KC Chiefs: 5 wide receiver trade targets not named DeAndre Hopkins
By Jacob Milham
1. Michael Pittman
Alright, here it is. Most Chiefs fans have dreams about Hopkins. I have dreams of trading for Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman.
Pittman is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and the Colts, with a run-first offense and floundering quarterback depth chart, are not in line to retain him beyond 2023. The receiver free-agent market cooled off this offseason, so a team may not have to break the bank for Pittman’s next contract. But the Colts may not take a chance and look to recoup draft capital now and move on from the former USC Trojan.
Pittman has been the Colts’ steady receiving option for the past two seasons. The quarterback position has been a revolving door in Indianapolis, with Pittman having five different starting quarterbacks in his first three NFL seasons. Still, he posted 227 catches for 2,510 yards and 11 touchdowns in those three years. He had a 1,000-yard season in 2021 and nearly another in 2022. Despite the production, Colts fans contend that Pittman is not a WR1 option. Look at the production, look at the obstacles for a receiver to succeed in Indianapolis, and come back. Pittman is a WR1 in the NFL. Is he an elite one? Maybe not now, but Chiefs fans know how Mahomes can elevate the receiving talent around him to new heights.
If you want more on Pittman’s current career trajectory, let’s look at Pro Football Reference’s AV metric. It is a pretty straightforward metric, considering a player’s production amongst his peers in the league. Through his first three seasons, Pittman has a total AV of 24. Not elite, but not bad either. Other receivers with 24 AV through their first three seasons are:
- Larry Fitzgerald
- Stegon Diggs
- Cooper Kupp
- Calvin Johnson
- Terry McLaurin
- Steve Smith Sr.
Not bad company if you ask me.
There is some big risks involved here, though. Pittman isn’t going to be cheap for much longer, and the Colts will likely have a high asking price for one year of Pittman. But, considering the Colts’ path toward a rebuild, contenders like the Chiefs will come calling about trades. Pittman should be the top player Kansas City looks to poach ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft.