Four minor moves that made a big difference for KC Chiefs in ’22
By Matt Conner
Let’s look at a few minor moves that made a big difference for the Chiefs in 2022.
For the teams who have arrived in Glendale, Arizona as the participants in this year’s Super Bowl, these days are a time of focus and preparation. For those on the outside looking in, the same can be said but in a different way, as those teams focus on how the Chiefs and Eagles got to where they have and prepare to follow suit.
As teams around the NFL do their best to mimic the journey taken by both Philadelphia and Kansas City, moves made by both teams will be analyzed on a large and small scale. It’s easy to point at the big moves and make some assessments—from the Chiefs’ coaching continuity to their courage to trade Tyreek Hill to remain financially flexible.
What about the smaller moves, however? What about the ways in which minor transactions can make a big difference? In a league with a salary cap intended to create parity, how is it that a team like the Chiefs can be back here again after only a year away? How can they dominate their division like they do while the rest of their rivals try everything under the sun?
Re-sign Andrew Wylie
It’s not as if the Chiefs haven’t tried to find different answers at right tackle over the last couple of years, from drafting Lucas Niang to signing Kyle Long. Yet the man who keeps showing up with his lunchpail is the same versatile lineman who has been a lifeline for the Chiefs for a few seasons now: Andrew Wylie.
Last year, the Chiefs had a choice on what to do across from Orlando Brown only one year after remaking the line. While some fans wanted the Chiefs to make the final major change up front, Brett Veach utilized the offseason to remake other positions altogether (more on that in a moment). Instead, he decided to make a minor long-term play on Darian Kinnard in the fifth round and to bring back Wylie on a smaller one-year deal.
Few players have provided their teams with the value that can match what the Chiefs have gotten out of Wylie on the right side for a mere $2.54 million. The commitment was only one year and the value was on a backup level, yet Wylie started 17 games for a Super Bowl contender.
Look, at this point, Wylie deserves far more respect than what most fans will give him. He’s not the star of the line by any means, but he’s provided the Chiefs with a very cost-effective starter at multiple positions for the last five years—giving them 59 starts across three positions for around $6M total. Yeah.