The Kansas City Chiefs had a rocky offseason after falling short of a Super Bowl in 2021. The Chiefs, led by generational quarterback Patrick Mahomes, made it to their fourth straight AFC Championship Game, but ended up losing to the Cincinnati Bengals. Their path back to the AFC Championship Game may be a bit more difficult now after the events that have transpired during the 2022 NFL Offseason.
The biggest loss for the Chiefs involved them trading away star wide receiver Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins. That move has robbed Mahomes of one of his top targets, which will make his life much more difficult in 2022. They also lost Tyrann Mathieu in free agency, although they were able to replace him with another solid safety in Justin Reid.
Despite the turnover in Kansas City this offseason, they still have a lot of talent on their roster, and figure to be one of the top Super Bowl contenders in the AFC. But there are some areas of excessive depth on their roster that could be used to help address some of the weaker areas. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the Chiefs top three trade candidates as they head into training camp.
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Kansas City Chiefs training camp trade candidates
No. 3: Mike Danna
Mike Danna has become a rotational piece on the Chiefs’ defensive line during his first two seasons in the league, which is pretty good considering there weren’t many expectations surrounding the 2020 fifth round pick. But over the course of the offseason, it’s clear that Danna has become expendable, making him a likely trade candidate during training camp.
The big reason for that is because the Chiefs used one of their first round picks on George Karlaftis, who figures to be a starter on the defensive line from day one. He should replace Danna at one of the edge spots, sending Danna to the bench should he stick around in Kansas City.
Danna has some potential, and a team that needs help on the defensive line could look to take a flier on him. He racked up three sacks and 10 quarterback hits in limited action last season, showcasing his pass-rushing potential. Unfortunately, his path to playing time with the Chiefs has been blocked by Karlaftis for the time being, making it likely he will get moved before the start of the 2022 season.
No. 2: Juan Thornhill
Juan Thornhill has started from the get-go for the Chiefs after being a second round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, but he has never really managed to fulfill expectations. Thornhill’s play has always left something to be desired, and the Chiefs may be looking to replace the inconsistent safety as soon as this upcoming season.
Kansas City used a second round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft on Bryan Cook, and while he profiles as more of a strong safety, he can play in the free safety role Thornhill currently occupies. If Thornhill struggles, or Cook shines during training camp, Thornhill could be sent packing as a result.
Thornhill’s coverage metrics have gotten worse with each passing season, and he fails to make a major impact in other areas of the game. He’s largely been an average safety, which isn’t what the Chiefs are looking for. Thornhill still has a lot of potential, but his time may be running out in Kansas City. If things go south for him in training camp, he could be flipped for a low draft pick in order to open up a bigger role for Cook.
No. 1: Orlando Brown Jr.
The Orlando Brown Jr. situation has taken quite a crazy turn over the past week or so. The Chiefs franchise tagged Brown earlier this offseason, and were hoping to sign him to a long-term contract. Unfortunately, the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement before the July 15th deadline, meaning Brown will have to play the upcoming season on the franchise tag.
The more concerning part is the offer that Orlando Brown Jr. turned down. It was reported that Brown turned down a six-year, $139 million offer from the Chiefs that included a $30.25 million signing bonus. That has raised a very important question; if Brown isn’t going to accept that kind of mammoth deal from Kansas City, what will it take to keep him with the Chiefs for the long-term future?
Brown’s status with the Chiefs is certainly murky, and reports are beginning to filter out that he may holdout of training camp after not getting a new deal. Brown has already forced his way off the Baltimore Ravens for refusing to play anywhere else on the line other than left tackle, and he may be in the process of doing the same thing in Kansas City.
If Brown holds out, the Chiefs may end up shopping him around and seeing if any team would bite on a deal for him. Brown is easily one of the top tackles in the NFL, but he clearly wants an absurd amount of money, and that may scare teams off. If the Chiefs decide Orlando Brown Jr. is too costly though, and he holds out from training camp, they may decide to cut ties with the talented tackle and unload him during training camp.