Sep 8, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) yells to the offensive line during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports
In my last article, I alluded to how active Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey’s short stint has been in the trading game. Picks-for-players or players-for-players, it doesn’t really seem to matter to Dorsey. It demonstrates a certain shrewdness on his part that he doesn’t rule out any options for acquiring talent.
To date, here are the trades made under Dorsey’s reign…
1. Chiefs trade 2013 and 2014 second-round picks to 49ers for quarterback Alex Smith: The picks would eventually become wide receivers Justin Hunter and Cody Latimer. While both had some hype coming out of college, neither has been particularly productive in the NFL. Smith, meanwhile, has led the Chiefs to their first, back-to-back winning seasons since ’05 and ’06. Winner: Chiefs
2. Chiefs trade cornerback Javier Arenas to Cardinals for fullback Anthony Sherman: Arenas became a depth and role player for the Cardinals for one year before being let go. He spent 2014 in Atlanta and is currently a free agent. Sherman has been one of the best fullbacks in the NFL over the last two years. Winner: Chiefs
3. Chiefs trade linebacker Edgar Jones and 2014 seventh-round pick to Cowboys for 2014 sixth-round pick: The Cowboys used the pick on another linebacker, Will Smith. Neither Jones or Smith is still on the Dallas roster. The Chiefs used their pick on Zach Fulton, who started at offensive guard for the entire 2014 NFL season, and may reprise that role this year. Winner: Chiefs
4. Chiefs trade offensive lineman Rishaw Johnson to Buccaneers for defensive back Kelcie McCray: Johnson has bounced around training camps since the trade (five teams in under a year). McCray was a valuable special teams player. He is in the mix again this year. Winner: Chiefs
“Let’s have an open line of communication. Whatever you have to offer, let’s talk about it.” ~ Chiefs GM John Dorsey on trading.
5. Chiefs trade 2015 fifth-round pick to Saints for Ben Grubbs: The Saints would use this pick on defensive tackle Tyeler Davison. The Saints would also later sign Chiefs guard Mike McGlynn. Grubbs is the only guaranteed starter on the Kansas City offensive line at this point. Winner: TBD…but hard to imagine it won’t be the Chiefs.
6. Chiefs trade 2015 third- and sixth-round picks to Vikings for 2015 third-round pick: The picks the Chiefs gave up turned into cornerback Alex Carter and defensive end BJ Dubose. The Chiefs used their acquired pick on wide receiver Chris Conley. The results of this trade will play out over the next year or so. Winner: TBD
By no means is this a large number of trades. The Chiefs have actually been one of the least likely teams to try and move around in the draft. However, when talking about player-for-player trades, Dorsey has resurrected a practice that had largely been abandoned by the rest of the league. Dorsey also shows a penchant for moving picks for players. And in each case except the Edgar Jones trade, the move was made with the intent of acquiring a specific player. And so far, that list shows that Dorsey knows exactly what he’s doing every time he makes a trade. Dorsey understands how to use his assets to obtain better options for the team.
The truly interesting trend of Dorsey’s trading habits is that he has made a player-for-player trade in each of the first two seasons of his tenure. While that is hardly a long enough stretch to make any scientific prediction, it does lend some credence to the idea that Kansas City will look to do the same this year. And why not? If you have a player that might not make the team, or is just wasting cap space on your depth chart, why not try to move him for someone that may have more of an impact?
Dorsey has touched on this before. Prior to the draft, when asked about moving picks, the Chiefs general manager said: “We have called around to express interest just to let everybody know we can talk…Let’s have an open line of communication. Whatever you have to offer, let’s talk about it.”
While that was specifically a reference to trading picks, it has been pretty obvious that he has the same policy across the board. Shortly before that interview, Dorsey had just locked up a trade with the Saints that brought Grubbs to Kansas City.
And if the Chiefs are looking to make another of these trades, who might be on the block?
Next: Heading out of Kansas City?