Marquez Valdes-Scantling is a young, improving home-run threat for Chiefs
By Matt Conner
The Kansas City Chiefs got themselves an improving home-run threat coming off his rookie deal with the addition of Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
The Kansas City Chiefs are beginning to add more players in a sort of second wave of free agency for the team after mostly sitting out the original frenzy. Marquez Valdes-Scantling is one such player who could be an exciting addition for the offense in 2022 and beyond.
The Chiefs originally stayed rather quiet on the first week or more of free agency after signing only safety Justin Reid to replace Tyrann Mathieu in the secondary. Then on Wednesday of this past week, after they’d traded star wideout Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins, the Chiefs began to host a series of visits of potential new faces on both sides of the ball—including Valdez-Scantling. In the end, they decided to sign the free-agent wide receiver to a three-year deal.
Valdes-Scantling just wrapped his rookie deal with the Green Bay Packers in 2021 and spent the last four years giving MVP Aaron Rodgers a respected deep threat in a dynamic offense that also featured the game’s best overall wide receiver in Davante Adams. Now with K.C., he will join with Mecole Hardman and JuJu Smith-Schuster to remake the receiving corps on the team as Travis Kelce remains the lone offensive pillar in place.
To get an idea of what Valdes-Scantling will bring to the Chiefs, we asked Freddie Boston, Packers writer and site expert for Lombardi Ave, to tell us more about why Green Bay let him leave and what MVS still has ahead of him.
How much do you think GB wanted to keep Valdes-Scantling around?
Based on multiple reports over the past few weeks, the Packers have maintained interest in bringing back Valdes-Scantling but they always had a price. Sports Illustrated’s Bill Huber reported that the cost of a new deal eventually became too high for the Packers, and they had also hoped to re-sign him to a one-year deal. The Chiefs offered three years.
Were you surprised at the market/contract?
Surprised, no, but equally it wasn’t surprising the Packers were unwilling to match it. MVS has incredible speed and can change games on a single play. You can’t teach that. The deal he has signed with Kansas City seemed about right.
What should we make of a low catch rate (career under 50 percent)?
It has definitely been a concern throughout his career and something that has prevented him from taking that next step. Drops were a major issue in his first three seasons, but something he improved in 2021. Per Pro Football Reference, MVS had 15 drops in his first three seasons including seven in 2020. But he had zero last season.
How would you expect him to develop going forward?
Valdes-Scantling has come a long way during his four seasons in Green Bay and he became the team’s second-best wide receiver by the end of his rookie deal. With his speed, MVS has become one of the best deep threats in the NFL. In 2020, he led the league with 20.9 yards per reception. Defenses always respect his home-run ability, which helps the entire offense. However, he will also frustrate fans. While MVS did fix his issue with drops in 2021, there are too many games where he goes missing and fails to make an impact. Still, it’s hard not to like the fit in Kansas City’s offense. Expect to see Patrick Mahomes find him for plenty of big touchdowns this season.