Allowing JuJu Smith-Schuster to leave in free agency
This offseason, the Chiefs faced a pretty tough decision with the wide receiver corps. Specifically, the question was about how they should handle the free agency of JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Smith-Schuster came to the Chiefs on a cheap, one-year deal intended to help him re-establish his value on the open market. The hope was that he could stay healthy with a prolific contender, and he did just that—helping the Chiefs win their second Super Bowl in four seasons with a strong year in which he caught 78 passes for 933 yards.
Smith-Schuster was the ideal physical target to pair with Travis Kelce and the duo would often punish defenses for keying in too heavily on a single player. However, the problem for the Chiefs was knowing how much more expensive it would be to keep him around beyond his lone season in Kansas City.
As it turns out, the New England Patriots would win the bidding war for his services with a three-year deal worth just over $25 million. That sort of cash kept the Chiefs on the sidelines despite rumors that they wanted him back in the fold.
minicampsWhile Smith-Schuster was a very productive player for the Chiefs, the downside to signing him long-term was always about his injury concerns, and the Patriots are even feeling a bit of that now. Smith-Schuster has yet to practice with the team in any capacity through OTAs and minicamp as he recovers from injuries suffered late in the postseason with the Chiefs.
If anything, this feels like it could have been another Sammy Watkins scenario but instead it's the Patriots' problem.