The Kansas City Chiefs aren’t likely going to focus too much attention on the offensive backfield this offseason after drafting Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. With a bell cow already on the roster, any further moves made to bolster the ground game will come in the form of low-cost rentals or bringing back their own free agents. But one move that could produce underrated dividends would be the addition of Matt Breida at the right price.
It wasn’t that long ago that Breida, as a member of the San Francisco 49ers, was one of the NFL’s fastest players, as measured by Next Gen Stats. In 2019, an 83-yard touchdown run found Breida hitting a top speed of 22.3 miles per hour, which set the highest mark of the NFL season. Breida hit that same total back in 2018, which means it wasn’t some lightning strike play for the Niners. Breida has serious elite top speed, even among his NFL peers.
The problem is that he’s never quite put it all together. For some reason, the Niners decided to move on from Breida even before that 2019 season was over. He had a single carry combined in the NFC Championship and Super Bowl LIV (against the Chiefs). After that year, the team placed a second-round tender on him before trading him for a fifth round pick to the Miami Dolphins.
Given the level of tender offered to him as a restricted free agent, his price tag of $3.26 million was too much for the Chiefs to handle (if they’d been interested), but a frustrating season in Miami might make this offseason’s price tag even lower than that. Breida remains one of the league’s fastest players, but Josh Tolentino of The Athletic believes that Breida will be cut from the Dolphins roster this spring. That could spell opportunity for Kansas City.
Matt Breida would make an ideal low-cost addition for the Chiefs.
Last season, Breida only had 59 carries for 254 rushing yards and zero touchdowns for Miami in 12 games. He also had a career low 9 catches for 96 receiving yards. He also has a bit of an injury history, including an ankle injury in 2018, a torn pectoral muscle in 2019, and an ankle sprain last year.
For the Chiefs, it’s possible to bring back Darrel Williams as a restricted free agent, but Le’Veon Bell is also going to hit the open market. Darwin Thompson remains on the roster, but bringing in one more player makes a lot of sense, and a matchup concern like Breida makes a lot of sense if the Chiefs can afford it. Someone with that level of top speed could be just the sort of backfield addition to give the Chiefs offense another exciting wrinkle in 2021.