The Kansas City Chiefs have a habit of signing seasoned veterans (some a bit past their prime) to come and bolster their positions of need, not uncommon among NFL franchises, but the Chiefs seem to do it more than most. It's mostly paid dividends (Sorry Shady and Le'Veon Bell) and the team has overall benefitted from that veteran presence. This year is no different, as the Chiefs have already signed guys like Justin Reid, MVS and Juju, Kadarius Toney, Carlos Dunlap, Ronald Jones, and others to the practice squad and active roster. Older players that can provide a spark of knowledge, mentorship, and potential talent with the juice they have left, and for some that may be a bit young to be considered a veteran, provide a new life and look for both the Chiefs and themselves.
The Chiefs added two more key veterans to the player pool in running back Melvin Gordon and wide receiver Bryan Edwards. Both guys who have shined in year's past but have since somewhat fell by the wayside. Gordon was a long-time bell cow back for the Los Angeles Chargers before being traded to the Denver Broncos. There, he had good moments, but through the last couple of seasons has struggled with injuries and ball security. The Broncos released Gordon earlier this month, and the Chiefs picked him up today. Edwards, the other guy picked up earlier today, also shined for a division rival (just the one though this time not like Gordon, who only needs the Raiders now for his AFC West Punch Card. He wins a free steak dinner with Rich Gannon, John Elway, Dan Fouts, and Mahomes I hear!) Edwards racked up 45 receptions on 79 targets for 779 yards, with 16.2 average yards per reception (This stat is important in a Mahomes offense) and 4 TDs. He had quite a few big games for the Silver and Black but was dealt to the Falcons this past offseason and proceeded to be completely underutilized. He was released right after the trade deadline and was a hot target for the Chiefs to pick up at said trade deadline. Chiefs got him though anyway and added another potential weapon.
Let's look at how the Chiefs utilize these veterans though. Carlos Dunlap has since become a mainstay on the Chiefs defensive line, Justin Reid is one of the Chiefs' best defensive backs, and Ronald Jones now has a chance to show he belongs in the RB mix by performing at a high-level rate again the Rams this past Sunday. These veteran additions are helping this team win games and are making a big impact. I have full confidence the players they've bought in today will as well. Gordon, if he can manage ball security, could find his way among the RB mix just as Jones has, he's shown he can still play this year. Edwards last year also showed that he could be worth the money if utilized correctly, and as I said earlier, that yards per reception number is important in a Mahomes based offense. Medium to long gain receptions is where Edwards shines, and he could prove to be a big asset given the injuries plaguing the receiving corps currently.
This is what teams call "The Stretch Game" and it involves acquiring players midseason that fill key components realized thorough out the first two thirds or so of the season. This is generally to prepare what looks to be a playoff team for the long, grueling stretch of games between this time and the potential Super Bowl run. Sometimes teams use this to fill gaps in their roster with serviceable, but not great players, however the Chiefs use it to find potential gamebreakers and secret weapons. While these guys do fill a spot, they also can potentially do damage and help the team to victory, as well as revive their careers. It's all a part of #VeachBlackMagic and defines the way the Chiefs have been perennial playoff contenders all these years. That and Patrick Mahomes of course.
Burn Notice: 9/10 Potential phoenix rising?