Chiefs earn mixed reviews for special teams play in 2019
By Scott Loring
As the team steps into 2020, there are again, a lot of things to be excited about, plus a few other questions.
Kansas City is in capable hands for years to come with Butker. The 25-year-old Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket is under contract through 2024. The Chiefs also have Colquitt in the fold in 2020, but his contract expires after next season. It’s possible that the soon-to-be 38 year old could choose to retire after earning his first career Super Bowl ring. Another discussion cycling around is the possibility that the team releases Colquitt. Fiscally, there’s some merit to that discussion, as the team can regain $2 million against the salary cap, but we’re not buying it. Colquitt is the most tenured Chief in team history and is a future member of the Ring of Honor. He’ll go out on his own terms. Unless he indeed chooses to retire on top, plan on Colquitt being back in 2020.
Winchester has two years remaining on his deal, and while he is expected to return, we don’t expect him to be the sure thing that he has been in the past. Colquitt may have received most of the recognition for the aforementioned special teams errors in 2019, but a portion of the blame should go to Winchester. The former Oklahoma Sooner will turn 31 before the season begins, and he will be under the microscope as the team breaks for camp. Watch and see if the team brings in some competition to nudge Winchester into perfecting his craft.
With Hardman in the fold, Reid and Toub have to be very excited about the foreseeable future. And while Hill was relegated to offense-only in 2019, we tend to think it was more due to his sternoclavicular injury than any other personnel decision. It remains to be seen if the Chiefs will put Hill into return duty again, but if they do, we know it will still be in capable hands. Until we see otherwise, you can safely anticipate Hardman to assume the majority of kick and punt returns, and you could do a lot worse than the electrifying 22-year-old.
Toub appears set to return in 2020 as well, so there appears to be 100% continuity as the team presses forward in the pursuit of a second consecutive Super Bowl Championship. Without any immediate holes to be filled in free agency or the draft, the team can focus its offseason plan into other areas. The Chiefs’ solid play in special teams will continue to put their offense and defense in good position to secure many victories ahead in 2020.