If you’re looking for the Kansas City Chiefs to make a major move at the season’s midpoint, given the looming deadline for NFL teams to make a trade before November 2, you might want to ease off of those expectations, It’s not that the Chiefs are set at every position, nor are they void of potential options who could make a good match. It’s just that Brett Veach has historically shown himself to be a very patient general manager when he’s finally got his regular-season roster in place.
Ever since Brett Veach took over as the team’s general manager in 2017, he’s become known as an aggressive GM who goes out and gets what he wants. He’s moved multiple first-round picks for veteran assets. He’s also traded away popular players in Marcus Peters, Alex Smith and others. He’s completely remade the defense in a single offseason and did the same this year with the offensive line from left to right.
In summary, those of us in Chiefs Kingdom typically think of Veach as a guy always poised on the verge of a deal, ready to pounce when it makes sense for the team.
Brett Veach’s history suggests that we should all be prepared for a quiet trade deadline for Chiefs.
In practice, that’s not true at all, and as the NFL deadline approaches, the reality is that the Chiefs front office is likely far more relaxed than anyone would suspect. That’s because in four full seasons as the team’s general manager, Veach has pulled off a single trade in that span. The entire of 2017, 2018, and 2019 came and went without an in-season trade for the Chiefs.
It was only in 2020, his fourth season as GM, that Veach finally decided to move a player in the middle of a regular season. Even then, that move was minor, and very few Chiefs fans would likely be able to recall the trade at all without significant help. Running back DeAndre Washington was traded to the Miami Dolphins along with a seventh-round pick in exchange for a sixth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. That’s it. That’s the whole sum of deadline deals in four years.
Remember that the Chiefs weren’t always Super Bowl favorites during those years. In 2017 and 2018. the needs were many and the Chiefs were viewed as playoff contenders and nothing more. Yet even when there were clear issues (think of Bob Sutton’s final season on defense or even the 2019 early season defensive struggles), the Chiefs have proven to be patient in the middle of the season.
It is true that there have been whispers of potential deals in the works in that same span. We all remember rumors of Patrick Peterson or Earl Thomas. Yet nothing worked out.
While Veach is a willing wheeler-dealer of sorts, it looks like his approach is to let the process play itself out once he has the roster settled. Veach is a man who will overturn every rock in order to unearth and find a good player who can help the roster. But once that roster has been given the thumbs up by all parties involved and prepared for the season ahead, it also seems as if the Chiefs front office is willing to go with what they have. As the saying goes, “Dance with the one who brought you.”
That likely means that the Chiefs aren’t going to go fishing for any major upgrades at the trade deadline—at least if history is any indicator of what’s to come. The Chiefs have been here before, with major midseason needs, and yet they’ve allowed the season to play itself out—for coaches to adjust, for players to grow, for injuries to heal. For better or worse, it’s gotten them this far and Veach is likely going to stay that course.