Chiefs turn page, tag in play for top free agents

By Thomson Reuters Feb 27, 2024 | 1:44 PM

INDIANAPOLIS — Winning the Super Bowl again put a strain on the Kansas City Chiefs’ front office, but the extra five weeks of football made general manager Brett Veach easy to find.

“They’ve been locked in a room, grinding to get ready for this thing,” head coach Andy Reid said of Veach and the scouting staff cramming for the NFL Scouting Combine, which takes place this week in and around Lucas Oil Stadium.

Reid and Veach opened their separate interview sessions at the event by expressing appreciation for the uniformed officers and public safety officials who sprang into action at the Lombardi Trophy parade in Kansas City three days after the Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers in Las Vegas.

The Chiefs quickly shifted from celebrating their Super Bowl LVIII win to keeping the team together.

“We’re chasing that ever-elusive three-peat,” Veach said of the front office focus on 2024.

Headlining free agents include defensive tackle Chris Jones and cornerback L’Jarius Sneed. Jones said during the victory parade that he intends to return.

“He’s at the top of the list,” Veach said of Jones and his scheduled visits with player agents in Indianapolis before prospect workouts begin.

The pecking order might leave the Chiefs shorter on cash to sign Sneed. The shutdown corner was described during Super Bowl media availability as “the reason we can do what we do on defense” by coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

With the salary cap rising to $255.4 million, there is concern for the Chiefs and other teams about players waiting for the “new market” to be set by contracts early in free agency.

“When you win this much, you’re paying a lot of players a lot of money,” Veach said. “We do have one tag. I anticipate probably using it to keep one of those guys.”

Reid said he’s not sweating the notion of complacency, the buzzword from Patrick Mahomes when the then-reigning MVP and Super Bowl MVP arrived at training camp last summer.

“The margin in this league,” Reid said, closing his thumb to his pointer finger, “is this narrow.”

–Field Level Media