2. Jarvis Landry (New Orleans Saints)
There were needs in the Chiefs’ wide receiver room long before they decided to trade Tyreek Hill on March 23rd. Loud were the cries from Chiefs Kingdom for the team to reel in a legitimate WR2 to compliment the superstar Hill, but they were never answered. Again, Brett Veach had a plan.
It had become custom to see Patrick Mahomes throw a deep ball outside of the camera’s view and for Tyreek Hill to be hauling it in as the camera caught up. The success the two had together was unlike anything else that had been seen in Chiefs history, but it led to some unpredictable frustrations. Last year, Kansas City faced a 3-man rush more frequently than any other team in the league, as every opponent was committed to not being beaten by Mahomes’ connection with Hill. Although Travis Kelce was still available, Mecole Hardman had a career year, and Byron Pringle and Demarcus Robinson made notable contributions, the offense often seemed to be missing a step.
Jarvis Landry was a veteran receiver who the Chiefs were rumored to be interested in for a long while this offseason, but again, he is completely contradictory to the teams new direction. The predictability — if you can even call it that? — of what Tyreek Hill offered as an ace up Mahomes’ sleeve was traded away and replaced by a perfectly well-rounded group. Each player brings a unique skill set to the table, and opposing defenses will be sent back to the drawing board when it comes to scheming against Kansas City.
Landry, of course, has a unique skill set of his own — a gadget-type versatile receiver and runner — but, like with Gilmore, the age and financial commitment enter the conversation in his case as well. He will be 30 years old by the end of 2022, he hasn’t had a 1,000 yard receiving season in three years, and he has never had more than 9 touchdowns in a season (only 8 total in the past two years). Yet, the New Orleans Saints offered him a one-year contract worth $3 million dollars. Granted, that is a “prove it” deal of sorts for a veteran, but nonetheless, Kansas City is entering 2022 with only two receivers earning as much or more as Landry will this year. Marquez Valdez-Scantling will make $9 million dollars as a 28-year-old, and JuJu Smith-Schuster will earn $3.25 million at 26.
Aside from those two contracts, the Chiefs receiving core will be highlighted by youth and affordability. Skyy Moore, Mecole Hardman, and Justyn Ross will make a combined $3.7 million, and the average age between them is 22 years old.
Simply put, while Landry may have made sense for the Chiefs had they retained Tyreek Hill — although he doesn’t offer much more than experience over Mecole Hardman — he certainly doesn’t fit into the current receiver room and would have just be an expensive depth piece on the roster.