4 players the Kansas City Chiefs should let leave in free agency

The Kansas City Chiefs are champions once again, having defeated the San Francisco 49ers in one of the most dramatic Super Bowls of all time. As the focus begins to shift towards next season, who should the Chiefs let walk in free agency to make a run at a three-peat?

With the exception of Isiah Pacheco, the Chiefs' backfield could look very different in 2024
With the exception of Isiah Pacheco, the Chiefs' backfield could look very different in 2024 / David Eulitt/GettyImages
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2) Tommy Townsend is a solid punter, but he's on the outs in Kansas City

There's always been a saying that the best job in the NFL is backup quarterback. The fans cheer your name when the starter struggles, and most of the time you get to be paid a couple million dollars just to hold a clipboard and run the backup offense in practice. It's a pretty sweet gig.

I submit to you that there's a better one out there, and it's Chiefs punter. With Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid cooking up all manner of sorcery on offense, there isn't much use for someone whose only use comes when the best quarterback and coach in the world decide to surrender without scoring any points. Even so, on the rare occasions that you do get the call on fourth down, you need to perform, and Tommy Townsend has been mediocre this year.

Townsend's numbers are replacement-level across the board. His 47.1 yards per punt ranks 18th in the league. His percentage of punts that landed inside the 20 has dropped significantly each of the past two years, from 54.1 to 41.5 to 33.9 this season, good for just 23rd in the league.

The Chiefs offense has become less flashy this year. Mahomes still does Mahomes things, but on the whole, there were more long, deliberate drives than quick-strike touchdowns. The defense fit that gameplan, as it evolved into one of the top five stingiest units in the league. When playing that way, field position takes on added importance, and Townsend's inability to be more than league average or worse cannot be allowed to stand. Expect Kansas City to find someone new.