The Kansas City Chiefs can’t force teams to make a trade
By Matt Conner
On the other side of the NFL trade deadline it’s clear that it takes two teams to improve the Kansas City Chiefs.
All Brett Veach can do is pick up his end of the phone. That’s all that he controls as general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs.
In recent weeks and months, we can assume a few things about Veach. We can assume he called the Jacksonville Jaguars and offered to pay at least enough to entertain conversations about Jalen Ramsey. He’s kicked the tires enough on Patrick Peterson to be told “no” more than once. He also tried his best to grab Minkah Fitzpatrick from the sinking ship known as the Miami Dolphins. In each instance, he was denied for one reason or another.
For Ramsey, the Jags reportedly didn’t want him going to the Chiefs. For Peterson, he was never really available. For Fitzpatrick, he simply couldn’t outbid the Pittsburgh Steelers.
To his credit, he tried. That’s all Brett Veach can do.
Looking back at the NFL trade deadline, it looks as if the Chiefs cleared a ton of cap space in order to make a move. Unfortunately the move didn’t materialize. A team with injuries and a need for long-term talent at cornerback didn’t make a single improvement there. A team with issues along both lines failed to import anyone else.
But all of this was likely out of Veach’s hands. He can make his interest known. He can dangle the assets. He can make the calls, but it takes two to tango here and the lack of any deadline deals on Tuesday made it clear the asking prices were enormous. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be seeing Robby Anderson reporting back to the Jets or Trent Williams suiting back up for the Redskins or Janoris Jenkins still in the Big Apple.
It’s hard to blame Veach for not making a deal when the other team was likely holding out a price tag that would make anyone leap. As much as it would have helped the Chiefs to bring in a veteran performer to bolster the defensive line, for example, the impact is negated if it takes a disproportional draft asset (or more) to get him.
A more desperate man might have been willing to swallow the sticker price for the sake of an acquisition, but Veach is in this for the long-term. A one-time run at the Super Bowl makes sense for a team like the Chargers (where your quarterback is nearly 40). It makes zero sense for a team with a 24-year-old former MVP at the helm.
The lack of a deadline deal is frustrating for many but the Chiefs still have what it takes to make the Super Bowl this year. Every team is flawed. The AFC is a total mess in particular, with one undefeated team beating up on the league’s easiest schedule. There’s a lot of football left to play and the Chiefs will look quite different by season’s end.
Here’s hoping it’s enough. And even if it somehow isn’t, we can only trust that Veach did as much as he could within reason.