The Kansas City Chiefs, fresh off their triumphant Super Bowl victory in the 2022 NFL season, have been determined to solidify their position as kings of the hill. The team has made strategic signings to address defensive and offensive weaknesses and aims to defend their Super Bowl title. However, amidst their calculated moves in the 2023 NFL offseason, one decision stands out as the riskiest of them all. This article delves into the Kansas City Chiefs' riskiest free agency move and explores its potential implications for the upcoming season.
Before delving into the riskiest free agency move, it's essential to acknowledge the Chiefs' remarkable 2022 season. They clinched the Super Bowl title for the third time in franchise history, finishing the regular season with an impressive 14-3 record. Led by the dynamic quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who was named the Super Bowl MVP, the Chiefs dominated their opponents in both the regular season and playoffs. Their defense was pivotal in their Super Bowl victory, stifling the Philadelphia Eagles in the second half. Chiefs fans will forever cherish the unforgettable moments from this successful season.
However, it's time to look at the riskiest free agency move in the 2023 NFL offseason that the Chiefs made.
Signing QB Blaine Gabbert
The riskiest move the Chiefs made in the 2023 NFL offseason was signing backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert. His career in the NFL has been marked by inconsistency and limited starting opportunities. While he has accumulated a decent career record with 9,302 passing yards and 51 touchdowns, his 47 interceptions raise concerns about his decision-making abilities under pressure.
Bucs backup QB Blaine Gabbert and his brothers helped rescue 4 people after a helicopter crashed Thursday in Tampa Bay
Gabbert says they helped bring the crash victims to safety on their jet skis 🙏
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 30, 2022
The Chiefs' intention in signing Gabbert was to secure a reliable backup for their star quarterback, Patrick Mahomes. However, the potential risk becomes evident if Mahomes were to sustain an injury during the season. In such a scenario, Gabbert would be thrust into the spotlight as the team's starting quarterback, a position that requires exceptional skills and leadership qualities to lead the offense effectively.
One of Gabbert's notable limitations is his lack of mobility, which contrasts with Mahomes' ability to extend plays with his legs and create opportunities downfield. Additionally, Gabbert does not possess a particularly strong arm. This limits his ability to make deep throws and stretch opposing defenses. These factors, combined with his perceived lack of leadership qualities, raise concerns about his ability to effectively command the Chiefs' offense.
In the event that Gabbert was to take over as the starting quarterback, the Chiefs could potentially face significant challenges. The offensive rhythm and dynamic playmaking ability that Mahomes brings to the table could be compromised. For sure, this would impact the team's ability to consistently move the ball and put points on the board. Furthermore, Gabbert's limited starting experience and the subsequent lack of chemistry with the Chiefs' talented receiving corps may hinder the team's overall offensive efficiency.
In addition to this riskiest move, however, the Chiefs also made several other notable signings during the offseason.
Chiefs Free Agency Signings
CB Lamar Jackson brings experience as a veteran cornerback who has started for multiple NFL teams. Known for his physicality and coverage skills, he adds depth and versatility to the Chiefs' secondary. Meanwhile, Matt Dickerson is a young and versatile defensive tackle. His ability to play both inside and outside provides flexibility to the Chiefs' defensive line. His impressive performance of 4.5 sacks and 57 tackles in his final season at Colorado showcases his potential impact.
Another great pickup is Chris Williams, a veteran defensive tackle. He has extensive starting experience in the NFL. As a solid run-stopper who can also rush the passer effectively, he bolsters the Chiefs' defensive line rotation. For his part, Sebastian Gutierrez is a young and athletic offensive tackle. He possesses the potential to secure a starting position. Having started 13 games for TCU in 2022, his addition strengthens the Chiefs' offensive line.
Remember that the Chiefs also re-signed RB Jerick McKinnon. His versatility as a running back who excels in catching passes out of the backfield makes him a valuable asset to the Chiefs' offense. Punter Tommy Townsend is also around. He certainly has the potential to become one of the NFL's premier punters.
For additional offensive weaponry, the Chiefs also signed receivers Justin Watson and Richie James. They bring different skill sets to the Chiefs' receiving corps. Watson, a young and speedy wide receiver, adds a deep threat dimension. Meanwhile, James, a veteran, possesses excellent contested catch abilities. Their contributions diversify the Chiefs' passing game.
Chiefs 2023 Outlook
Having said that, while the Kansas City Chiefs made several prudent moves in the 2023 NFL offseason to strengthen their roster, the signing of quarterback Blaine Gabbert emerged as the riskiest move. As a journeyman with limited starting experience, Gabbert's performance as a potential backup may be a concern should Mahomes suffer an injury.
Nonetheless, the Chiefs' overall roster presents a promising outlook for the upcoming season. Take note that they are still led by Mahomes and supported by their other free agency acquisitions. If they can maintain their players' health and harness the potential of their young talent, the Chiefs have a legitimate chance to embark on another deep playoff run. We expect them to vie for the Super Bowl championship once again.