two players occupied to conclude the 2023 season.

However, there is room for enhancement within the wide receiver position group, particularly surrounding Rashee Rice. Despite Marquez Valdes-Scantling’s strong performance at the end of the last season, the decision to cut him ahead of 2024, freeing up approximately $12 million in cap space, underscores the need for a more dynamic player to justify such a significant financial commitment. The unit requires versatility for those snaps.

Moreover, the presence of Justin Watson, signed for 2024, offers similar skills at a significantly lower $2 million cap hit.

Addressing the underperformance of Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore isn’t as straightforward. Both are under contract, and cutting them ahead of the offseason program doesn’t bring any financial benefits for the Chiefs. While both will have opportunities to carve out roles in the offense, it’s unlikely to be significant.

To revitalize this position group, the Chiefs need to inject it with genuine talent. With noteworthy free agents available and a robust wide receiver draft class, multiple strategic moves are anticipated in this area.

3. Left tackle

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Having secured two championships with an “outside hire” at left tackle, the Chiefs are now contemplating entrusting the critical position to a homegrown talent: Wanya Morris, their third-round pick from the previous spring, who stepped in to start four games on Mahomes’ blind side during the latter part of the 2023 season.

As expected, Morris exhibited the traits of a rookie, showcasing raw talent, particularly excelling as a robust run blocker. However, he also yielded to pass-rush pressure in consequential moments. While there is optimism regarding Morris becoming the team’s future at the left tackle position, introducing competition for the 2024 season becomes imperative.

To fortify the offensive line, the team must either seek another affordable veteran akin to Donovan Smith or target a promising prospect in the early rounds of the draft. The goal is to ensure depth, competition, and ultimately secure the most effective protection for Mahomes.

4. Defensive end

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The inclusion of positions featuring draft selections from each of the Chiefs’ last two first rounds is certainly not an encouraging sight on a list of priorities. Unfortunately, this is a consequence of the unfortunate injury to defensive end Charles Omenihu during the AFC Championship, where he tore his ACL, putting him on an optimistic trajectory for recovery by the commencement of the 2024 regular season.

However, it would be unrealistic to expect Omenihu to seamlessly return and serve as an impactful starter for the first half of the upcoming year. Consequently, the team’s starting defensive ends are projected to be George Karlaftis and Felix Anudike-Uzomah. Lacking substantial depth, the only support behind them is B.J. Thompson, a fifth-round pick from the previous year.

Given these circumstances, it becomes crucial for the team to identify a player capable of starting opposite Karlaftis at the onset of the 2024 season. Anudike-Uzomah may not be fully prepared for every-down playing time, and even if he is, the depth remains quite thin. Whether through the acquisition of a solid free agent or a targeted prospect in the draft, the Chiefs’ defense would significantly benefit from adding another capable body on the edge.

5. Change-of-pace running back

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The primary running back, Isiah Pacheco, demonstrated his peak performance when the Chiefs utilized him as a powerful force, employing traditional handoffs and unleashing him downhill. His effectiveness was particularly pronounced when navigating through seams created by a robust run-blocking unit.

While Pacheco exhibited improvement in various facets of the position during the last season, the potential for both him and the offense to reach greater heights exists if a consistent playmaker can be introduced into the backfield—a role akin to Jerick McKinnon’s impact during the 2022 playoff run and Super Bowl LVIII.

While there is a pool of free agents available, the team stands a better chance of discovering a hidden gem by identifying an underrated prospect later in the draft. This strategic approach can potentially yield a dynamic addition to the backfield, providing the Chiefs with enhanced offensive capabilities.

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