A Chiefs-Titans trade to combat inevitable Rashee Rice suspension

AFC Championship - Kansas City Chiefs v Baltimore Ravens
AFC Championship - Kansas City Chiefs v Baltimore Ravens / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

During a midseason slump in 2023, the sputtering Kansas City Chiefs fell to a 9-5 record after losing five out of eight games. Kansas City managed to turn things around and went on to win the Super Bowl, but they did it by relying heavily on their defense. In turn, their franchise quarterback was relegated to mere game management duties.

Kansas City entered the offseason with hopes of revamping their offense. With a lackluster wide receiver corps and deficiencies at the offensive tackle positions, there was no secret about what general manager Brett Veach had on his offseason wishlist.

The Chiefs bolstered their wide receiver room through free agency and the 2024 NFL Draft, but they have found themselves in the market once again. With a potential season-long suspension looming for second-year wide receiver Rashee Rice, Kansas City was reportedly among the teams bidding for free agent wide receiver Zay Jones, who instead signed with the Arizona Cardinals. 

Chiefs could trade for Titans WR Treylon Burks 

As free agency options dwindle, the Chiefs could explore the possibility of trading for Tennessee Titans wide receiver Treylon Burks. 

If the Titans are open to moving on from Burks, it’s a move that could make sense for Kansas City. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound wide receiver would provide the Chiefs with size on the perimeter. Kansas City’s current stable of wide receivers has speed, but they lack the size to make jump-ball catches on the perimeter. 

With Burks’ underwhelming production and Tennessee’s recent investments at the wide receiver position, the price on Burks could be extremely cheap.

Kansas City could offer a 2025 conditional sixth-round pick that has the potential to turn into a 2025 fifth-round pick based on snap count, receptions, or touchdowns. It may seem like a low cost, but most underperforming former first-round players have been traded for even less this offseason. 

Kansas City Chiefs

The Titans drafted Burks with the No. 18 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft after trading wide receiver A.J. Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles. The decision was disastrous for Tennessee. While Brown has turned in All-Pro campaigns with the Eagles, Burks has compiled just 49 receptions for 665 yards and one touchdown over two seasons.

Titans head coach Brian Callahan has expressed confidence in Burks, but the team’s offseason additions of wideouts Calvin Ridley and Tyler Boyd would suggest otherwise. 

The Chiefs currently possess eight picks in the 2025 NFL Draft, but they are also expected to receive two compensatory selections in the seventh round. Kansas City received an additional third-round pick for the trade that sent cornerback L’Jarius Sneed to the Titans, which has left Tennessee with less picks in the middle rounds.

Although Burks hasn’t lived up to expectations, the former first-round pick has played with four different quarterbacks — Ryan Tannehill, Malik Willis, Joshua Dobbs, and Will Levis — through his two years in the league. That environment is hardly conducive to success for any young wide receiver. Injuries also caused Burks to get off to a slow start in his rookie season.

With Kansas City, Burks would benefit from quarterback stability and a coaching staff that helps players get open with scheme as much as route running. In his final collegiate season with the Arkansas Razorbacks, Burks posted 66 catches, 1,104 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.

Kansas City signed free agent wide receiver Marquise Brown, a speedster who had previously been underutilized in run-heavy schemes. With some lobbying from quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs selected Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy with the No. 28 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Brown and Worthy were meant to join second-year wide receiver Rashee Rice, but recent legal turmoil has led to concerns about his availability in 2024.

If Kansas City doesn’t want to sacrifice any future draft picks, they could sign former New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas in free agency.

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