4 players who could make sense for Chiefs in next wave of free agency
Things have slowed down after the initial wave of signings during the 2023 NFL free agency period.
Just over a week removed from the start of the legal tampering period, the majority of the top free agents around the NFL have been signed. Teams are now hunting for bargains and the remaining players available are recognizing that their markets probably aren’t exactly what they’d hoped for.
With all of that in mind, here’s a look at four available players who could make sense for the Kansas City Chiefs in the next wave of free agency:
WR N'Keal Harry
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The wide receiver market is virtually barren outside of Odell Beckham Jr. and a few others, but there is at least one intriguing buy-low candidate on the market.
We’ve learned over the years that there’s nothing that Chiefs GM Brett Veach likes more than a first-round reclamation project. His best season came in 2020 when he caught 33 passes for 309 yards and two scores. Harry’s career amounts to bust status so far, but he showed some flashes in limited opportunities with the Bears last season.
The throw 🤌
The catch 🤌
📺: #GBvsCHI on FOX pic.twitter.com/aw5fWkCkr5
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) December 4, 2022
Harry met with the Chiefs at the combine ahead of the 2019 NFL draft, so it’s not like having a level of interest in him would be too out of the ordinary. He could have a chance to recreate the narrative surrounding his career on a one-year deal in Kansas City.
TE Irv Smith Jr.
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With the wide receiver market looking scarce, some have suggested the Chiefs pivot and invest in the tight end position. They were one of the NFL leaders in 12 and 13 personnel groupings by the season’s end last year.
Smith missed the 2021 NFL season with a knee injury and only appeared in eight games last season (plus the wild-card round) due to a high ankle sprain suffered in Week 8. He caught 26 passes for 185 yards and three touchdowns. Despite the injuries, he’s still quite young, turning just 25 years old before the 2023 season.
Smith is another player who met with the Chiefs at the combine ahead of the 2019 NFL draft. He said some wise things about potentially joining the team back then.
“With Travis Kelce there and the great offense that they have, you can never go wrong with more weapons,” Smith told former Chiefs Wire contributor Robert Rimpson.
DT Armon Watts
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Not to be confused with former Chiefs safety Armani Watts, this is a piece that could help Kansas City shore things up in the trenches. At 6-foot-5 and 310 pounds, Armon Watts can play nose tackle out to 3-technique and even played some edge rusher for the Vikings. He’s not just a run-stopper either, as he’s shown some flashes of pass-rush ability with 44 pressures and six sacks over the past two seasons. Watts is from St. Louis, Missouri, so this could be a move to play a bit closer to home.
CB Duke Shelley
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One can never have too many cornerbacks, even with a ton of depth in the defensive backfield. A former Kansas State Wildcat, Shelley was a participant in the Chiefs’ local pro day back in 2019. He’s coming off of perhaps his best season as a professional with 11 passes defended and one interception on the year. Shelley’s 59.6 passer rating allowed ranked eighth in the NFL among cornerbacks with at least 200 coverage snaps. Inside/outside flexibility also has to be appealing for Kansas City here.