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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Despite losing franchise pillars Tyreek Hill and Tyrann Mathieu and watching AFC West rivals fill up with talent through free agency and trades, Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said he’s fine with the team. chances this season.
“We have the guys and we have the wires to be really good,” Veach said. “Given our track record, given our coaching staff … I feel optimistic, I would say.”
The Chiefs chose not to re-sign Mathieu, who this week signed with the New Orleans Saints. They also decided not to extend the contract with Hill, who wanted to be the NFL’s highest paid wide receiver in a market with exploding salaries for players in that position.
Chiefs were able to cover a lot of ground in the draft with 10 picks, including two in each of the first two rounds. They added, among others, a cornerback in Trent McDuffie, a pass-rusher in George Karlaftis and a wide receiver in Skyy Moore.
Chiefs might not have made the big moves some of their AFC West rivals made before the draft, but they did not ignore free agency. They signed Mathieus’ replacement in safety Justin Reid and added two veteran-wide receivers in JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
Recent roster activity has led the Chiefs to believe they are ready to compete for a seventh division title in a row and a spot in a fifth straight game of the AFC Championship.
“I feel pretty good about the work we did in the low season,” Veach said. “We had a lot of things we needed to achieve. I’m fine with our approach. I’m fine with the plan we had. It was difficult, especially when the recipient market went crazy.
“I feel good, not only with the talent we added, but the crowd. I think we added a lot of good talent.”
In McDuffie, Karlaftis, Reid and linebacker in the third round Leo Chenal, the Chiefs potentially have four new starters in defense. The defensive makeover is similar to the one Veach and the Chiefs performed in 2019.
That year, the Chiefs started slowly defensively, but played well at the end of the season. Chiefs won Super Bowl LIV.
“There could also be a transition period here with these guys,” Veach said. “You’re talking about a rookie corner and a rookie linebacker and a rookie defensive, a safety that was picked up from Houston. There are a lot of moving parts there. It looks good on paper, but there’s a lot of work there. has been done. “