3 Chiefs who could end up on the trade block before Week 1

With the way the Chiefs offseason has gone, don't be surprised if some players are trade bait.
Kansas City Chiefs WR Kadarius Toney
Kansas City Chiefs WR Kadarius Toney / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

For the most part, the Kansas City Chiefs have answered a ton of major questions this offseason already. Trading up to the 28th pick and selecting Texas receiver Xavier Worthy fills a huge need in the wide receiver corps, Chris Jones was locked up long-term while L'Jarius Sneed was traded, Kingsley Suamataia should shore up the offensive tackle situation, and the Super Bowl champs look like the favorites to do it again with a historic three-peat.

Having said that, the job is far from done for Chiefs general manager Brett Veach and the rest of the organization this offseason. Does Kansas City want to bring back a Donovan Smith type to allow Suamataia or Wanya Morris a runway to develop a bit more early in the season? Are there other free agents who would make sense, perhaps to slot into the mix on defense to fill Sneed's void? Or could the Chiefs still make a trade to potentially free up some cap space?

That latter part is interesting because, based on what the franchise has done so far this offseason and the situation they sit in, there are some interesting moves to be made. These three Chiefs players specifically could find their way onto the trade block before Week 1 of the 2024 season in order to get future draft picks and free up some financial flexibility.

3. Chiefs trading S Justin Reid isn't likely, but isn't off the table either

Make no mistake, I'm not fully expecting to see Justin Reid get put on the trade block by the Chiefs front office this offseason. However, if it were to happen, it also shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone based on both the money and the situation with KC's safety room at this current juncture.

Reid signed with the Chiefs in free agency in the 2022 offseason, which has worked out well for both. Having said that, even after the former Stanford and Texans star more than admirably replaced Tyrann Mathieu and stabilized the safety room for Kansas City, the underlying numbers show that he's been an imperfect player. Reid graded out as only the 79th-best safety out of 95 qualified players in 2023 at the position by PFF ($) with subpar grades both as a run defender and coverage player.

Even though Reid is still just 27 years old and talked about a possible extension back in March 2024, the simple fact of the matter is that he's not been that good at the position. Meanwhile, the Chiefs drafted Jaden Hicks this year in the fourth round who could provide terrific depth while Bryan Cook and Chamarri Conner are both younger, higher-upside players.

With the Chiefs able to save $10.75 million of his $14.25 million cap hit in 2024 by trading him after June 1, it would be hard to say this move couldn't benefit Kansas City if Steve Spagnuolo believes that he can make it work with the younger safeties in the building, especially since a Reid trade would bring a decent return in terms of draft capital.

2. Chiefs trading TE Noah Gray could be opened up with Jared Wiley

Speaking of draft picks that could potentially change the calculus for Kansas City like Hicks may for Reid's future with the reigning champions, what about Jared Wiley? The Chiefs also selected the former TCU and Texas tight end in the fourth round -- two picks before Hicks on the dot, to be exact -- and most called it a replacement for Travis Kelce.

In the long-term, that may be the plan for the Chiefs. But in the short-term, it could mean something more dire for a player like Noah Gray. The veteran tight end has been a role player in the Kansas City offense as the Duke product has been an average run-blocker and a good tertiary option in the passing game. However, we've seen the limited upside at play with Gray when he's been asked to step into larger roles at times with Kelce either out of action or limited.

Wiley offers substantially more upside, both as a pass-catcher and even as a blocker if he can get the right coaching, even if that's not ideally his game. Meanwhile, the Chiefs could save a little more than $3 million by trading Gray after June 1, which would be a quietly savvy cost-cutting measure that could also net Kansas City and extra Day 3 pick.

The likelier option might be that Irv Smith Jr., who was brought in on a one-year deal, gets cut in favor of Wiley and Gray. But the savings associated with Gray still make him a possible trade option that should, at the very least, be considered by the Chiefs.

1. Chiefs trading WR Kadarius Toney should still be in the cards

Even after significant investment in the position this offseason, the Chiefs still do have some questions at wide receiver thanks to the Rashee Rice situation. The additions of Marquise Brown and Xavier Worthy should make the situation already better than it was last season, but the possibility that Rice misses substantial time due to suspension is still lingering and, frankly, seems like it might be a formality.

As such, we've seen the Chiefs brass, namely Veach and head coach Andy Reid, already talk this offseason about their reaffirmed belief on Kadarius Toney, the former Giants first-round pick the team traded for midseason in 2022 and who has largely been a headache in the offense since then. The talent is obvious, but the translation of that onto the field just hasn't been there.

Based on what Veach and Reid have said, you might be thinking that they believe in Toney and will keep him. But are we sure about that? After the team declined his fifth-year option this past week, they aren't committed long-term. Furthermore, simply getting a headache off of the roster and giving more opportunities to the likes of Skyy Moore or Justin Watson may make more sense for the Chiefs.

Throw in the fact that the Chiefs could save the entirety of Toney's $2.53 million cap hit this season by trading him, it's a consideration that has to be made if any team is willing to be the next one to take the undeniable gamble on the talent of Toney for even a late-round pick.

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